Carpet Depreciation Charge?

By Elaine

After living in an apartment (in Indianapolis, IN) for 2 years, I moved out having given the appropriate 30 day notice.  (Very old apartments, but cozy) When I returned the apartment keys, I asked the office personnel if anything else was required of me and did I need to sign or fill out anything.  I was told “no”.  I then received a SECURITY DEPOSIT DISPOSITION notice.  The management decided to replace the carpet that was 5 years old (obviously not new when I moved in).  The cost of carpenting was depreciated by 60%.  I was informed that the percentage of carpet installation to charge the resident was 40% totaling $474.40.  They took pictures but I wasn’t privy to them until after I went into the office and talked to the management.  I told them that the notice had listed a pink spot in master bedroom.  This was already there when I moved in and had obviously been cleaned because it was very light and I only noticed it when the sun shone in weeks later.  Also was listed “a carpet wrinkle” in master bedroom.  I explained to them that the “wrinkle” was already there.  I assumed it had been from the installer not pulling the carpet tight enough upon installation or prior cleaning had stretched the carpet.  I DO NOT know how to “wrinkle carpet”.  I am positive that these things are noted after the departure of the prior tenant, but how do I become privy to that documentation? Also was listed bleach spots.   These were tiny pieces of shredded paper used to pack and spilled from a box or something in an area of the hallway!  Even after viewing the pictures, it is obviously not bleach spots.  WOW!  

 The carpet did need cleaning after my two-year stay, but not replaced (soiled in traffic areas BUT NOT damaged in any way). 

I was told that carpet is cleaned between each tenant, as it was before I had moved in.  The management did not notify me that they had chosen not to clean the carpet but instead had decided to replace it.  If this decision was based on my occupancy, I would like to have had the opportunity to clean it myself versus pay for new carpet in that apartment! 

I have reviewed my lease over and over and I cannot find this “depreciation schedule” they have sent me anywhere.  I would not have signed it because at the bottom, it says “The above schedule assumes a 7 year life but also assumes that all carpet would have some remaining value regardless of age.  Therefore, the carpet depreciation allowance NEVER results in a value less than a 20% value.”   Doesn’t this mean they were going to charge me for new carpet no matter what????

I know that often a tenant leaves a mess and ultimately doesn’t want to pay for the fix.  But, I truly do not feel these charges are substantiated.  When I had a polite conversation with management discussing this matter, they could not seem to find “my paperwork and the pictures” they were referring to.  A week or so later, I received a letter stating that they stand behind their decision and they sent me a copy of those pictures.  I feel so victimized here and do not feel I owe for carpet. (also, they’ve kept the $100.00 deposit that I feel I should also get back)

How do I stand up for myself? 

Elaine in Indy

Edited on: Saturday, July 13th, 2013 10:07 am

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