Anonymous asked in Business & FinanceRenting & Real Estate · 1 decade ago

CA Rental Laws regarding replacement of carpeting?

I've lived in my apartment for over 8 years now, and I plan on living here for at least 2 more years. When I moved in, the carpet was used, but in good condition. Now, after 8 years, there are some areas that have been damaged by the cat, and even though the rest of the apartment is so-so, isn't there a time limit that a landlord has to replace carpet? After ten years, wouldn't it be obvious that the carpeting would have to be completely replaced at the landlord's expense?


According to the Carpet Buyer's Handbook: "...the average carpet life is about 5-7 years." According to, "you will end up getting 7 to 10 years life out of a good quality carpet regardless of what the warranty states." You can google "average carpet life" and you'll see, AS I DID, that the average answer is about 10 years.

I'm saying that while my cat might have caused damage - the carpet is ALREADY past its lifetime, so why should I have to pay to replace something the landlord would have already had to replace?

I also note that none of the answers thus far have actually quoted any California law.

Update 2:

I'm not expecting to get the carpet replaced while I'm still here. In fact, I could easily see myself living here another 10 years. My point is that after THAT length of time, you'd think that no matter how nice a carpet looked, that a carpet that old would be worn through normal wear to the point it would need to be replaced. I live in an apartment, not a huge house. Replacing only the "worn" parts would be silly - the entire apartment is tiny. I fail to understand why some of you seem to want to attack me as if I'm trying to get away with something. Maybe YOU keep your carpets pristine and make people tiptoe across them, but my place - cat damage aside, has worn areas in the living room, hallway and going into the kitchen. The carpet was used before I moved in. I'm sorry I touched off such a nerve amongst some of you - I guess the greedy landlords of the world all flock to Yahoo Answers to put us renters in our place! I humbly am chastened by your wroth! (not!)

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    CA law only states that a landlord must keep your apartment habitable, not a length of time they must replace carpeting while you are still living in the apartment. I could find nothing in CA law that states that when leaving an apartment after an extended length of time that either the tenant OR the landlord has to pay to replace it. Common sense, though, is on the side of the tenant. As you suggested, I googled "average carpet life" and found that 5-10 years is what is normally quoted (unlike the "landlord" above, whose other answers on other questions are quite questionable). nowhere could I find anyone credible claiming that average carpet life is 20 years!!!

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  • 6 years ago

    Carpet Conditions:

    California law does not specify when landlords must replace carpeting in rental units. It does clarify that worn or aged, but otherwise undamaged, carpet does not affect a property's habitability. The only time a landlord must replace the carpet is if it somehow affects the health or safety of the tenants, such as if the carpet is moldy, unsanitary or ripped. The law does not govern aesthetics, so even if the carpet is stained or old, as long as it is in fair condition, the landlord does not have to replace it. Even if your pet damages the carpet your only responsible for that portion of the carpet for the remaining expected life. for example, your cat dug up a corner in the closet, it was an 8 year old carpet, to replace the carpet in the closet would be $150.00. $150.00 / 10 years (average life of a carpet with normal wear and tear) that would be 15.00 a year. So your responsible for $30.00 of the replacement cost to re carpet the closet. After 10 years you would not have any financial responsibility for the replacement cost. Now if a landlord leases to a family of 6 with 3 cats and 4 dogs, the normal wear and tear on the carpet is for just that, normal wear and tear for 6 people and 7 animals. Good luck.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Naturally, the landlord will not replace the carpet until AFTER you and your cat have moved out. No sense in throwing good money away since the cat may damage a new carpet.

    As far as you being responsible for the cost to replace the carpet, California's Landlord Tenant booklet suggets this approach:

    2. Carpets and drapes - "useful life" rule

    Normal wear and tear to carpets, drapes and other furnishings cannot be charged against a tenant's security deposit.223 Normal wear and tear includes simple wearing down of carpet and drapes because of normal use or aging, and includes moderate dirt or spotting. In contrast, large rips or indelible stains justify a deduction from the tenant's security deposit for repairing the carpet or drapes, or replacing them if that is reasonably necessary.

    One common method of calculating the deduction for replacement prorates the total cost of replacement so that the tenant pays only for the remaining useful life of the item that the tenant has damaged or destroyed. For example, suppose a tenant has damaged beyond repair an eight-year-old carpet that had a life expectancy of ten years, and that a replacement carpet of similar quality would cost $1,000. The landlord could properly charge only $200 for the two years' worth of life (use) that would have remained if the tenant had not damaged the carpet.

    Now, this is not the "law", however it is suggested per the landlord/tenant booklet and if the case were to go to court, the judge would use the depreciation method when deciding the judgment.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The reason that you have not been quoted any California statutes is that NONE exist covering 'life of the carpet'. Apparently your cat damaged the carpeting in your unit, and now you are looking for some sort of statute which would relieve you from paying for said damage.

    That won't happen, since all your research about 'average life' is meaningless to the damages caused by the cat. In a room which is RARELY used, but carpeted anyway, I'd venture that the life of that carpet could be up to fifty years, until it got so old, ugly, and out of date that shame forces replacement.

    The reason that you will have to pay for damages caused is that carpet does not end its lifetime in the manner you suggest, but ends its lifetime when it is WORN OUT. Cat damage isn't 'wear'. It's damage.

    • Shelly6 years agoReport

      No, no. Delete cat from the equation. A carpet that is in an apartment is cheap. The padding is cheap. After her 8 years in such an apartment, it is logical that the cheap carpeting is not a good living arrangement. Would you want to live there?

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  • krell
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    California Renters Rights Carpet

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  • 1 decade ago

    you aren't wanting to take responsability for the damage your cat caused?

    They recommend carpet changes based on a range of time...that is to ensure future sales. Yes, the carpet could be replaced at 7 to 10 years or so, but it certainly does not HAVE to. You are responsible...stop looking for an excuse to not take responsability for what you ARE responsible for. Take note...there are hundreds of thousands of houses that are old and even have the orriginal carpet in is nothing more than a choice if a carpet is cleaned.

    As for California Law...I don't know about it...I am in Canada. I am telling you what is morally right. You have the ability to Google or telephone the apropriate orffice for California Law...just like you Googled for carpet life spans!!!!

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  • 1 decade ago

    CA real estate law does not require that carpet be installed at all, let alone replaced due to tenant damage.

    My carpets are over 7 years old, so I can attest that they should still be looking pretty close to new. Carpet lasts about 30 years unless very cheap or very neglected.

    He can replace the carpet, but that will come out of your deposit as your cat destroyed it. Nothing "normal" would destroy it that fast.

    • ...Show all comments
    • Rob G6 years agoReport

      The carpet in my home lasted 22 years. I also have a rental unit and that carpet lasted 28 years. Although the last tenants were there for 10 years and lived like pigs. Realistically, I estimate that a carpet lasts 20 years.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Cat damage, even after 8 yrs is NOT normal wear and tear. And no, there is no time limit. The landlord doesnt even have to replace the carpet. He could tear it out and leave bare floor. In this case, replacing the carpet would be at your expense, not his. Your cat, your damage, your cost. Average carpet life is 20 to 30 yrs.

    Source(s): 14 yr landlord with 20 yr old carpet, 1 dog, and 5 boys, and no damage.
    • Lusine4 years agoReport

      You guys keep saying it s her responsibility because her cat did it, but did she pay a pet deposit? If so, shouldn t the damage payments come out of that pet deposit she paid?

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