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Posts: 33
Reply with quote  #1 
The carpet is three year old. No pets so far. The previous tenant who lived one year had furnitures/belongings from the cat house. Now the new tenant complains that she sneezes and asking if the carpet can be changed (indicated they can share the cost of material+labor).

What is the landlord obligation? Can tenants sue me and come after compensation because of allergy?

If replacing the carpet (with laminate or tile), who should pay for it? I have no intention to spend money to replace 3 yr old carpet.

Does the previous tenant (with furniture from cat-keeping houses) have any responsibility? 
claims 99% allergen are gone. Is this really effective?


Posts: 246
Reply with quote  #2 
I don't think you're obligated to make any changes but if the tenant is really suffering then you should either (1) take them up on their offer to split the cost of removing/replacing the carpet or (2) let them out of the lease.  You can try professional cleaning but cat odors are tough and it may not work.

I doubt you can go after the previous tenant at this point.

AccidentalRental - Helping Homeowners Become Landlords


Posts: 74
Reply with quote  #3 
Cat odors are not the cause of allergies.  The usual culprit is bacteria in the cat saliva that is shed onto dander and hair when the pet grooms.

Removal of the cat and a good carpet cleaning/shampoo should do the trick.  $50 if you rent a rug doctor and do it yourself.  or maybe $100 - $200 to have someone else do it.  More if tenant furniture has to be moved.

I don't think an air cleaner would help much.  

Removal of the carpet is extreme.

Unless previous tenant had cat in your home, I don't think they are liable.  I can see how sitting on a feline contaminated couch cushion could puff dander all over the room.

Carpet cleaning and wiping all dust from surfaces, window sills, walls and doorjams is the way to go.  follow by a good vacuuming with a allergy filtering cleaner bag once the carpet dries.

my two cents.


Posts: 108
Reply with quote  #4 
How long have these tenants live there? How soon after they live their did they start complaining about these issues?

You can't ask the previous tenants to pay for anything in regards to this situation.

How do you know that these new tenants allergy situation has anything to do with your unit or cats it's very possible they could have developed an allergic reaction to something else. Have they been to the doctor and being diagnosed or are they self diagnosing? I hope to God you didn't tell the current tenants about the previous tenants furniture if you did that was foolish. It's also not impossible that the previous tenants didn't sneak pets in there.

Get a professional carpet cleaning specifically for pet related situations. Do not waste your money on a rental carpet cleaner like a Rug Doctor they are the useless. Rental carpet cleaners don't have the same power and suction to remove the fluids back out of the carpet. I would not replace the carpet or the padding. If after the carpet cleaning which they can pay half, they still have an issue you can offer to let them out of the lease and or replace the carpet and padding with a rent increase.

Posts: 3,817
Reply with quote  #5 
Sounds like a medical issue that may
(or may not) fall under the ADA. If it does, you have to allow reasonable accomodations that they make at their expense, then return the property to its former condition (carpeting) once they leave. Not sure allergies would count as a disability, but that's the offer I'd make. You are not obligated to change out flooring at your cost.

Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #6 
If there are any stains on the carpet which are causing allergies, try to remove those stains as soon as possible. These tips might help you with it.
In the case of replacing the carpet, if the current tenants are responsible for the damages then they have to pay for it. Otherwise, it is the responsibility of a landlord to maintain the home, so, a landlord has to pay for it.
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