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Carpet replaced after deemed "acceptable" in walk through Final Inspection

Discussion in 'Other Residential Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by Genuine, Mar 17, 2014.

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  1. Genuine

    Genuine Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I won't go into all of the details regarding our move-out issue because it would be much longer than what this will already be, but I will give a good overview. My roommate and I were the first tenants to move in to our apartment. We paid a security deposit of $250, $70 deposit for keys and gate key, $1000 ($250 nonrefundable-- not stated as a pet fee in lease)pet deposit for 2 small dogs (7-9 lbs), and a monthly pet rent of $10. We lived in our apartment for over a year and a half and took great care of it. My roommates dog was a puppy when we lived there, so he had multiple accidents that were almost always immediately cleaned and treated. Our apartment never smelled of pet urine or like animals. Upon moving out, the apartment property manager did the final walk-through and complimented how well taken care of the apartment was and how you could not smell or tell that we had 2 dogs living there. We handed our keys over and were told that we would be receiving almost all of our refundable deposits back.

    A week later (same day a new tenant was moving into our unit) we received a call that when they went back in the unit, specifically when they turned the heater on, there was a very strong pet urine smell. So they pulled the carpet up and could see pet urine stains underneath. They would need to replace it. (The day of the walk-through, it was 80 degrees outside.) not only would we not be receiving our deposits ($700 that we were to get back) but we would most likely be owing $300. When asked what the nonrefundable pet deposit amount would be put towards, we were told it was actually a pet fee used for the privilege of having a pet...okay. Everything seemed strange with their process, so I requested a copy of our lease and when I went to go pick it up, I sat down with the property manager. These are the questions I asked during this conversation (I am A and the property manager is P):

    A: "Other than the pet urine smell, were there any visible signs of stains on the carpet?"
    P: "No."

    A: "If there were no visible stains, why was the carpet pulled up to find stains underneath?"
    P "Because we wouldn't know the damage until pulling it up."

    A: "Was there an attempt to clean the carpet prior to removing?"
    P: "No. Pet urine cannot be cleaned."

    A: "If the damage was in the living room, why were the bedrooms also replaced? Were they pulled up and inspected for damage?"
    P: "No. If the living room was that damaged we assumed the bedrooms were too."

    I understand that if there was damage to the carpet, we are fully responsible; however, we were specifically told not to clean the carpets because they would do that. It also states in our lease that cleaning would be scheduled by the apartment, not us, and if it was not able to fix any damage, they would replace at out expense. Except, cleaning was never done. If I could post the picture that was sent to me by the property manager, I would but it will not let me attach it. If you would like to see a picture, let me know and I will provide one. I was only sent picture of the carpets under layer, not the top of the carpet. I was also only sent pictures of the living rooms under layer damage. I am fully willing to accept what we are responsible for, but the processes that our apartment went through seems like we are getting screwed. Any advice will be MUCH appreciated.
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Cat urine, heck any urine ruins carpets. This is especially true over a longer period of time.

    Pet owners often get desensitized to malodorous emissions caused by cats, dogs, pets residing in the same living area humans do.

    The fact you didn't notice the odor isn't significant.

    The new tenants did, and that prompted your dilemma.

    There's nothing you can do, except sue the LL in small claims.
    Based on what you've presented, your chances of prevailing are about 1%!

    Over the long term, buy your own home, or get rid of the pets.
    The pattern will repeat.
    Or, keep the pets, and be prepared to be charged again in the future.
    Genuine likes this.

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