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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 35361
Experience:  I have handled Real Estate and Landlord Tenant matters for more than two decades.
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I asked this question earlier but want to make sure. i am

Customer Question

i asked this question earlier but want to make sure. i am sending a demand letter to former landlord. we lived in rent house 5 years and carpet was 3 years old when we moved in. he is saying we have to pay for paint and carpet
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  LawTalk replied 6 months ago.

Good afternoon,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

The average life expectancy of carpet in a rental unit---as opposed to a home which generally has upgraded carpet in it, it about 10 years at the outside and depending on how many tenants have lived in the unity at a time, the normal wear and tear can destroy a carpet even sooner.

If the carpet was 8 years old, then unless you cause staining or ripping or some other damage, you should not be responsible for any of the carpet replacement cost, or at most a very small percentage of the replacement cost. As for painting, if you are in the unit 5 years and didn't take it upon yourself to repaint without permission and there is just normal wear to the walls, then the landlord is obligated to pay for repainting themselves. Paint has a life expectancy in rentals of 5 years or less.

While there is no law to cite, judges are well aware of this benchmark for builder grade carpet which is almost always placed in rentals.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

I hope that I have been able to fully answer your question. As I am not an employee of JustAnswer, please be so kind as to rate my service to you. That is the only way I am compensated for assisting you. Thank you in advance.

I wish you and yours the best in 2016,

Doug

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
this is beyond confusing- an attorney earlier told me that carpet in a rental in 5 years and that paint 1-2.I am writing a demand letter but I am guessing that it will go no where and i will have to go to small claims court.I guess I am wondering what to put in the letter my goal is to get the money back and not go to small claims court. This guy charged us 25% of the full replacement value for all carpet in the entire house due to a few stains.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
you there? any suggestions on language in the letter
Expert:  LawTalk replied 6 months ago.

Well, I've been doing landlord tenant law for going on 30 years. All I can tell you is what I see occur in the courts on a regular basis.

If the landlord is taking the repair expenses from your deposit, then yes, you probably will have to sue. But the demand letter places him on notice of the pending claim that you will make and fulfills the demand for money that you must make before filing your small claims suit. So, the demand letter is no entirely without merit.

Realistically, with an average 10 year life expectancy for carpet, I would suggest the most a judge would order would be 20%---but perhaps much less if the carpet wasn't virtually brand new when you moved in. Again, there should be no charge for paint whatsoever.

Expert:  LawTalk replied 6 months ago.

Yes, I am here. if you would like my undivided attention, I can offer you a phone call.

Doug

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Like I said- beyond confusing.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
still dont really understand what demand letter should say except give me my money back.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 6 months ago.

As for letter language, I would simply suggest that you argue that there should be no paint charge, and that the carpet may have been 3 years old when you moved in but that it was well worn by that time due to the previous tenants. Tell the landlord that if they do not become more reasonable in their expectations, that you will have no choice but to file suit in small claims court to recover your deposit.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please remember to rate my service to you so that I can be compensated for helping you. Thank you in advance.

I wish you and yours the best in 2016,

Doug

Expert:  LawTalk replied 6 months ago.

Good afternoon,

Do you have any additional questions that you would like me to address for you?

In case you would like a phone call to further discuss these issues you have raised, my offer is still open to you. You are certainly not obligated to accept a call offer, but many people do find it helpful for clarification purposes, as well as to allow them to ask additional questions.

As I have provided you with the information you asked for, would you please now rate my service to you so I can be compensated for assisting you?

Thanks in advance,

Doug

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