Should I be charged for carpet replacement?

By Tenant

Carpet is important for a variety of reasons. It cushions the noise especially if you are living in an apartment, it helps with the insulation and it filters the air by keeping all the dusts and other debris trapped in the carpet. If you have carpet in the main areas of your apartment, then it is likely to get a lot of foot traffic. Normal wear and tear should then be expected but that doesn’t mean you should pay for the entire carpet replacement. If you have a landlord like the mine I used to have, you would likely be surprised by a charge against your security deposit for carpet replacement. The first question that would come into your mind is: “why?”


So I thought about writing this post in order to tell you in which instances you would be expected to shoulder the cost of carpet replacement. Hopefully, this article should also teach you when to cry “foul!”.

When should I be charged for carpet replacement?

  1. You will be charged for carpet replacement if the damage done to the carpet is irreversible (granted that you caused the damage). In most instances, the term irreversible damages may mean that the cost of repair may be equivalent to or higher than the cost of buying a new carpet. Also, landlords prefer to buy a new one because a repaired carpet could affect the value of the rental.
  2. A standard carpet should have a life span of 8 to 10 years. Normally, landlords would replace carpets around this age, granted that it’s all wear and tear and it does not have anything that you could have caused.
  3. If you have pets, there is an increased possibility of you being charged for carpet replacement at the end of your lease. Pets have claws that damage the carpet fiber. Some pets would even chew the carpet ends.

Always remember that the amount that you will be charged should be prorated for the remaining life of the carpet. Now if there is only one specific area that was repaired, you should only be charged a prorated value of that area. If you trace the amount you would need to pay, it will actually be very cheap and you don’t really have to pay hundreds of dollars. But, of course, that would depend on the extent of damage.

How to avoid excessive carpet charges

To avoid excessive carpet charges, you must document its state before you moved in and right after you moved out. The documentation should be enough to prove that the carpet was not damaged beyond wear and tear. If there is anything that needs to be repaired, like the padding needs replacement, you should inform your landlord at once.

Before moving out, make it a point to clean the carpet thoroughly by vacuuming and shampooing it. If there are areas that need to be repaired, go ahead and have them repaired. Professional carpet repairs have tools that may carpet repairs seamless and unnoticeable.

Also, schedule a walk through with your landlord so you will have a general idea as to the repairs that need to be done and how much they would cost you.

In summary, while carpets may be prone to repair because of the amount of foot traffic they get, it is does not necessarily mean that you need to shoulder all the costs. If it’s old and really needs to be replaced but with a few minor damages from your living there, you can have your landlord split the costs with you. Just be a good tenant, pay on time, communicate with your landlord and hopefully, things would turn out well.

What happens if my landlord does not hear me out?

First of all, a landlord must provide you with receipts as well as reasons for the repairs. This is the only way that you can track why they charged you for the amount that they did. If your landlord is charging you for more than the damages that you have left, then it’s best to file for a complaint and hopefully get most of your security deposit back. Here’s the link to that complaint center with RPA:

Edited on: Monday, February 4th, 2013 11:47 pm

10 Responses to “Should I be charged for carpet replacement?”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)


February 5th, 2013 12:00 am

I lost most of my security deposit for carpet replacement. I have dogs but they have been really well behaved. When we moved out, I made sure to steam clean and vacuum everything and yet, I still got a letter in the mail telling me that they spent $400 for the carpet replacement. I think that was over the top so I filed for a complaint. Luckily, I found RPA and they helped me find a solution to my problem.


February 6th, 2013 6:20 am

Most tears can be repaired if you know how. If you don’t, you can call a professional repair company to help you out. With the right tools, the repair should not look very noticeable and your landlord won’t even know about it when you move out :) I would suggest that a week before you move out, do a close inspection of the carpet so you would know what you needs to be repaired. Usually, initiating the repair on your own may be cheaper compared to letting your landlord do it.


February 7th, 2013 12:40 pm

Thank you so much for this article. This is very informative. Thumbs up!


February 8th, 2013 7:00 pm

I had a tenant who started renting just two years ago. Her pets and children damaged the carpet so much that she had to pay for it – like the full replacement cost. It was really nice of her. I like tenants like that and I’m so sorry that they had to move out when her husband was transferred. I hope tenants would be as considerable. We, landlords, also have a business to run. If the damage is because of you, then be responsible enough to pay for it.’


February 10th, 2013 1:20 am

I think that no damage would show up if you really exert an effort to clean everything up and repair the damage just before moving out. I am a tenant with pets. You would think that I’m paying a lot for carpet repair and replacement in every apartment that I rent but the truth is, I don’t. I use a soil and spot stain remover spray and a metal spoon. The metal spoon scoops up all the stain and dirt without damaging the carpet fibers. Yes, the process takes so much time and effort but I’m willing to put hard work on it if that means I would get all my security deposit back!


February 11th, 2013 7:40 am

You had fun on the carpet, now you have to be responsible for the damage. I think no landlord would try to trick you of your money. I mean, receipts should be provided at all times so your landlord cannot just make up reasons why the money is just what has been given you now. So just accept the fact that you messed up and be man enough to accept it.


February 12th, 2013 2:00 pm

The “wear and tear” part is pretty vague. So there must be a definite definition to it. For me, I think wear and tear would mean that the carpet is faded in some areas where it is hit by the sun. It may also mean that it?s flat on areas where there is high foot traffic. So if these are the only faults seen in your carpet, then you shouldn’t be charged for repairs and replacement.


February 13th, 2013 10:40 pm

The number of years that a carpet would need to be replaced depends on your state. In some states, carpets need to be replaced every 5 years and landlords know that. The problem is, how would you know if the carpet has already entered its replacement period? I think the landlord needs to do the replacement proactively, right? Or at least be honest in informing the tenant. To be that landlord who runs the extra mile, it may also help to have the carpet replaced before an apartment is rented out again.


February 15th, 2013 5:00 am

The carpet is a part of the property. Tenants can’t take them with them when they leave. Hence, carpets are properties of the landlord so it must be the responsibility of the landlord to make sure that the carpets are in excellent condition at all times. The landlord must also make it a point to record when the carpet was last replaced and when it is scheduled to be replaced again.


February 16th, 2013 11:20 am

If a repair is indeed needed, the cost must be prorated to the remainder of the life of the carpet. This is, of course, granted that that carpet has not yet entered its replacement period. If the damage is only very small, you should only be billed for the prorated value of the repair of such area.


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