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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
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    Default Move Out Fees for Carpets

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: south carolina. I moved out and lived in a Ground level studio apartment with a carpet size of approximately 14x14 in the room as you enter. The carpet was new when I moved in and I only lived there for 8mo. Naturally the carpet was dirty from foot traffic as you enter in being that its at ground level. It was vacuumed regularly basis. No stains on it other than foot traffic. The landlord claims they tried to clean it. They wont say if it was professionally done. They decided to replace it and charging me for it? What are my rights?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    18,340

    Default Re: Move Out Fees for Carpets

    Dirt that can't be cleaned is damage, not wear and tear, and you owe for replacing it. 8 months from new is little or no depreciation.

    If it's already been replaced all you can do is demand documentation of the cleaning attempt and the results.

    Or you can just refuse and if the LL takes it out of your deposit you can sue in small claims to try to get it back.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    750

    Default Re: Move Out Fees for Carpets

    Shoes coming in contact with carpet causes 'wear and tear.' Shoes coming in contact with walls causes 'damage.'

    You should first ask the landlord how long carpet is supposed to last without the tenant being required to replace it. After you get that time frame ask him how he arrived it. Then ask for the original invoice for the worn out carpet and the professional carpet cleaner's invoice with his notes that it could not be cleaned. Then ask for the replacement carpet invoice. Make sure the landlord did not replace the carpet with better or more expensive carpet than you are now being charged for. Then do the depreciation math to deduct the time you used the carpet. For instance: If $800 carpet is supposed to last three years and you wore it out in 8 months, you'd owe him $622. Not $800.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    16,474

    Default Re: Move Out Fees for Carpets

    I have to admit, than in all my years of having carpeted homes, and having children, dogs and adults running in and out of the doors, I have never encountered a carpet that actually got stained and couldn't be cleaned, from that kind of activity. Therefore I would be leaning towards the idea that the landlord has no intention of replacing the carpet, that the landlord just doesn't want to return the deposit, or wants to keep as much of it as possible.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Default Re: Move Out Fees for Carpets

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    I have to admit, than in all my years of having carpeted homes, and having children, dogs and adults running in and out of the doors, I have never encountered a carpet that actually got stained and couldn't be cleaned, from that kind of activity. Therefore I would be leaning towards the idea that the landlord has no intention of replacing the carpet, that the landlord just doesn't want to return the deposit, or wants to keep as much of it as possible.
    Or that OP's "foot traffic" is actually "damage."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    16,474

    Default Re: Move Out Fees for Carpets

    Quote Quoting eerelations
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    Or that OP's "foot traffic" is actually "damage."
    True, but I cannot figure out what kind of damage/stain it could be. Like I said, my house has dogs, kids, and adults running in and out all the time, I had have tons of muddy footprints and other dirt come in and nothing has ever stained/done damage from that. I have had stains for other reasons (food, drink, pet accidents etc) but not from coming in from the outdoors.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    Default Re: Move Out Fees for Carpets

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    True, but I cannot figure out what kind of damage/stain it could be. Like I said, my house has dogs, kids, and adults running in and out all the time, I had have tons of muddy footprints and other dirt come in and nothing has ever stained/done damage from that. I have had stains for other reasons (food, drink, pet accidents etc) but not from coming in from the outdoors.
    Grease, spilled food, oil and so many more things that can stain carpet.

    We are not in a position to say whether or not the carpet is damaged but seeing that the carpet was only 8 mos old I'd say it would be a tough sell to call it wear and tear if it was damaged. We also are not in a position to determine the LL' s motives.

    Your real options are to demand your deposit back and, failing that, to pursue it in small claims court or to accept the loss. If you go to court you will need to provide evidence that you did not, in fact, damage the carpet. Can you do that? Do you have before and after photos of the carpet? This would be your best defense.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,026

    Default Re: Move Out Fees for Carpets

    If the cost of the carpet replacement was taken out of your security deposit and you disagree with this, your "rights" are typically to dispute this with what is known as a "demand" letter, demanding a return of these funds and giving the landlord a certain amount of time (say, two weeks) to provide you with this money.

    If no response (or a response not suitable to you), your next option is to consider suing for these funds. Such lawsuits are typically handled in Small Claims court as they tend to involve relatively small amounts of money in dispute. Hopefully you took pictures of the condition of the carpet at move out to show the condition and dispute these claims of extensive damage.

    The suggestion to ask the landlord for the original invoice for the worn out carpet, the professional carpet cleaners invoice, the replacement carpet invoice, etc. is not a legal requirement that a landlord must provide to a tenant in South Carolina so don't be surprised if the landlord ignores this request. If this ends up in court the judge may request this information in determining who is "more right" in this matter.

    Good luck..

    Gail

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    16,474

    Default Re: Move Out Fees for Carpets

    Quote Quoting Mark47n
    View Post
    Grease, spilled food, oil and so many more things that can stain carpet.

    We are not in a position to say whether or not the carpet is damaged but seeing that the carpet was only 8 mos old I'd say it would be a tough sell to call it wear and tear if it was damaged. We also are not in a position to determine the LL' s motives.

    Your real options are to demand your deposit back and, failing that, to pursue it in small claims court or to accept the loss. If you go to court you will need to provide evidence that you did not, in fact, damage the carpet. Can you do that? Do you have before and after photos of the carpet? This would be your best defense.
    I disagree a bit with this. The landlord will need to prove that the carpet was actually damaged and actually replaced if it goes to court. If the landlord proves that, then the OP, based on what the OP has said here, would likely lose. However, if the landlord cannot prove the damage, then its a whole nuther ball of wax.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Move Out Fees for Carpets

    hi, can somebody senior member here help, none of my posts are getting posted on new thread. I used to post fine last year. When I create a new thread, it says ‘after moderator review’ but then nothing gets posted even after a week waiting. I have even contacted “contact us” but still nothing is being done. Please help. I am struggling since a month now to post a question.

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