Carpet moths – who pays for new carpets?

by Readers Question

10:36 AM, 23rd September 2013
About 7 years ago

Carpet moths – who pays for new carpets?

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Carpet moths – who pays for new carpets?

Carpet and clothes moths are ‘posh pests’ according to one pest control firm. This is because they don’t carry diseases and they love wool and cashmere but who pays for the damage when they infest and eat wool-based carpets: the landlord, or the tenant?

And what’s the story where the tenant has already been aware of the problem and had a go at defeating it – but then has not followed through with basic, ongoing prevention techniques, ending up with a recurring problem?

Have the tenants failed in their obligations to look after the property reasonably?

Are tenants obliged to clean and hoover floors regularly, which goes a long way to keep such pests at bay, or just to clean the property thoroughly before vacating?

If moth larvae get a real grip on the carpets, thanks to someone’s slack hoovering habits, does the tenant or the landlord foot the bill for replacing the carpets?

Tenancy agreements don’t always specifically mention infestations; and not all infestations are covered by the emergency and breakdown policies that Landlords can buy. Moths, for example , are not covered whereas vermin such as squirrels, generally are.

When moths tried to move in to one room in my own home (our lesson: make sure someone hoovers regularly behind dark sofas in teenage bedrooms!) we were onto it fast enough to stop the creatures from going house-wide. However, where a tenant is not so prompt, is there an industry protocol or standard on what happens when a moth-infested carpet in a rented home needs to be replaced? Also, what happens what happens if the tenant only wants to put in a cheap replacement and wants the landlord to help pay for anything more durable, even if the original was a ‘good’ carpet? Carpet moths - who pays for new carpets?

Where there is some normal ‘wear and tear’ already, it might be reasonable to invite the landlord to consider contributing to installing carpets of similar quality to a well-used original – but is there any obligation on the landlord to replace the lot at their own cost when the extent of the damage, that makes it necessary at this particular moment, is from moths who’d been able to do their thing undisturbed thanks to the tenant’s casual approach to good housekeeping?

I’d love to know what other landlords do, or have done in such situations!

Regards

Cathy


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Comments

Cathy Gunn

16:27 PM, 23rd September 2013
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "23/09/2013 - 10:43":

Thank you - that is all very helpful!

Jay James

16:29 PM, 23rd September 2013
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Cathy Gunn" at "23/09/2013 - 16:23":

Hi Cathy
Given some of the comments I have read on this site today, I wonder if something significant has changed for your tenants since renewal?
Ie something you do not know about.

Mark Alexander

16:34 PM, 23rd September 2013
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Cathy Gunn" at "23/09/2013 - 16:23":

Hi cathy

I'm not sure what the basis of "write off" or "write down" of value is used by judges and deposit protection adjudicators for carpets, perhaps somebody here will know?

Having said that, I would have thought that 7 years would be likely to result in full write off . S

Standard depreciation for accounting purposes is 25% per annum so after 7 years a £1,000 carpet would only have a book value of £133 anyway.

What do you think might happen if you simply reject their request?

Sally T

16:47 PM, 23rd September 2013
About 7 years ago

7 years is an excellent length for a tenancy and I think that after that time you would want to replace them anyway, especially if you were putting the house on the market. I'd just let the tenant replace them with whatever they want to keep things ticking over. Maybe it would be better if the new carpets weren't wool as it would prevent the problem returning.

Nick Faulkner

17:48 PM, 24th September 2013
About 7 years ago

I would say it is quite a difficult problem and if it occurred I would find it hard to blame the tenant.....although from what I read on Property 118some landlords seem to blame their tenants for everything they can think of.
I say it is difficult because we have had these pests in our own home.... in a room that is vacuumed daily. How they got there I have no idea but made a real mess of the carpet under a hi-fi unit.
If if was my tenant I would pay for the room to be fumigated and replace the carpet...probably as Mark says with a synthetic.

Jay James

18:00 PM, 24th September 2013
About 7 years ago

oh dear a LL basher that thinks the PRS is the opposite way to reality

Mark Alexander

18:10 PM, 24th September 2013
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jay Jay" at "24/09/2013 - 18:00":

Who is that comment addressed to Jay Jay?

Jay James

18:11 PM, 24th September 2013
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "24/09/2013 - 18:10":

one above, ie NF, happy to remove it if you think its best

Jay James

18:12 PM, 24th September 2013
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "24/09/2013 - 18:10":

NF, happy to remove it if you think its best

Mark Alexander

18:25 PM, 24th September 2013
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jay Jay" at "24/09/2013 - 18:12":

LMAO - I have known Nick Faulkner for 25 years. He was one of the portfolio landlords I turned to for advice when I first started out. I have checked his email address, which I can do from this end, and it's definitely the same person.

Don't be too quick to judge, there's a lot we can all still learn from Nick.

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