Carpet stains complication

Dave asks:
(updated on Wednesday, April 10th 2013)

We moved from our previous rental unit two months ago and have still yet to settle a dispute by our landlord with regards to stains that were left on the carpet in the lounge. The landlord wants us to pay half the cost to replace the carpet as the carpet is already five years old. First off I can say the stains were not intentionally made by us. Carelessly perhaps.The landlord phoned after doing the routine monthly inspection and advised we needed to get the carpet professionally cleaned as there were stains on the carpet. We agreed and paid for a carpet cleaner to clean the carpet, all the stains were removed. As we were still living in the house the carpet cleaners had to clean the carpet with our furniture in the house. Unfortunately the legs on our couch are painted with a red dye and this has left a somewhat permanent stain on the carpet. Can we argue that we should only pay 20% or none of the cost to replace the carpet?

Our Experts Answer:

The bottom line here is that you have damaged the carpet in two ways. Firstly, you stained it so that it required cleaning and secondly, you employed a carpet cleaner whose cleaning resulted in your furniture staining the wet carpet. Professional carpet cleaners will usually place little squares of plastic under the legs of furniture to prevent the wet carpet sucking the stain out of the furniture. It appears that your carpet cleaner did not do that here. In that case, your gripe is not with your landlord but with your carpet cleaner whose work resulted in the furniture stains. And yes, half the cost of replacement carpet is about right for valuing five-year-old carpet and allowing for depreciation.

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