Question from Amy updated on 25th January 2018:
We have a house with a cream carpet which is about 20 years old. It was in an OK condition when we moved in. There were no MAJOR stains but it was definitely patchy/ not new or nice.
Over the two years we have been here we have made a couple of stains on the carpet. These are reasonably faint but they are visible. They are each about 25 cm in diameter and very light patchy brown.
We had them professionally cleaned a year ago and we are also getting them done on exit of property. (This is part of our contract.) Does this suffice? Or would the landlord have a case to also take bond? If so, how much would be reasonable?
Our expert Bernard Parker responded:
A landlord rightly finds it frustrating to discover carpet stains that a tenant attempts to have cleaned at the end of a tenancy rather than immediately after the stain occurs. The passage of time makes it harder to treat and remove the stain. The best course of action is to have a professional carpet cleaning contractor treat the stain as soon as possible after it occurs.
The carpet was, by your description, about twenty years old. At that age it will have depreciated to a pretty negligible book value, and you should not incur the cost of replacement carpet.
However, it is reasonable for you to have made best efforts to have the stain professionally treated. If you don’t do so, the landlords would probably be entitled to engage a cleaning contractor at end of tenancy to treat the stain. In such circumstances the landlord can probably claim that cost against your bond. Be aware that stain removal is an additional cost to carpet cleaning because it entails targeted treatment in a specific spot. It is often charged at a cost per stain, so for several stains this could accumulate a large cost.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.