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    Pookaroo's Avatar
    Pookaroo Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Sep 25, 2008, 04:07 PM
    Landlord/Tenant Law in Texas - What Duty Does Tenant Have to Pay for New Carpet?
    Hello,

    We moved into an apartment two years and three months ago and just moved out. In February, my husband had food poisoning and was very sick. He had taken pepto bismol, but in a polite way, it didn't stay down. Thus, we ended up with some light pink stains in an area about one foot wide and three feet long in random spots. We tried to clean it as best we could, but couldn't remove all spots. We figured we would have to pay to have this part of the carpet replaced, but they are wanting us to pay for half of the replacement cost of the carpet, saying that they must replace all of it, rather than just a room. Apparently there is no seam in the carpet and it's all one big piece. This I find highly unlikely since I have seen the seam in the carpet, which is cheap to begin with. I don't mind paying for the carpet to be replaced where the accident occurred, but not for everything.

    I have heard there are certain rules regarding the carpet cost, through the Texas Apartment Association, but I cannot find it online.

    Thank you for your help!
    rockinmommy's Avatar
    rockinmommy Posts: 1,123, Reputation: 82
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    #2

    Sep 25, 2008, 06:26 PM

    I am a member of the TAA, use their lease, and have attended several seminars taught by the TAA on the lease and Texas Landlord / Tenant Law.

    There's really nothing specific about carpet addressed in the Texas Property Code, nor in the TAA lease contract. It's treated the same as any other part of the rental unit. The landlord is allowed to deduct from your deposit and charge you the balance for replacement of carpet that is damaged beyond "normal wear and tear".

    In my opinion, replacement of the carpet in the one room that was stained would be "reasonable". Even if there's not a seam there now, they can make one. There is almost always one in doorways, anyway. But that's just my opinion. I think asking you to pay half the cost is fair, but not necessarily for the whole unit.

    Are they retaining your deposit only, or are they billing you for more over and above that? I think at this point you'd have to sue them to get part of your deposit back. And they'd have to sue you to get more than your deposit. What are the numbers? Your deposit? The amount they're charging you?
    Pookaroo's Avatar
    Pookaroo Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Sep 25, 2008, 07:30 PM
    The deposit was for $300. I do not have a problem with them keeping the $300 because again, we did mess up the carpet and I totally understand that. They want to keep the deposit and want us to pay them an additional $75.
    rockinmommy's Avatar
    rockinmommy Posts: 1,123, Reputation: 82
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    #4

    Sep 26, 2008, 06:56 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Pookaroo View Post
    The deposit was for $300. I do not have a problem with them keeping the $300 b/c again, we did mess up the carpet and I totally understand that. They want to keep the deposit and want us to pay them an additional $75.
    Do you know what the approximate age of the carpet was when you moved in? Do you know approx dimensions of the room where the stain is?

    You said they are charging you 1/2 the cost of new carpet for the whole unit. So the full cost would be $750? To me, even for the cheapest carpet, that doesn't sound like the cost to do the whole unit. That's REALLY cheap! I was expecting you to come back and say they were wanting you to pay $1000 or something. From the numbers, I'd say that sounds like 1/2 the cost for just the one room. Have you actually verified with them exactly what they replaced and what they're charging you for?

    Regardless, you have a few options...

    1) Pay them and move on.
    2) Do nothing and hope that they do nothing. If they do file suit against you, you would have the opportunity to appear at the hearing in small claims court and tell the judge why you don't believe you owe the extra $75. If you lost, you'd also owe court costs, and possibly more if they use an attorney or anything.
    3) You could file a suit against them in small claims court to settle the matter. Since you're not after your deposit you wouldn't really gain anything except getting them to drop the matter. Honestly, if they have receipts (and you've already admitted to the damage) I would guess that a judge would rule in their favor. They're not being over-the-top unreasonable with what they're charging you. In my opinion.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,302, Reputation: 7692
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    #5

    Sep 26, 2008, 07:28 AM

    You should have tried to get it professionally cleaned when the stains happen. If your made stains that could not be cleaned out, they can bill you for the cost of the carpet for that entire room. So yes I can see it costing more than 300 depending on cost of carpet and install cost.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #6

    Sep 26, 2008, 07:34 AM

    You can't really repair a portion of wall to wall carpeting. The whole room has to be replaced. And, if the carpeting is the same throughout, its not unreasonable to replace all of it.

    But I agree with mommy, that if they want to charge you $375 for half, that's unlikely to be for the whole unit and even if it is, you are gettign off lightly and I would pay the $75.

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