Ex-landlord demanding payment for replacing entire carpet

mominmnFebruary 22, 2005

My daughter and her roommate recently moved out of their apartment - the lease expired 1/31/05. During the walk-through w/ the apartment manager, it was noted that there was a wax stain on the carpet in the roommate's bedroom. Then last week (week of 2/14), the apartment manager called the roommate and told her that she and my daughter owe $1000 because they had to replace the carpet in the whole apartment because of that wax stain. (carpet cost approx. $1600, minus 1 year of wear, minus the security deposit) When asked why they didn't patch that area (the carpet was 1 year old), they said that they tried, but it didn't work. When asked why they had to replace all the carpet in the apartment, and not just that bedroom, they said that if they replaced only the carpet in the bedroom it wouldn't match the rest of the apartment. (These are not luxury apartments, btw.)

Is this standard? Do my daughter and her ex-roommate have to pay the $1000 for carpeting the entire apartment when the only problem was one stain in one bedroom?

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Sounds totally unreasonable in my experience. If a patch wouldn't work, then replacing the single room would, with a seam at the door. If it's not a luxury apartment it would not matter that the carpet didn't match exactly, and they should be able to get it pretty close. It sounds to me like they are trying to take advantage of your daughter and her roommate.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2005 at 4:02PM
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This happened to me years ago when there was a small hair dye spot on the carpet in the bedroom. They made a deal for me to pay $600.00 because the carpet was 2 years old and they said they couldn't replace one room because that room would appear newer than the rest of the 2300 square foot apartment.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2005 at 9:54PM
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what do they want ? Is there any provisions in the rental contract?

If not,I'd let them take me to small claims court.
I can't imagine why a carpet couldn't be replaced in one room.
that's just plain silly.

(and i'd also want to see that the carpet was replaced through out the apartment.... i have some doubts)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2005 at 6:27PM
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And if were my roommate who had caused the wax stain on the carpet in her bedroom, I'd make HER pay for the repair/replacement!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2005 at 1:18AM
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That happened to me! when I lived with a roomate... stain in our living room(friend of hers spilt a bloody mary). during our "exit" walk through the manager said that it was minor and he was sure it could be cleaned out. Next thing we know we are being charged to replace ALL the carpeting in the apt. We had to argue about other things with the manager soo we just let this one go and paid for it (luckily the carpet was 2 yrs old). Also by this point my roomate and i were NOT on the best of terms. I would have LOVED to tell her she must pay for it but i didn't want to deal with her fits (plus i knew she wouldnt pay for ALL of it, she'd just not pay at all to piss me off b/c BOTH our names were on the lease so we were both to blame legally)

Oh well the next people to move in got brand new carpeting! Lucky them!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2005 at 10:37AM
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Thanks for all your input! To answer TypoQueen - what they want is for my daughter and her ex-roommate to pay them $1000 for the carpet. They are willing to set up a payment plan. I don't know what's in the rental contract - my daughter says that she doesn't have a copy, that her ex-roommate has it.

I did talk to someone who is a landlord, and they said it gets tricky with stuff like this. But they suggested that for starters my daughter ask for a copy of the work order and the name and date of the person who supposedly tried to patch it. And also to find out if he works for a carpet company, or if it was just "Joe Handyman" that tried. Also she suggested getting a copy of the invoice for the new carpet, as well as being physically shown the apartment with the new carpet - just to make sure they actually did replace all the carpet. And if they refuse, this person suggested that my daughter tell them that she is not paying and that she will take them to conciliation court. My daughter meets with the apartment manager again next Tuesday; we'll see what happens then.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2005 at 10:59AM
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I think your landlord friend gave you good suggestions!

I still would force apartment manager to take me to small claims court. It's beyond reasonable that the whole carpet be replaced (unless there's a clause in the lease). Get a copy of the lease!

Please do keep us informed!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2005 at 9:47AM
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any news?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2005 at 8:32AM
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According to the court show I saw last week, if it can't be repaired decently, you have to pay for all of the carpet. I have the same carpet in all of my upstairs. If I had to replace carpet in one of those rooms I would replace it all.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2005 at 7:50PM
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Hi all! And thank you typoqueen for asking what happened! My daughter, her ex-roommate and I went to see the apartment manager again. She made them an offer of letting them pay $500 (instead of the $1000) but they would have to pay right then. My daughter got a floor plan and a calculator and figured out the square footage of the bedroom, and based on the carpet cost, the amount to carpet that bedroom was $357. So, since the apartment manager had already kept their deposit ($400), my daughter said that they could keep that and call it even. The apartment manager was obviously angry (have to hand it to her though, she stayed calm) and said she'd have to call her manager. Two hours later she called my daughter and told her that there would be no negotiation and they had to pay the full $1000 and if they didn't hear from my daughter or her ex-roommate in 2 days it would be turned into collections.

So, my daughter and her friend got the paperwork to file a suit, had it notarized, talked to an attorney friend, called the management company of the apartment complex and spoke with the apt. manager's boss. It ended up that they had 2 choices - pay the $1000 over a period of 3 months, or pay $500 now. My daughter counter-offered with $400, and they took her up on it.

The thing was - if they would have taken the apartment complex to court, and lost (the atty friend said they probably had a 50/50 chance) they would have had to pay all of the apartment complex's legal fees and court costs. So they might have ended up paying a great deal more. That and the stress of doing all that (with jobs and full time schooling) caused my daughter and her friend to opt for paying the additional $400. At least it was less than the $1000.

Moving forward, they say that when they move into an apartment, they are not just marking down what's wrong, but taking pictures of everything. And they're taking pictures upon moving out. Also - good thing to remember is to have another walk through done upon taking over someone else's lease. That would have prevented my daughter from being liable for the carpet as her friend's previous roommate is the one who spilled the wax to begin with.

Sorry for the long post! But thanks for all your input!! It is much appreciated!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2005 at 9:21AM
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Sorry for your daughters troubles.. Sounds like she stood up for herself - you must have done a good job!
If i can make a suggestion- have her both take pictures, make a list, and take a video of the place on the day she moves in and the day she moves out.

thanks for responding!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 6:33PM
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