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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 32154
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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We just got the keys to a house we're renting--signed a 2

Customer Question

Hi. We just got the keys to a house we're renting--signed a 2 year lease. When we went in to start cleaning, the second bedroom smelled overwhelmingly like a wet dog/dog urine. We met one of our neighbors across the street who told us the last tenant complained about that smell, shampooed the carpet and it made it worse. The landlord refused to replace the carpet in that room. It is very strong & my daughter, whose room that'll be, has allergies. I can't imagine it's a healthy thing to have to live with. Do we have any rights that would help us get this landlord to replace the carpet and pad? Please help. Thank you.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 4 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

Did you look at the house before you signed the lease?

Did you notice any smell? If not, why do you notice it now and didn't then, any idea?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
We did look at the house prior. All windows were open, it was the end of April and actually chilly when we saw the house. We didn't notice the dog urine smell then. The house seemed overall a bit musty, but had been sitting vacant for 6 months+. Now, being just about summer, the house is 78 degrees inside and the smell now permeates through that room and end of hallway.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 4 months ago.

Got you. Plus if you were using water on the carpet then that increases the smell as well.

You can take the position that the condition of the carpet and its smell, if the owner won't replace it or get it cleaned to the point you can't smell it (and they would likely be allowed to have that chance), is a "constructive eviction" and a breach of contract.

That would allow you to move and then sue to get back all of your moving expenses and other damages. That is really your only option at this point.

You want to get a lawyer to write the notice letter for you. First, you want him to write it because he can cite the correct law and then blend your facts in to show how it applies. Second, you want him to write it because if you do end up having to sue then the lawyer will have phrased the letter in such a way that it will look better for you when used as evidence in court. Lawyers usually don't charge much for a letter like this and it is well worth the investment.

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work.

Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread. I want to be sure that all of your questions are answered. In addition, once you issue your Positive Rating the question will lock open and no longer time out so you can come back to it anytime in the future if you think of any follow ups.

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