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Rented an apartment and put down $1200 security deposit

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Hi, rented an apartment and...
Hi, rented an apartment and put down $1200 security deposit plus $300 cat owner deposit and paid an additional $25/month for my cat. I moved out and and had the apt professionally cleaned. The building manager wanted me to meet with her to show me the carpet. She used a black light and showed me many places where "protein" was present on the carpet. My response was that that was the result of hair balls and vomit, which was cleaned immediately after each occurrence. There is absolutely no odor and my cat has never had accidents. If my cat had, I would have dealt with it. The manager tells me that the entire carpet, over $2000, needs to be replaced and I am responsible. Does vomit and hairballs from a pet constitute damage to a carpet even though it is not perceptible? What if it was human vomit? I am not sure how to proceed. Can you please offer some advice? thanks. J Castellano
Submitted: 3 years ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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6/20/2015
Real Estate Lawyer: RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer replied 3 years ago
RealEstateAnswer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 32,877
Experience: 10+ years in handling Leases, Landlord-Tenant, Foreclosures,Mortgages, and Eviction cases
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Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.
Good morning. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. When it comes to the replacement of carpet, normal wear and tear is not the responsibility of the tenant. However, stains and other damage is and if that is present as a result of the cat and it vomiting or coughing up hairballs, then you could be responsible. Yes, there may not be an odor BUT there is still discoloration and damage and someone else will be taking occupancy and walking on it and there could be issues with sanitation. Moreover, had the cat not done this, then the carpet would have been in a condition that was a direct result of normal wear and tear and they could not charge you. The black light test is a tad extreme but in the right of the manager since there was damage and it is not in the same or similar condition. Even if it human vomit, it would be the same and they may conduct the same test when vacating, to make sure the carpet is not damaged. Now, if there is a chemical that can remove this, then the entire carpet would not need to be replaced and just the specific spots removed, so it may be more cost effective to use it, to limit the cost.
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Real Estate Lawyer: RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer replied 3 years ago
I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!
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