Working out carpet costs

Question from Brad updated on 17th June 2013:

Our tenant's dog caused stains to the carpet in the tenant's bedroom approximately nine months after she moved in. The carpet was new when she moved in but due to the stains will need to be replaced when her tenancy ends. If the tenant is prepared to live with the carpet as is and has another 11 months left in her tenancy then how and when do we work out fair wear and tear against the cost to replace the carpet in order to make a deduction from the bond?

Our expert Alan Bruce responded:

Under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act), tenants are responsible for damage they or their invited guests cause carelessly or intentionally during the tenancy. As you mentioned, when determining the amount to charge for damages, a number of factors should be considered (including depreciation value such as the age of the carpet, the condition it was in at the start of the tenancy, the size of the damaged area, and fair wear and tear). However, as the Act does not specify ways of calculating depreciation value and fair wear and tear, you should discuss the amount you think will be considered fair and reasonable with your tenant. If you and your tenant cannot agree on the amount of the repairs, either party may apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to have the matter resolved. To discuss your situation further, or for further information regarding costs a tenant is responsible for, you can visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Building and Housing Group’s website (www.dbh.govt.nz) or phone 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

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