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Kids ruined my carpet and I live in an apartment!

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
My two daughters are 2 and 4 and we have lived in my current apartment for almost 3 years. We had brand new carpet when I moved in but the kids have completely destroyed it -- pudding, red-colored drinks, oatmeal, yogurt, you name it, it's been on this carpet. It doesn't help that my dining area is carpeted.

My 2-year-old, I believe, has asthma and we *really* need new carpet but I don't know how to approach this with management. If I blame my kids, they will undoubtedly charge me for the carpet, which I can't afford at all. Is there some sort of rule or law that they have to replace carpeting every so often? I put down area rugs for now because it's all I can do but I'm worried about the bacteria and mold that may be growing beneath it, making my daughter sick now. It is puckering up in a few areas around the apartment and I thought about telling them my kids trip over it, which they do, but other than that can't think of a reason why they'd replace it.

Help!
post #2 of 26
Are you sure you *want* new carpet if your child has asthma? I thought I heard somewhere that new carpet is bad for that. Would having no carpet be an option? Do you have hard wood under there? Or just a subfloor?
post #3 of 26
I would probably hire a company to come clean the carpet.

Quote:
Is there some sort of rule or law that they have to replace carpeting every so often?
Not that I know of... but especially not after only 3 years. I don't think your landlord is going to help you out here.

If it's a small area, it should not cost too much to have it professionally cleaned.
post #4 of 26
Why would there be bacteria or mold under your carpet? It needs water to grow. It should be dry under there!

I would think that it could be cleaned and re-stretched without much problem. But I don't think your landlord will/should pay for that.
post #5 of 26
Depends on state law. In Oregon if you have lived in a place in 18 months or more the owners cannot charge the tenants if the carpet needs to be replaced when they move out.

I'd speak with the managers and explain the asthma situation and see what they are willing to do.

We have carpet in our dining area too. I hate it.
post #6 of 26
New carpet if full of chemicals that would probably exacberate her asthma. Boiling hot water and a good scrubbing will get a lot of spots out.
post #7 of 26
I've lived in apartments for most of my adult life.
I totally agree with pps. New carpet isn't better for air quality. Yes, you will most likely have to pay for carpet issues. You will be best off just getting it professionally clean (look for one that cleans with "healthy cleaners") and more than likely the cleaners can get it like new. yes, carpet in the dinning area is crazy. But, once it's clean, put a cheap rug/sheet under the table so when it is time to move, you can toss the rugs and the carpet will look great.

I've lived in one apartment 6yrs and one 4yrs. Both times the carpet wasn't new and both times the carpet wasn't replaced before the next tennants.
post #8 of 26
Quote:
Why would there be bacteria or mold under your carpet? It needs water to grow. It should be dry under there!
We've had this problem in the past too (on just a rug, thankfully). Juice or any spilled drink will cause mold to grow on the underside of the rug/carpet.
post #9 of 26
1) Have you tried cleaning the carpet? I have a bissel little green spot cleaner that I used on our last place before we moved out. You could borrow or rent something to clean the carpets and see how it is after.

2) Is pulling up the carpet an option? I thought that carpet (new or old) was not recommended for asthma. Maybe you could approach the company from that direction, that you need a hard floor surface not new carpeting.
post #10 of 26
Why not have the carpet steam cleaned? It doesn't use chemicals and should get the carpet very clean - and it doesn't cost a ton. I'm not sure new carpet would fix the problem as it will just get dirty also, and as others have mentioned has outgassing and such to be concerned with.

If there are wrinkles in the carpet then it needs to be restretched. Basically pulled tight and reattahed to the strips at the edge of the wall. It is quite common and a carpet installer can do it - but the landlord should take care of this.

Investing in a small steam cleaner may also be worthwhile to take care of those kid-related spills.
post #11 of 26
In Florida, the norm is new carpet on move in, and upon renewing your lease you get a free cleaning.

We have patches that are worn thru our carpet and I just angled an area rug over it. We had new carpet but it is probably el cheapo stuff, of course. We put a natural woven mat under our dining table and that really helps. They offered, after much "discussion", to replace it. Of course, we now put an offer in on a house, and haven't told them we are moving. It has been three years for us here, too.

Even if they won't pay, I'd do a good cleaning with as much furniure gone as you can manage, and just get an area rug for the dining table, maybe one cut out of laminate - that's what we had when the kids were smaller. Uber cheap and uber easy to clean.
post #12 of 26
Well, I second the steam cleaning idea. You'd be surprised what that takes out!

Incidentally, in my experience most management companies would consider that sort of thing 'normal wear and tear' and after three years would consider the carpet to be past its usable life anyhow.

However, they'd likely replace it only after you had left, for the new tenants.
post #13 of 26
My limited experience with rentals is that LLs aren't likely to replace carpet for a current tenant after just 3 years, but that they would probably not withhold anything from your security deposit when you moved out. Typically rentals tend to get new paint and new carpet whenever they turn over.

That said, with the asthma I would see about replacing the carpet with cork/hardwood/laminate. You might price out what it would cost to do (are you handy? could you do the work yourself?) and see what you can negotiate with the LL. They might be willing to do it (or pay for the materials and let you do it yourself) in exchange for you extending your lease.
post #14 of 26
Wow, this was an eye-opener for me - I had no idea that 3 years was considered past the usual "lifespan" of a carpet. I thought it was more like 15 years.

Yikes, I'd hate to think of all the carpet (and related chemicals) just being tossed out every 3 years.
post #15 of 26
I used an enzyme cleaner in a steam cleaner.
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
Wow, this was an eye-opener for me - I had no idea that 3 years was considered past the usual "lifespan" of a carpet. I thought it was more like 15 years.

Yikes, I'd hate to think of all the carpet (and related chemicals) just being tossed out every 3 years.

It is more like 10 - 15 years. I have never heard of anyone getting carpet replaced after 3 years... that is still "new" to me
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amylcd View Post
It is more like 10 - 15 years. I have never heard of anyone getting carpet replaced after 3 years... that is still "new" to me
For the 89 cent a square foot carpeting that is put into most apartments, 2-3 years is the expected lifespan. Koolaid plus careless tenants is the reason why most landlords don't put quality carpeting in. I just wish someone could explain why they all install oatmeal colored carpet, instead of something dark, though. When I was given the option to select my own carpet color, I picked the darkest they had, and it was still a "toast" color.
post #18 of 26
Yeah, the lifespan relates to LLs using cheap carpet. You never know how tenants will take of stuff so they tend to use cheap materials intending to replace them. Hardwoods, cork and some laminates can take more abuse, in my experience. . . . So it might be possible to convince a LL to replace the carpet with one of those. And they are lots better for indoor air quality (says the woman whose entire family is allergic to dustmites).
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
Wow, this was an eye-opener for me - I had no idea that 3 years was considered past the usual "lifespan" of a carpet. I thought it was more like 15 years.

Yikes, I'd hate to think of all the carpet (and related chemicals) just being tossed out every 3 years.
In California, the law is that landlords cannot charge carpet (or paint) against a tenant's deposit after they've been living in the place for 3 years or more. That doesn't mean that they toss the carpet out, though. ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by llamalluv View Post
For the 89 cent a square foot carpeting that is put into most apartments, 2-3 years is the expected lifespan. Koolaid plus careless tenants is the reason why most landlords don't put quality carpeting in. I just wish someone could explain why they all install oatmeal colored carpet, instead of something dark, though.
Because dark-colored floors make spaces look MUCH smaller. That makes them harder to rent or causes them to fetch a lower price.
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by llamalluv View Post
For the 89 cent a square foot carpeting that is put into most apartments, 2-3 years is the expected lifespan. Koolaid plus careless tenants is the reason why most landlords don't put quality carpeting in. I just wish someone could explain why they all install oatmeal colored carpet, instead of something dark, though. When I was given the option to select my own carpet color, I picked the darkest they had, and it was still a "toast" color.

I used to work in a carpet store. The cheapest awful carpet wasn't even out on the sales floor. It was pretty much only sold to builders and apartment buildings. It was truly awful and so cheap that it looked worn out when new. It came in two colors - tan and grey. There was no dark brown, etc. And yeah, it wears out very very quickly. Its cheap so that it can be thrown away and replaced between tenants. Regular quality carpeting will last many years, but not this stuff.
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