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Damaged carpets & floors/smell of cigarette smoke

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Damaged carpets & floors/smell of cigarette smoke

Postby sharisosweet » Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:23 pm

My husband and I rented a duplex in August of this year. When we went to view the unit it was clear the current tenants were smokers, also had several animals, and we're less than diligent when it came to keeping things clean. We were told the unit would be cleaned before we took occupancy and even waited to move in after the date we were originally promised to allow extra time for the unti to be cleaned properly. When we came to pick up the keys we noted significant damages which the previous tenants had masked with furniture placement, etc when we initially viewed the apartment. Every floor in the unit has significant burn damage, tears in the linoleum, stains, etc. The carpeting is burned throughout the apartment, and in one bedroom the burns cover more than half the carpet! Also, the stench of smoke was ridiculous. We pointed out the issue stating that we would not move into the unit unless the carpets were going to be replaced. At that time the landlord stated that he would replace the carpet within a few weeks and that in the mean time he would have the carpets cleaned while the rest of the unit was being cleaned. We took occupancy two full weeks after the date promised, with one weeks rent prorated. Long story short, the carpets were never cleaned and never replaced. The stench of smoke has not abated and is in fact even less tolerable now that the cold weather is here and we cannot open the windows to air it out. Both myself and my 8 year old daughter are allergic to cigarette smoke and are asthmatic.

What are my rights in this situation? Is the landlord required to replace significantly damaged carpeting?? Does the smoke smell fall into the safe, clean, inhabitable category? PLEASE HELP!!


(no, we do not have anything in writing that he promised to replace it)
sharisosweet
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:01 pm
Location: Hamburg, NY (Buffalo)

Postby TenantNet » Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:34 pm

Write a certified letter to the LL immediately that:

a) memorializes his promise, and

b) makes a list of damages that occurred prior to your move-in.

Lacking that, the LL could try to hold your deposit hostage when you move out.

Take hundreds of detailed digital photos.
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Postby sharisosweet » Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:43 pm

Thank you for your reply.

We did send a certified letter requesting repairs (as we have several other complaints and needed repairs.) We recieved no response to our initial letter. I sent another letter today reiterating the first letter and stating our intent to withold this months rent (in an escrow account) until the repairs are made.

My issue is that while I know I have rights where the other issues are concerned (backed up bathtub, running toilet, broken door handles, lack of proper locks on main entrances...), I am not sure where I stand with the carpet issue...I have searched and searched and cannot find any information that pertains to odor from cigarette smoke, only to odors from pet urine/feces.
sharisosweet
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:01 pm
Location: Hamburg, NY (Buffalo)

Postby sharisosweet » Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:45 pm

[quote="TenantNet"]Take hundreds of detailed digital photos.[/quote]

We did take photos when we moved in so we have over 100 photos documenting various damages!
sharisosweet
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:01 pm
Location: Hamburg, NY (Buffalo)


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