Lease violation Pet in pet free apartment

clafortuFebruary 11, 2007

I live in an apartment that is a pet free community. My fiance and I moved into this apartment temporarily for six months because it was the best deal and close to where we lived. I had a cat previously, and ended up giving to my parents. After a while of having my cat, my father got irritated by it and insisted that I take it back or he was going to drop it off at the Humane Society. I didn't want to violate my lease by taking a my cat back in, nor did I want my cat to end up at the Humane Society. I talked it over with my fiance and we decided to take the cat back in.

Our lease is up at the end of March and we have already made plans to move to a different apartment complex that will allow us to have pets. We figured we could hide the cat for a month. This weekend I recieved a letter stating that management had seen a cat in the window of our apartment. Oops! Guess we got caught. I accept that. After all, I did sign a lease stating that I would not have a pet at any time in the apartment.

The part I am a little weary about, however, is when it comes to carpet replacement. Looking over my lease and the letter that was sent to me, it seems that they WILL charge me for new carpet. Also, I have a feeling the charge of new carpet will be high because the carpet is under a year old. My understanding is that if the carpet is older than three years old, it is usually replaced anyway and the tenant has a better chance paying less for carpet replacement.

What I wanted to know is if there is any chance that I could reason with management. The cat has only been here for four days. My parents have decided to take care of the cat for another month after I groveled with them. There is absolutely no staining. The hair and dander that has accumlated on the carpeting could easily be cleaned and vaccuumed. My feeling is that it would be a large waste of time and labor to replace this carpet not to mention a chunk of money. If they could prove there were any pet stains I would have no problem, but there is none.

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You should talk to them, but there's probably a good chance they'll charge you anyway. Maybe you should offer to let them come in & inspect the carpet. That may help. However, they can't now truthfully tell a new tenant that there have never been any pets in the apt., so they may go ahead with the replacement when you move. You may want to ask how much the replacement would be so you can at least know up front.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 4:14PM
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Talk to them asap... perhaps you can pay for a professional to come in and clean the carpets. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 11:14PM
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Definitely be up front with them, no fudging the story (easy to detect when that's going on). I am an animal lover and landlord, so see both points of view, and do empathize. From their point of view: they saw the cat in the window, so for all they know it could have been there for months and they just didn't catch it. The problem with the carpet is also what happens after you're gone. Years ago, before I took over ownership/managment, the former owner had a tenant with a dog. He moved out, carpet was professionally cleaned. New single dad moves in with custody of 6 year old daughter on weekends. That little girl was so highly allergic to dogs, she had a terrible reaction whenever she stayed in the house. They could only conclude it was dander down in the padding (dirt, dust, everything works it's way down to the bottom, no matter how diligently it's cleaned). So everything had to be yanked out and replaced. So from that viewpoint, your management is exposed to liability. If they advertise as 'pet free', and if subsequent tenant turns out to be highly allergic, it's the landlord that's stuck with remedying the situation. If it's their policy to change carpet every three years (that sounds rather frequent though) then they're stuck changing it sooner than anticipated, and they are trying to avoid bearing an added expense they did not anticipate.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 9:12AM
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