Tenant violated lease which caused damage - Posted by Mark H
Posted by Mark H on July 28, 2003 at 14:58:00:
I own a condo that I had rented to a young couple. The lease allowed 2 cats, no other pets could visit or be kept without written approval from me.
They just moved out, the carpets are ruined and I found out from my HOA that they had a puppy for the past 2 months. The animal smells are pretty fierce, stains everywhere there is carpet. The carpets are 6 years old but were not worn. In fact when they moved in they looked new. They are still not worn, the problem is purely with the many stains and oders.
I have written a letter to them pointing out the items that need correction before we have our final walk through (carpet stains, oven was not cleaned etc) and told them I was aware that they had a dog in violation of the lease AND the HOA Regulations that they agreed to follow as part of the lease.
I am obviously going to have to replace the carpets. I know that the IRS definition of useful life for depreciation purposes is 5 years, but I actually never depreciated the carpets for tax purposes. I went and got a quote to replace the carpets, and with relatively inexpensive Berber it will run $28.59 per yard installed ($1,715.40 for 540 sq. feet). This is in San Francisco, CA, so it isn’t the cheapest place in the world to have this type of thing done.
How do I work out how much to charge these tenants? I am not trying to be vindictive (although I am very angry), I don’t want legal repurcussions, but at the same time these guys were violating the lease and the CC&Rs. There has to be some way for me to get compensated for this and short-circuit any argument they might have that the carpets needed to be replaced anyway.
Anyone know what my options are? I was considering using the argument that the carpets were probably good for another 5 years due to the lack of wear, and offer to pay 50%. Or should I tell them they should pay for it all, and compromise from there?