Carpet problems

Question from Tarryn updated on 2nd November 2015:

We are moving out of our rental unit and the property manager came and said she needs the carpet to be clean. We hired a carpet cleaning company to get it done. The manager came after the carpet cleaning and said she still not happy because the carpet was wet and smelt bad because it was done when our furniture was still inside the house. She said we might have to pay to replace new carpet. Do we have to do that because the carpet looks clean - there are no stains at all and it only smells wet?

Our expert Bernard Parker responded:

At the end of your tenancy you are required to leave the property “reasonably clean and tidy”. If the property manager believes that the carpet is not sufficiently clean she should explain to you what needs to be done to bring the property up to the required standard. You should discuss the issue with your property manager. Perhaps your carpet cleaning company can address the areas that were missed. Also, when the carpet has dried fully any residual smell should be reduced. Wet-cleaning of carpet will often release smells from the carpet, and when it dries the smells often go away.

If you cannot reach an agreement the property manager can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for reimbursement of the costs of either cleaning or replacing the carpet. She will have to show that carpet was damaged during your tenancy, and so “before and after” comparisons will be made. If any carpet needs to be replaced, its age will have some bearing on how much of the cost can be passed on to you. In calculating the cost, the Tenancy Tribunal will apportion the depreciated value of the carpet according to its age.

Bernard is principal of Quinovic – Kapiti-Mana. Quinovic's outstanding people and systems provide the most professional, effective and reliable residential property management service in the NZ market for over 30 years.

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