Is carpet or hardwood flooring a must in rental property?
I removed the carpet in my rental property because my landlord asked me to because she had new carpeting that she was going to install and wanted me to have it out so the guys who when the guy came to install the new carpeting he wouldn’t have to tear up the old carpet. She never installed the carpet in my apartment, instead she installed it in another unit when she decided to let her ex-husband and daughter move into that unit(which was after I already took out the old carpeting in my unit). Now, she has decided to sell the building(as is) and informed me that the new owners can put in the carpet. Can I legally refuse to pay rent until carpet or hardwood is installed in the apartment? I have no clue what my rights are. Any help would be much appreciated! Thank you!
Great question. Carpets are cosmetic items and not a basis to hold back rent. Contact your cities legal aide and tenant right association for more information. Best of luck to you.
Specific definitions regarding habitability in rental housing vary by state. Whether the removal and failure to replace the carpeting in your rental property violates your rights as a tenant would be subject to the state laws. In any case, as a tenant, you need to give your landlord the opportunity to remedy this situation prior to withholding your rent. To do this, you will need to put your complaint in writing, allow a suitable amount of time for your landlord to make the repair (standard would be 30 days), and notify the landlord of your intent to withhold rent payment if the situation is not remedied.
In the meantime, I would suggest contacting your local tenant advocacy group. They will not only be able to tell you if the carpet situation is in violation of local laws, but will also be able to help guide you on your next steps.
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