Profile picture for shilopo

What can I ask for if the carpet smells?

My carpet smells of smoke and urine. In turn my clothes, towels, blankets, etc all smell like smoke. When I leave the aparment I can still smell it on me. I have asked that they have the carpet replaced. The landlord has had it cleaned and is now telling me that I can either have the carpet cleaners come out again or they will break my lease and give me my deposit back as they are not willing to replace the carpet. Should I be entitled to more than my security deposit back?  
  • December 13 2010 - US
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Answers (10)

Profile picture for Yager Realty
How many months have you been a renter? You should at least request your deposit back. I would get legal aid in a tenant ( apartment) laws. If cleaning the carpet has not helped and they are not willing to replace it you might look into them paying your moving expenses. This is a very tough situation, because you are at the mercy of the land lord. I believe they are only obligated to clean the carpet.
  • December 14 2010
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No, but be glad the owner will allow you to break your lease without penalty and still get your security back.
  • December 14 2010
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Profile picture for Bruce Cadden
Usually not. The landlord is offering to remedy the problem, and telling you to take it or leave it. Will it be satisfactory? Probably not. Start exploring your options and look for a new apartment that doesn't smell.
  • December 14 2010
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
"Should I be entitlted to more than my security deposit back?"   this is a legal question.  Let us know what your attorney says.   (I'd guess the answer is probably not.)

If you viewed the apartment in person with the landlord, wasn't this known at the time?
  • December 14 2010
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Also - keep in mind that smoke odors are coming from the walls, too, so maybe ask if the apartment can be painted, as well - there are paints made specifically for that purpose.
  • December 14 2010
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
  • December 13 2010
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
  • December 13 2010
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
You are not going to get it out with carpet cleaners.  It is in the carpet pad, and it is not the carpet that needs to be replaced, but the section of carpet pad that is saturated.

I've posted the answer to how to deal with this as an owner from Don Aslett's book "500 Terrific Ideas for Cleaning Everything".  Do a search of the advice threads for it, or better yet, get the book.
  • December 13 2010
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Profile picture for Jesse Madison
I would also say you deed to consult with an attorney. But try getting the carpets cleaned again and see if the results are satisfactory. If not take the next step.
  • December 13 2010
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You're asking a legal. question, so you really need to seek the answer from an attorney. In order to get more than your security back from the landlord, I'd assume you'll need to take legal action.

He is willing to let you out of the lease and return your money - he is willing to bring back the carpet cleaners for another try.......he is making some effort to rectify this.
I'd at least let the carpet cleaners try again - they should have special solvents that work on he odors you are describing.


I have one question - if the smell is so strong, didn't you notice it when you first looked at the apartment?
  • December 13 2010
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