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Established Member
kbl7td
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎10-09-2012
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Past property management company trying to charge me with $2500 in damages.

I'll try to make this short and sweet. Basically, I leased a place last year from august to july. With 4 other people, it was a joint lease. My one roommate had  dog that she did not watch or take care of, the thing would poop and pee downstairs. If I had caught the thing doing it I would have put it in the microwave. Anyways, dealt with this for a year. The carpet downstairs was new, upstairs however was at least 5 years old.

 

We move out and what do you know, a $2500 dollar bill for new carpet. The two girls we lived with refuse to answer us and moved to california, my buddy and I are the only ones they can easily contact.

 

I argued with the lady forever about the carpet. The downstairs, yes, we owe them new carpet. The upstairs however we do not owe them anything, that carpet was old, it was even blue. Keep in mind the dog never went upstairs.

 

My buddy just got a letter from the rental companies lawyer i guess, I haven't see it yet. Basically a dunning letter saying he owes the debt. I have never gotten anything yet.

 

Few questions...

 

This was a joint lease, can they really put this $2500 on all our credit reports? It is not on mine yet or anyones that I know of.

How can they charge each and every one of us with $2500 when it was split between 4 people?

The owner of the dog never paid a pet deposit or notified them of the pet, I never knew that.

I know rentals and I know construction. I know they get a tax deduction every year for the normal wear of the carpet, and I think after 5 years in a rental it has lost all of its value.

What makes this lady think she can charge me for complete replacement, when only the downstairs was new?

 

Any help here what so ever or even opinions would help.

Established Member
kbl7td
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎10-09-2012
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Re: Past property management company trying to charge me with $2500 in damages.


I forgot to mention that they did not try to clean the carpet at all before removing it and replacing. The upstairs was fine and could have been cleaned.

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beb86
Posts: 1,117
Registered: ‎10-31-2011
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Re: Past property management company trying to charge me with $2500 in damages.

I want to say this is like co-signing on anything....it doesn't matter who the guilty party is, the are going to send it to each person on the lease and hold everyone responsible for the whole amount. The will leave it up to you to figure out how you split it as long as the get there money. If it comes down to it you could try small claims to get the missing roomates to pay there portion. Maybe someone will chime in who may have been in this situation before. Good Luck!!

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llecs
Posts: 32,881
Registered: ‎08-04-2007
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Re: Past property management company trying to charge me with $2500 in damages.

If you signed for the lease, they can add it to your CRs for the full amount. They can hire a CA to go after the full amount and even sue for the full amount, even if a roomie's dog messed up the carpet. Once the full $2500 gets paid from you or the other 3, then the collection stops and they'll have to report $0.

 

The full $2500 is collectible because of the lease agreement. They can come after you, or you roommate, or any of the others. Take the rent payment for example, let's say for simple math the rent was $1000. If your three roommates took off stiffing you for the rent, you wouldn't owe $250, you'd owe $1000. Like with the rent, any damage they feel is owed is due in total as opposed to collecting a quater from each of you.

 

I don't know if there's any hard fast rules on replacing carpet at or by 5 yrs. Maybe they were trying to get 6 or 7 years out of it. I dunno. If there were any stains (absent the dog) and went beyond normal wear and tear as probably set by the lease, then they can ask for a replacement. Read the lease though.

 

While you aren't the cause of the damage, your roommate was. If you can prove the carpets were replaced because of the dog and you had photos to back that up, you can always go after her for those damages. Unfortunately you haven't been damaged yet. You (or your other roommates) would have to incur damages via paying the $2500 and then sue her for those costs.

Established Member
kbl7td
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎10-09-2012
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Re: Past property management company trying to charge me with $2500 in damages.

[ Edited ]

llecs wrote:

If you signed for the lease, they can add it to your CRs for the full amount. They can hire a CA to go after the full amount and even sue for the full amount, even if a roomie's dog messed up the carpet. Once the full $2500 gets paid from you or the other 3, then the collection stops and they'll have to report $0.

 

The full $2500 is collectible because of the lease agreement. They can come after you, or you roommate, or any of the others. Take the rent payment for example, let's say for simple math the rent was $1000. If your three roommates took off stiffing you for the rent, you wouldn't owe $250, you'd owe $1000. Like with the rent, any damage they feel is owed is due in total as opposed to collecting a quater from each of you.

 

I don't know if there's any hard fast rules on replacing carpet at or by 5 yrs. Maybe they were trying to get 6 or 7 years out of it. I dunno. If there were any stains (absent the dog) and went beyond normal wear and tear as probably set by the lease, then they can ask for a replacement. Read the lease though.

 

While you aren't the cause of the damage, your roommate was. If you can prove the carpets were replaced because of the dog and you had photos to back that up, you can always go after her for those damages. Unfortunately you haven't been damaged yet. You (or your other roommates) would have to incur damages via paying the $2500 and then sue her for those costs.


I agree with you with the first part, as much as I don't want to. There is no way I can get these girls to pay, dumb beyond belief, doubt they even know what a credit report is. I don't even have their address, they are in vegas and california.

 

However, the carpet I need a second opinion on. The carpet upstaris was blue, had wear damage when we moved in, and I know they just tried to tac on the new carpet to our bill.

 

They CANNOT charge new replacement for a carpet that had nothing wrong with it. Every year the carpet will depreciate in value until it is no longer worth anything. I refuse to pay them for new replacement costs for the upstairs.

 

Yes they do have evidence of the dog downstairs, they took photos of the carpet when they pulled it up and there were stains on the back side, they sent these photos to me. They only took photos of the backside of the carpet on the downstairs too.

 

How in the world do I get them to pay when I have no address and they are in a different state? Hell the one girl wouldn't even finish paying me for the electric bill, and that is a whole nother deal.

 

***I was told by a guy at the management company to not clean the carpets, that they would just higher a cleaner they preffered and take it out of our deposits since it would be the same cost, low and behold they never cleaned them.

Established Member
kbl7td
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎10-09-2012
0

Re: Past property management company trying to charge me with $2500 in damages.

Here is a post I found on a forum, with a question similar to mine....
 
 
You are correct. You are only responsible for the depreciated value of that carpet. Just like a car, the value of that carpet goes down with age. You only owe the current value of it.

The IRS allows LLs to depreciate carpet (and other items) off their taxes. Each item has a range of years that you can take the tax deduction. For carpet and flooring, the IRS allows a LL to depreciate for any number of years between 5 and 10. Most LLs choose 7. Choosing 5 yrs gets you a larger deduction each year. Choosing 10 yrs gets you a smaller deduction, but spreads it out longer. How is it figured? Read on...

First you must know the AGE of the carpet at move out. If the carpet was new at move in, it would be 5 yrs old then. Do you know if the carpet was new when you moved in? If it wasn't, it's probably at least 6 yrs old (and that will change the calculations below). Then you have to know how many years the LL uses for DEPRECIATION. Since you can't possibly know this, we will look at 7 & 10 yrs. (If he uses 5 yrs, the carpet will have used up all value and you would owe nothing.) You subtract the current age of the carpet from the number of years he uses for his tax depreciation. This gives you the "remaining life" of the carpet or how much longer the carpet was supposed to have lasted Take the remaining life and divide it by the depreciation yrs. Multiply this decimal by the replacement cost and this is how much you owe.

If he uses 5 yrs to depreciate:
5 yrs depreciation - 5 yr old carpet = NO yrs remaining life
NO charge

If he uses 7 yrs to depreciate:
7 yrs depreciation - 5 yr old carpet = 2 yrs remaining life
2 yrs remaining life / 7 yrs depreciation = .2857 percentage you owe
.2857 percentage you owe x $800 replacement cost = $228.56 what you owe for replacement carpet

If he uses 10 yrs to depreciate:
10 yrs depreciation - 5 yr old carpet = 5 yrs remaining life
5 yrs remaining life / 10 yrs depreciation = .5 percentage you owe
.5 percentage you owe x $800 replacement cost = $400 what you owe for replacement carpet

So at the most, you would only owe $400 for the carpet.
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llecs
Posts: 32,881
Registered: ‎08-04-2007
0

Re: Past property management company trying to charge me with $2500 in damages.

You can't go off the tax code though. Maybe the property manager wanted it to last 10 years; they don't have to replace it every 5. It doesn't mean at age 6 the carpet is worthless. It just means they can't write off the depreciation. You have to go off the lease agreement. What does the lease agreement say about carpet damage? BTW, just playing devil's advocate here. Take no personal issue to it. If I were the prop. manager, I'd do exactly what they are doing now. Also, check your state's laws as they will have their own section for Landlord-Tenant relations.

 

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webhopper
Posts: 7,230
Registered: ‎09-16-2011
0

Re: Past property management company trying to charge me with $2500 in damages.


kbl7td wrote:

I'll try to make this short and sweet. Basically, I leased a place last year from august to july. With 4 other people, it was a joint lease. My one roommate had  dog that she did not watch or take care of, the thing would poop and pee downstairs. If I had caught the thing doing it I would have put it in the microwave. Anyways, dealt with this for a year. The carpet downstairs was new, upstairs however was at least 5 years old.

 

We move out and what do you know, a $2500 dollar bill for new carpet. The two girls we lived with refuse to answer us and moved to california, my buddy and I are the only ones they can easily contact.

 

I argued with the lady forever about the carpet. The downstairs, yes, we owe them new carpet. The upstairs however we do not owe them anything, that carpet was old, it was even blue. Keep in mind the dog never went upstairs.

 

My buddy just got a letter from the rental companies lawyer i guess, I haven't see it yet. Basically a dunning letter saying he owes the debt. I have never gotten anything yet.

 

Few questions...

 

This was a joint lease, can they really put this $2500 on all our credit reports? It is not on mine yet or anyones that I know of.

How can they charge each and every one of us with $2500 when it was split between 4 people?

The owner of the dog never paid a pet deposit or notified them of the pet, I never knew that.

I know rentals and I know construction. I know they get a tax deduction every year for the normal wear of the carpet, and I think after 5 years in a rental it has lost all of its value.

What makes this lady think she can charge me for complete replacement, when only the downstairs was new?

 

Any help here what so ever or even opinions would help.


Ok, I will try to answer your questions...  being a rental property owner, I may have a different perspective, but please hear me out.

 

First statement: "This was a joint lease, can they really put this $2500 on all our credit reports? It is not on mine yet or anyones that I know of."  

 

My response:  If they don't have your social security number or address, then they can't really report you to the credit bureaus.  What they can do is get a default judgment against you for the cost of the carpet plus attorney fees if they find out where you live and serve you with a summons. If  your name and social security number does not appear on the lease, then you aren't responsible for the carpet repairs.

 

Second statement:  "I know rentals and I know construction. I know they get a tax deduction every year for the normal wear of the carpet, and I think after 5 years in a rental it has lost all of its value."

 

Landlords can claim a deduction based on either a one time depreciation of the carpet, or a 5 year depreciation of the carpet. The duduction net cash back to the owner due to this deduction does not cover the cost of the carpet replacement if the carpet has to be pre-maturely replaced.  Also, $2500 seems to be really a cheap price for carpet. I paid $4700 for carpet in my rental property of 1750 sq ft.  If you and your joint tenants caused the property to be replaced early, you likely caused him an actual loss of $2500 if not more. My carpet in my rental has a 15 year warranty. I am hoping that I can get at least 10 years out of it.

 

Third statement: "How can they charge each and every one of us with $2500 when it was split between 4 people?"

 

This is called "joint and separate liability".  If your lease is properly written, then each person named on the lease are responsible both jointly and seperately for damages... this means that if the landlord can only find one person, then he can hold that one person responsible for the damage.

 

Fourth statement:  "What makes this lady think she can charge me for complete replacement, when only the downstairs was new?"

 

She can try. Its up to you to prove that the carpet was already old and past its useful life before you moved in. Otherwise its just her word against yours, and judging by the condition of the downstairs, it wouldn't be hard to convince a judge that the whole house needed new carpet due to the dog.

 

 

My only comment is that if you knew that the dog and other roomates were tearing up the house, you could/should have approached the landlord seperately in person or via certified mail, and offered to pay your way out of the lease early.  In that case, the landlord could have known about the dog problem, and evicted the problem tenants prior to so much damage.   I've seen cases where landlords had to tear out entire subfloors due to unruly pets and uncaring pet owners.

 

About the letter that your buddy got, I would ask him to see it, and make sure that you aren't a named party on the letter. 

 

That's just my two cents!  I hope that it helps you in some way to understand what is going on with this carpet issue. I think in this case you've learned a very valuable lesson about roomates and responsibility and I'm hoping that you grow from it.

 

Best of luck to you in the future and with dealing with this issue!  My advice would be to offer the landlord a sum ($800) in agreement to hold you harmless for the carpet damage!

 

 


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Established Member
kbl7td
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎10-09-2012
0

Re: Past property management company trying to charge me with $2500 in damages.


webhopper wrote:

kbl7td wrote:

I'll try to make this short and sweet. Basically, I leased a place last year from august to july. With 4 other people, it was a joint lease. My one roommate had  dog that she did not watch or take care of, the thing would poop and pee downstairs. If I had caught the thing doing it I would have put it in the microwave. Anyways, dealt with this for a year. The carpet downstairs was new, upstairs however was at least 5 years old.

 

We move out and what do you know, a $2500 dollar bill for new carpet. The two girls we lived with refuse to answer us and moved to california, my buddy and I are the only ones they can easily contact.

 

I argued with the lady forever about the carpet. The downstairs, yes, we owe them new carpet. The upstairs however we do not owe them anything, that carpet was old, it was even blue. Keep in mind the dog never went upstairs.

 

My buddy just got a letter from the rental companies lawyer i guess, I haven't see it yet. Basically a dunning letter saying he owes the debt. I have never gotten anything yet.

 

Few questions...

 

This was a joint lease, can they really put this $2500 on all our credit reports? It is not on mine yet or anyones that I know of.

How can they charge each and every one of us with $2500 when it was split between 4 people?

The owner of the dog never paid a pet deposit or notified them of the pet, I never knew that.

I know rentals and I know construction. I know they get a tax deduction every year for the normal wear of the carpet, and I think after 5 years in a rental it has lost all of its value.

What makes this lady think she can charge me for complete replacement, when only the downstairs was new?

 

Any help here what so ever or even opinions would help.


Ok, I will try to answer your questions...  being a rental property owner, I may have a different perspective, but please hear me out.

 

First statement: "This was a joint lease, can they really put this $2500 on all our credit reports? It is not on mine yet or anyones that I know of."  

 

My response:  If they don't have your social security number or address, then they can't really report you to the credit bureaus.  What they can do is get a default judgment against you for the cost of the carpet plus attorney fees if they find out where you live and serve you with a summons. If  your name and social security number does not appear on the lease, then you aren't responsible for the carpet repairs.

 

Second statement:  "I know rentals and I know construction. I know they get a tax deduction every year for the normal wear of the carpet, and I think after 5 years in a rental it has lost all of its value."

 

Landlords can claim a deduction based on either a one time depreciation of the carpet, or a 5 year depreciation of the carpet. The duduction net cash back to the owner due to this deduction does not cover the cost of the carpet replacement if the carpet has to be pre-maturely replaced.  Also, $2500 seems to be really a cheap price for carpet. I paid $4700 for carpet in my rental property of 1750 sq ft.  If you and your joint tenants caused the property to be replaced early, you likely caused him an actual loss of $2500 if not more. My carpet in my rental has a 15 year warranty. I am hoping that I can get at least 10 years out of it.

 

Third statement: "How can they charge each and every one of us with $2500 when it was split between 4 people?"

 

This is called "joint and separate liability".  If your lease is properly written, then each person named on the lease are responsible both jointly and seperately for damages... this means that if the landlord can only find one person, then he can hold that one person responsible for the damage.

 

Fourth statement:  "What makes this lady think she can charge me for complete replacement, when only the downstairs was new?"

 

She can try. Its up to you to prove that the carpet was already old and past its useful life before you moved in. Otherwise its just her word against yours, and judging by the condition of the downstairs, it wouldn't be hard to convince a judge that the whole house needed new carpet due to the dog.

 

 

My only comment is that if you knew that the dog and other roomates were tearing up the house, you could/should have approached the landlord seperately in person or via certified mail, and offered to pay your way out of the lease early.  In that case, the landlord could have known about the dog problem, and evicted the problem tenants prior to so much damage.   I've seen cases where landlords had to tear out entire subfloors due to unruly pets and uncaring pet owners.

 

About the letter that your buddy got, I would ask him to see it, and make sure that you aren't a named party on the letter. 

 

That's just my two cents!  I hope that it helps you in some way to understand what is going on with this carpet issue. I think in this case you've learned a very valuable lesson about roomates and responsibility and I'm hoping that you grow from it.

 

Best of luck to you in the future and with dealing with this issue!  My advice would be to offer the landlord a sum ($800) in agreement to hold you harmless for the carpet damage!

 

 


I can prove the carpet upstairs was old. They sent pictures of all the carpet, you can clearly tell the age of the carpet by the commonly used track marks in the carpet. The blue carpet was almost white, in the high traffic area. The carpet downstairs was new, I am not disputing that. I will pay her a max of $400 for my portion. 

 

BTW I just got the same letter he got, it is a basic collections letter. I'm a going to dispute it, I am also hoping that with that address being off my credit report, that they wont be able to link it. Not sure if they have my social or not. 

 

I've lived in my fair share of apartments, 4 different places since being in college. This place just happens to be a real pain about everything. 

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webhopper
Posts: 7,230
Registered: ‎09-16-2011
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Re: Past property management company trying to charge me with $2500 in damages.

[ Edited ]

Good luck man! Definately if they accept $400 on the carpet issue... I would make sure to get a hold harmless agreement. If you have pictures... by all means write a letter of dispute immediately and do a DV letter. All using certified mail return receipt. That way if you get sued you have a documented dispute to show the court why you didn't pay something that you felt like it wasn't owed. Did you happen to have rental insurance? I had a landlord threaten to sue me once after I broke a lease due to raw sewage seeping in the yard and I basically wrote a response back inviting the lawsuit indicating that I had photos proving that there was no damage and insurance to pay for my defense. 30 days after I moved out i wrote requesting my $1500 deposit back and do you know he sent the whole amount. If you had rental insurance... call them up because they will help you.


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