Recovering carpet damage?

Russell asks:
(updated on Wednesday, December 05th 2012)

Our tenant has just left and we have found two rooms with coloured stains on the carpet. They are so severe in one room ( bright red ink) that the carpet will need replacing. In this part of the house the carpets are 12-years old. The lounge carpet is 15-months old and has three noticeable coloured drink stains. This was brand new when the tenant moved in . What is a fair way to work out the cost to the tenant, if after we have tried to have the stains professionally removed and they are unable to remove them.

Our Experts Answer:

You should first find out how much it will cost to replace the carpets. Get a quote from a carpet supplier and installer. If the carpet in one room is just over a year old, then most of the replacement cost for that room can be attributed to the tenant. However, the Tenancy Tribunal generally values carpet according to its depreciated value over time. It is likely, therefore, that a 12-year old carpet will be valued very low. I suggest you contact your accountant or Inland Revenue Department to obtain an appropriate depreciation factor to apply to the cost of the carpet. Then discuss the calculations with your tenant. Working out a fair recovery could save you the time and cost of a Tenancy Tribunal application.

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