Carpet Damage and Security Deposits

CARPET DAMAGE CALCULATION FOR SECURITY DEPOSIT

Before you move into a rented Home or Apartment, be sure to do a walk through with the owner or property manager.

Why Do a Walk-through

When you move out, the landlord may attempt to charge you for “damages” to the unit. What defines damages is often contested and the tenant, unless they have a move-in-checklist and pictures, may lose out in court.
SEE OUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO NORMAL WEAR AND TEAR

CARPET DAMAGE – How much can a landlord charge me?

A landlord can only withhold for damages only amounts that are deemed reasonable for the damage claimed and beyond NORMAL WEAR and TEAR. If a defect existed before you moved in, you should not be charged for that particular problem. The importance of pictures and a move-in checklist cannot be stressed enough.

CALCULATING THE ACTUAL COST OF CARPET DAMAGE

One common method of calculating the deduction for replacement prorates the total cost of replacement so the tenant pays only for the remaining useful life of the carpet the tenant has damaged or destroyed.

DEFINITION of PRORATE
To divide or distribute a sum of money proportionately. For example, if one owned an automobile for only three months, an insurance company would prorate the annual premium by charging only one-quarter of it.

EXAMPLE CARPET DAMAGE CALCULATION
Suppose a tenant has damaged beyond repair an 8 old carpet that had a life expectancy of 10 years, and that the original cost of the carpet was $1,000.  IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT A NEW CARPET WOULD COST. 

The landlord should properly charge only $200 for the two years’ worth of life (use) that would have remained if the tenant had not damaged the carpet.

Original cost of carpet:: $1,000

Expected life of carpet: 10 years

Depreciation charge ($1,000 / 10)
: $100 per year

Age of carpet:
8 years

Carpet Life Years Remaining: 10 years – 8 years = 2 years

Value of 2 years Carpet Life Remaining:
2 years * $100 per year = $200

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