room scene of a living room with white carpets

How Often Should a Landlord Replace Carpet?

Written by: BuildDirect



Time to read 4 min

All carpets are susceptible to tearing, staining, and water damage. Even without anything disastrous happening, time itself can take a toll on the condition of the carpet, and an old and faded carpet is not something you want in a rental property.

Since landlords and property managers are responsible for maintaining the condition of the carpet, it often falls on their shoulders to replace it if something happens. How often should a landlord replace the carpet? Well, that depends.

Signs of Wear and Tear

There’s no definitive rule about when a landlord should replace the carpet. Some states have guidelines that landlords have to follow, but not all of them. With routine care and zero catastrophic accidents, carpets can last for more than ten years, but that’s not always possible.

Proper carpet maintenance can be expensive and hard to manage. It’s difficult for landlords to make this happen when working with multiple tenants and busy schedules. Routine maintenance and cleaning require the property to be relatively clean and sometimes vacant for long periods. It’s not easy to ask families to vacate the premises for something that may not seem entirely necessary.

Landlords are often forced to wait until carpets need to be replaced before they can take action. Due to the general nature of carpets and floors, there’s no set time limit for this. Our research suggests that carpets in rental properties should be replaced every seven years, on average, but that’s an estimate. It’s all dependent on the type of carpet and its condition, which changes day-to-day.

Most of the time, landlords must base their decision on the amount of wear and tear present in the carpet. Here are a few signs of wear and tear and an indication that it might be time to replace the carpet:


A guest spills a glass of wine at a dinner party. A child accidentally drops their cup of juice on the floor. Someone tracks in mud or dirt from outside. These are all things that can happen to any tenant, ultimately causing a carpet stain.

Obviously, it’s easy to remove and clean most stains. A thorough shampoo can work wonders. However, sometimes a stain or collection of stains is entirely unmanageable, and drastic measures must be taken.

Accidents happen. There’s no stopping that. Unfortunately, you can’t partially replace standard carpet. If the stains become too much, the carpet needs to be replaced.

Mold and Water Damage

There’s even less forgiveness for mold and water damage. Let’s say a pipe bursts under the bathroom sink while a tenant is at work. That causes water to flood the property, thoroughly soaking the carpets. Eventually, someone will catch this and turn the water off, but unfortunately, extensive damage has already been done.

Excess water can ruin carpet. If moisture is left for too long, it can cause mold to grow, which can negatively impact a tenant’s health. If damage happens and mold occurs, you have to replace the carpets immediately before the mold spreads.

Worn Areas

Over time, even with regular foot traffic, carpets will start to wear thin. Eventually, all the fibers will disappear, and you’ll be left with bald spots.

Once this happens, there’s no saving the carpet. And, like we already said, since you can’t partially replace carpet, you’re going to have to do a total replacement. On the bright side, if any part of a carpet gets to this point, the rest is probably not far behind, so trying to salvage it wouldn’t be a good idea, anyway.


One of the significant downsides to carpeted floors is that they are infamous for picking up and trapping smells. If moisture gets trapped under the carpet pad or in the fibers, it can create a musty or mildew smell.

If tenants smoke cigarettes indoors or their pets use the bathroom on the carpet, then these strong odors can get trapped within the carpet fibers. Once this happens, it’s challenging to get them out, which means a full replacement is definitely on the horizon. After all, no tenant wants to move into a home or office with a funky-smelling carpet.


The average lifespan of a medium-grade carpet ranges from five to fifteen years. For an apartment-grade carpet, it can be even less than five.

Carpets get a lot of everyday use, so they’re going to wear down over time and will eventually need to be replaced. This happens to most flooring materials, though carpets have a shorter lifespan than other options, like vinyl, engineered hardwood, and laminate.

When Should a Landlord Replace the Carpet?

Landlords should replace the carpets on their property when the carpets have reached the end of their lives. This is relative to its condition, the type of carpet, the cushion, the fibers, and how much use and abuse the carpet sustains on a regular basis.

If the carpet has stains that can’t be cleaned, water damage, mold, strange and intense odors, or worn-out areas, it’s time for replacement.

The Best Way to Buy Rental Property Carpet

One of the most significant downfalls of standard carpet is that it requires complete replacement when even just a portion is ruined. If you’re going to replace the carpets in your property, why not choose an innovative and more affordable solution, like carpet tiles?

Carpet tiles are a fantastic innovation that has revolutionized the way we think about carpeting. They’re easy to install, long-lasting, durable, and simple to replace. They also come in a wide variety of colors and styles, making them one of the most versatile flooring options on the market.