So many times we here about landlords charging their tenants for a brand new carpet due to “carpet damage”. Often the landlord charges the tenant to carpet the entire house or apartment.
Is it legal for a landlord to charge for a FULL REPLACEMENT ?
Often times the answer is NO!
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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