How Often Do Landlords Have To Replace Carpets?

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Carpets often tend to have a negative financial impact on the landlord due to the frequency at which they may need to be replaced.

There are guidelines in place in the US that state that a landlord should replace carpets every 7 years, regardless of whether or not there is tenant turnover.

Carpets have to be replaced because some fabrics are hard to keep clean as they not only stain easily but also harbor dust mites and other harmful insects that pose a danger to the tenants’ health.

Reasons For Replacing a Carpet

Although carpets can last for as many as 10 years, this is not always the case, and they often need replacing every once in a while. Some of the reasons carpets have to be replaced include:

When the carpet develops stubborn stains that carpet shampoos can no longer remove. These stains are commonly by an assortment of stains such as tomato sauce, chocolate, candle wax, or red wine that may have spilled over a period.

When these stains stick onto the carpet long enough, it becomes almost impossible to remove them successfully. At this point, it becomes prudent to replace the carpet.  

Carpets also harbor mold, which grows deep underneath over time and contributes to health issues such as allergies and asthma. Usually, mold grows when the carpet is moist for a while.

The moisture may result from water seepage where, for example, a pipe bursts and drenches the carpets in water. If not dried off soon enough, mold grows, at which point you should replace the carpet.

Just like many other products, carpets are prone to wear and tear. Everyday use causes carpets to succumb to external elements, and their quality and durability diminish with time.

Thus, they start picking up and trapping odors either from moisture trapped in the fibers or from pets using the carpet as a bathroom.

In the US, most residents who own pets tend not to rent housing with a carpet for this reason. The diminished quality leads to reduced utility, making it necessary to replace the carpet.

Can I Change the Carpet in My Rented Apartment?

As already discussed, the reasons for changing a carpet vary from wear and tear to stubborn stains to the growth of mold. If you would like to change the carpet in your rented apartment, you would have to consider several factors.

The most crucial determinant would be the contents of the tenancy agreement and whether or not the apartment was originally furnished with carpets.

  • In most cases, however, the landlord is the one who is supposed to replace the carpet.

Still, this is on the condition that the carpet is worn out and the tenant has not deliberately or accidentally caused it damage. If the tenant is responsible for the damage of a carpet, they may be required to replace it themselves.

In California, landlord-tenant guidelines state that a carpet’s lifespan is between 8-10 years, after which the responsibility for replacing it shifts to the landlord. Before then, you may change the carpet if and whenever you please as per the guidelines within the tenancy agreement.

Am I Responsible For A New Carpet In A Rental?

As seen above, tenant and landlord privileges are all explicitly discussed in the tenancy agreement. In most cases, the obligation falls upon the landlord to make the property both safe and habitable.

Therefore, if the carpet is in bad condition, the landlord must replace it, but only if your actions as a tenant are not responsible for the carpet’s condition.

However, you may choose to replace the carpet to suit your own personal tastes and preferences, and in such a case, the responsibility shifts to yourself.

Most rental apartments have carpets in standard colors and patterns to accommodate the preferences of a majority of tenants. For tenants that are keen on details, they may require that the carpet’s color, fabric, and pattern match the general aesthetic of the room.

Therefore, the tenant may have no problem incurring extra costs for a new carpet if the tenancy agreement allows for it. Even so, they must replace the original carpet if they leave the building or when the tenancy comes to an end.  

Can I Bleach A Carpet To Change Color?

Yes, it is quite possible to bleach a carpet and change it into a different color. The bleaching process depends on the original color of the carpet, whether it is a dark shade, a light shade, or white.

For some types of carpets, it is possible to lighten their dark colors or even turn them completely white before using one of the methods of dyeing carpets to apply the color you desire.

Carpet whitening is done using a combination of carpet shampoo and chlorine bleach mixed with water. This combination normally removes the color on most carpets.

Afterward, one should suction the bleach from the carpet and rinse it thoroughly with clean water. It is important to wear gloves during this whole process to protect your hands from the effects of the dye.

Do You Tip Carpet Fitters?

Carpet fitters, as the name suggests, fit carpets onto floors. Many of them work for stores and specialist flooring contractors, although they may also be self-employed.

With that said, it would be entirely up to you whether or not to tip the installers, depending on the quality of their services. This is keeping in mind that carpet installation can cost top dollar by itself.

Two major considerations will be how fair the agreed-upon rate is and if the task is executed satisfactorily. If both of these factors are favorable, then it would be quite appropriate to appreciate the installers by tipping them.

With that said, however, some companies have strict policies against their employees receiving tips, so this may be a consideration to make.

It would, therefore, be a good idea to check the company’s website or ask the job supervisor concerning tipping policies for you to be able to make an informed decision.

For fitters that are self-employed, your tip will definitely be well appreciated. About $10 per installer is a good amount for a tip, although you may give more depending on how happy you are with the job and the depth of your pocket.

In Conclusion

Landlords have to replace carpets as often as it is needed. Usually, it is after about 7 to 8 years, but it depends on state-to-state policies. Some instances may require the carpet to be replaced before the stipulated time.

These include the acquisition of stubborn stains, growth of mold, and damage that is no fault of the tenants.