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Disgusting Stained And Damaged Carpet In My New Appartment

Having a dispute with a tenant or landlord? Rental Law discussion

Disgusting Stained And Damaged Carpet In My New Appartment

Postby Roper » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:36 pm

I have just signed a lease for an apartment in Pierce County Wisconsin. I did a run through with the landlord and asked him if it was possible for me to take the reigns and repair minor things that were wrong with the apartment. Small things like the walls weren't painted, with holes from pictures ect... We also spoke about the carpet and the kitchen and bathroom floors being so damaged that they need to be replaced as soon as possible, he agreed and now seems to be backing out of our verbal agreement. I told him that I would even take care of the installation costs and the purchase of the carpet and linoleum flooring if he would just take the cost off of my rent. I am asking you if there is any bind to a verbal agreement and if there is anything I can do or use as ammunition against him as in a statute or a law stating that damaged, pet stained, torn, burned carpet needs to be replaced for health hazard reasons? I believe I am being a pretty helpful tenant by offering my services in order to cut cost for him and for me I just want a healthy and clean living environment. If there is anything that might sway his judgement please let me know...because I have already started tearing out the carpet to get this all done so I can move in A.S.A.P....thanks for your time.
Roper
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:22 am

Disgusting Stained And Damaged Carpet In My New Appartment

Postby Gau » Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:52 am

Aaron,

Here's specifically what the statutes say concerning condition of the unit:

504.18  Covenants of Lessor or Licensor        In every lease or license of residential premises, whether in writing or parol, the lessor or licensor covenants:        (a) That the premises and all common areas are fit for the use intended by the parties.        (b) To keep the premises in reasonable repair during the term of the lease or license, except when the disrepair has been caused by the willful, malicious, or irresponsible conduct of the lessee or licensee or a person under the direction or control of the lesee or licensee        (c) To maintain the premises in compliance with the applicable health and safety laws of the state, including the weatherstripping, caulking, storm window, and storm door energy efficiency standards for renter-occupied residences prescribed by section 216C.27, subdivisions 1 and 3, and of the local units of government where the premises are located during the term of the lease or license, except when violation of the health and safety laws has been caused by the willful, malicious, or irresponsible conduct of the lessee or licensee or a person under the direction or control of the lessee or licensee.        The parties to a lease or license of residential premises may not waive or modify the covenants imposed by this section.        The lessor or licensor may agree with the lessee or licensee that the lessee or licensee is to perform specified repairs or maintenance, but only if the agreement is supported by adequate consideration and set forth in a conspicuous writing. No such agreement, however, may waive the provisions of subdivision 1 or relieve the lessor or licensor of the duty to maintain common areas of the premises.        

The Landlord has a legal responsibility to provide you with living quarters that are "fit for the intended use" and "in reasonable repair".  If the carpets are stained or burned, they can still be clean and meet the intent of the law.  If the linoleum has stains, holes, scrapes, etc., it can still meet the legal definition of "reasonable repair" because the floor is serving the purpose of holding you up.  That's the reality.

As for your verbal agreement, it can be legally binding.  The difficulty would be proving it.  You would have to hire an attorney and file suit in court, then prove your case.  This would take way too much time and money to be worth it, so you are better off just walking away.  This is exactly why the statutes tell you to get all agreements in writing.

My recommendation is that you talk to the Landlord.  Remind him of your original agreement and that you have already started the work.  Tell him he can either put the original agreement in writing and let you do the work, or he should pay you for the work you've done so far and let you walk away.  Even if he decides to let you walk away, get it in writing that he won't hold you liable for any damages from tearing up carpet.

I know this isn't the answer you'd like, but the costs of proving your case in court and forcing him to perform are unreasonable.  Thanks for the question!

Nathan
Gau
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:10 am


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