Landlord charging me for carpet because of smell...

Discussion in 'Growing Marijuana Indoors' started by slimjimham, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. So we lived in this place for 5 years, I grew in it (6 plants) for about 8 months

    I steam cleaned the carpets before I moved out.

    Now she's saying she's charging me 300 (half the cost of a new carpet) because there's a marijuana smell in it. I say bs.

    Should I let it go or take her to small claims?

    I figure if there really was a marijuana smell which I don't think there is that she should have spent $125 to get it professionally cleaned, not buy a new carpet.

    I'm also legal... What do you think?
  2. You could always go back and check yourself. I say bs though because weed smoke isnt that bad especially when you have ventilation
  3. If you are not concerned about being upfront about it, put the pressure on her. She probably assumes because she said marijuana you won't fight her, but if you are legal, and you really think she is wrong, fight her.
  4. The smell may not have even been coming from the carpet. I used to smoke in my bedroom for years before I had children. When I had my first child my husband and mother surprised me by cleaning the whole house top to bottom and setting up the crib. (I had a really rough pregnancy and the baby came early, so I wasn't very prepared). Anyway...they steam cleaned and bought all new bedding, but the room still smelled like pot until they washed the walls. The smoke and smell from growing once in there had permeated the walls. Some 409 and a lot of elbow grease did the trick. You could offer to clean the house and make it free of smell, which would save her the $300 that would be her half of a new carpet. But then if you fail to get it stink free you might be shit out of luck and still have to pay for the carpet. I'd suggest to clean the walls and use a rug Dr with full strength solution if you can.
  5. Well that's the fucked up thing, I did use a rug dr, and I'd offer to clean the walls but she put people in it the day we moved out. So there was no down time, even for her to clean the place. Out with us (after 5 years) and in with them...
  6. Sorry man, that sucks but not much you can do. Even if you're a MMJ patient, your landlord has final say over if you can smoke or grow on the property. They're pretty much within their rights unless you had prior permission to smoke and grow there.
  7. Well actually I don't know what your rental agreement was. If you put down a deposit then that was supposed to cover things like carpet and small damages. You may want to double check your renters agreement and look for loopholes. But I doubt the law will be on your side if it went to court.
  8. Challenge it. Forget the source or suspected nature of the odor, that is irrelevant. The landlord says there is an odor, you say there isn't. Present your receipt for steam cleaning. You also may check the internet for renter's rights forums or such, after 5 years the landlord should not be allowed under the law to expect the carpet to be fresh, that's a lot of "normal" wear and tear time, so now it is time for the owner to at least clean it, if not outright replace it.

    There isn't a downside to filing in small claims other than the filing fee (usually around $30-$40). Be totally calm and respectful throughout. Stick to the facts that relate to the security deposit, don't get into any sideline distractions about how the landlord didn't do a good job of repainting the hallways 3 years ago or whatever. Watch a few of those TV court shows and notice how the people who get high and mighty always look bad and the ones who remain calm and respectful look good.

    My guess: the judge will hear two sides of the story, shrug, then split it down the middle and order her to give you the deposit back less $150, half the cost of the new carpet.
  9. #9 JimmyJackson, Aug 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2011
    Small claims fee would be very small in comparison to whatever your landlord is trying to claim.

    Edit: Sounds like shes just trying to get you to help her foot the bill on HER new carpet upgrade to HER property. Greedy bitch.
  10. I'd take Toast's advice, it's sound.
  11. That's what security deposits are for. If you didnt have one, I'd cough up the 300 bucks (which is only half of the cost, seems fair)

  12. Well its her fault for letting ppl move in the day after, there is supposed to LEGALLY be time for her to check the place and make sure its up to par for the next client.. So her fault she can take u to court she wont win
  13. *Many* (if not all) states consider carpet replacement, under the 'normal wear and tear' category... after 5 years, a landlord should expect that he may need to paint some walls, and replace some carpet for the next tenants.

    In other words, if you made one you should be having your security deposit returned, even if the carpets need replacing.
  14. I'm surprised nobody else has latched on to the fact that there are people living there.

    The smell is supposedly so bad that the carpets need replaced, but there are already tenants?

    Take her to court. You'll win.

    You may even want to have a friendly chat with the new tenants. If they say there is no smell, she'll lose in court and she'll know it. She'll probably just give up.
  15. #15 mjmama25, Aug 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2011
    That isn't true exactly true. MMJ patient or not, he had no legal rights to grow in an apartment. The source of the smell is relevant. If they said it smelled like fish, he could say that he paid a deposit to cover that. But growing there was breaking the law and he could get his card yanked if she wants to be a bitch about it.

    I don't think its right. I hate how little rights MMJ patients have. But I'm the type to err on the side of caution. I'd rather pay a few extra bucks that risk losing my card or having legal problems.
  16. It's relevant or irrelevant --- to what? I agree it is very relevant if she wanted to kick him out of the place because he is growing there. But now that he's moved out, all that is left is the liability for any damage, after the fact. I don't think how the smell got there or what kind of smell it is supposed to be is relevant. Once he has moved out, either the place is habitable or it isn't, it's rentable or it isn't, and if it isn't then who's fault is it and what is the cost to get it right.

    I missed that they already had new tenants in there -- all the better. Sounds like the claim for odor came up after the new tenants moved in. If so, what's to say that the new tenants didn't cause the odor? Why did they move in at all if the place already stunk?

    OP, if you google terms like "average carpet life" and "landlord replace carpet" and similar you can finds tons of discussions and even "official" recommendations of carpet life in the 5-year range for an apartment. I assume it was never replaced while you lived there?

    Sounds like the sequence of events is: you move out, new people move in, new people complain of odor, landlord figures you should pay for new carpet. Some steps got skipped. Was there an official check-out (you and the landlord walk through)? Did the landlord attempt to clean the carpet once this supposed odor was an issue?

    If the judge allows the issue of whether the OP was growing or not, the OP doesn't have to answer under the Fifth Amendment.
  17. My point is just that if he fights her and wins about the smell and having already paid a deposit, she might be so pissed she reports him for illegally growing on her premises and it could cause legal problems for him, like his card getting yanked. It wouldn't be fair if that happened, but I've seen a lot of unfair things happen to MMJ patients. In a fair world, what the type of smell it was wouldn't matter. I'm not trying to be argumentative. I would love for him to fight for his rights and win. I'm just a bit more cautious. Ill get really sick without MMJ and have a lot to lose if I get my card yanked. He might be in a better position to fight things.
  18. If someone rats on someone else, doesn't their story have to be credible before anyone takes action? Otherwise everyone would be narcing out everyone who ever looked at them sideways, just to fuck with them. If the landlord did try to make a complaint, they would ask what it is based on. The fact that her complaint is coming after he has moved out already, having lived there for five years without prior MJ-growing complaints (I assume), she just lost a lawsuit trying over the security deposit on this very issue, and (I assume) she never otherwise saw or was aware of a grow while he was living there, seems to me that her complaint gets brushed aside. raise a good point in general about poking a dog with a stick, maybe the OP could fight it and win but I agree he should ask the question if prevailing is worth it, or should he just forego the $300 for the peace of mind of keeping the old landlord quiet.
  19. I would just ignore her and if she wants to pursue you, then she can. Keep the receipts from the steam cleaning if you paid for it and tell her to stop harassing if it gets too bad.
  20. He can't just ignore her if he wants his deposit back...

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