By Terri Williams www.realtor.com
The question "How often does a landlord have to replace carpet?" might cross your mind if you're a renter
. After all, one of the biggest advantages of renting is having someone else who will take on repairs—and pay for them!
But how often can you expect your property's maintenance crew to handle certain upkeep? While it's highly
unlikely you'll get brand-new carpets every year, you can expect certain repairs to be completed regularly. Let's take a look at typical timetables for repairs and replacements.
How often does a landlord have to replace carpets?
"Not all carpet is created equal, therefore it is hard to put a general time stamp on when it should be replaced due to normal wear and tear,” says Tara White
, a Birmingham, AL-based leasing consultant. But if the carpet is damaged, she says, it will be replaced at turnover, before a new tenant moves in.
“Rental grade” carpeting usually has a useful life of five years, according to Diana Valin
, CPM, owner/broker of The Rental Xperts in Encinitas, CA. “However, top-grade carpets in high-end properties often come with lifetime warranties against staining and wear, and replacement may not be anticipated by an owner for anything other than major damage.”
Valin adds that in pet-friendly communities, landlords may expect tenants to be more accommodating if there are minor stains in the carpet. “However, carpets should always
be professionally cleaned and sanitized prior to a new tenancy,” Valine says. “No tenant should ever be expected to move in and go barefoot on carpets that harbor someone else's dirt.”
Repainting covers nicks, scrapes, and other imperfections, and it also provides a clean, fresh look for the next tenant. According to White, repainting is usually done at turnover for every apartment home. But suppose you don’t plan to move out anytime soon? “In my experience, most apartment communities offer renewal incentives, which typically include a free paint job,” she says.
As a general rule, Valin says a paint job
should last three years—although a quality paint job can last much longer. “However, a tenant should expect that marks will be cleaned, touch-ups done, and, in general, the paint looks clean, if not new," she says.
No one wants to share their living space with critters (unless they're blood relations), so routine extermination
services are critical to keeping these unwanted guests at bay.
“If the community has a contract with a pest control company, exterminators typically visit communities weekly,” White says. However, if there is an emergency and you’re several days away from the next routine visit, pest control technicians should be expected to make a special trip to handle the problem.
Some leaks are a nuisance, but left unattended, they can develop into major problems. White says the timeframe for addressing the plumbing problem
will depend on the type of leak. If it’s a leak that maintenance can probably handle, it will usually be fixed within 24 to 48 hours—unless there’s a part that needs to be ordered. However, some leaks require an outside contractor, which usually means additional delays.
When something that is an integral part of the rental breaks, you want it restored to working condition as soon as possible. “All repairs are not the same, but the general timeframe is within 24 to 48 hours, unless it is an emergency,” White says.
Otherwise, once a unit is empty, the property manager will do a walk-through and fix any maintenance issues. “At turnover, landlords attend to routine maintenance to keep the property in good condition: recaulking sinks and tub enclosures, checking angle stops for rust, updating smoke detectors, inspecting water heaters, and the like,” Valin says.