Moth damage

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    Moth damage

    We had a new carpet laid in July 2017, and tenants who moved in a week after.

    The tenants have now moved out, and we have found there is significant moth damage to the carpet, as confirmed by a check-out report.

    The property was generally poorly-looked after - not a slum, but badly cleaned. The tenants paid for a professional clean before they moved out.

    The carpet cost £1500 new, and we would like to charge the tenants £600 for damage caused; in reality the whole carpet will need to be replaced. They are disputing it saying that moths "are not pests" and therefore not their responsibility.

    In terms of evidence, I have an invoice showing the carpet was newly laid (and the date), and I have mid-tenancy inspection showing the carpet was fine, and I have a checkout report showing the moth damage.

    I have never had this situation before so am unsure who is right, and obviously don't want to be unfair or unreasonable. (Lesson also learned about wool carpets.)

    Any advice, greatly appreciated.

    #2
    What can you say to someone who thinks moths are not pests?

    Just let the adjudicator deal with it IIWY, though I'm surprised you only asked £600.

    BTW, You might want to discard any other carpets also, as they are sure to harbour moth eggs.

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      #3
      I would ask- 'Have the tenants damaged the carpet themselves?'

      To which of course the answer is no, it was the moth larvae.
      (Unless the tenants were moth breeders).

      Then - 'Would the moth damage have happened if the tenants were not there? Or if there had been different tenants?'.

      To which the answer is probably yes.

      So you can't realy claim that the tenants are responsible for the damage caused by the moths.

      You could try suing the moths, but claiming on your insurance is probably a better option.

      Comment


        #4
        [QUOTE=nukecad;n1075497]I would ask- 'Have the tenants damaged the carpet themselves?'[QUOTE]Or recklessly allowed damage to occur.
        Yes

        'Would the moth damage have happened if the tenants were not there? Or if there had been different tenants?'.
        Woollen carpets are fairly common.
        Very few are seriously damaged by moths.
        So I'd say no and no.

        If the damage was hidden by furniture I might think differently.

        I'd spray the rest of the carpets and replace this carpet as soon as possible.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          #5
          Was it a wool mix or solely artificial fibre?

          Comment


            #6
            It was a wool mix - supposed to be hard-wearing. Damage is on the stairs, mainly.

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              #7
              If you spray the other carpets rather than discard them, I would ask for the cost of that also.

              (Though sadly in my experience, it is pretty impossible to get rid of moths without discarding all fabrics that might harbour eggs.)

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                #8
                Probably insufficient vacuuming. Which is why the whole idea that some folk have that you should leave tenants alone, and the only thing that matters is that they return the property in the (apparent) state they found it -- is rubbish.

                A carpet that has not been vacuumed for 2 years and is returned vacuumed is not in the state they found it. Even if it looks so.

                A garden that has not been weeded, and suddenly has some weeds removed a days before the end of the tenancy - might look ok, but still has millions of weed seeds that were not there before.

                Hopefully you have some interim reports in which you state that the place is not being cared for.

                Comment


                  #9
                  The condition that they found it "less fair wear and tear".

                  I totally agree about a carpet not ever being vacuumed not being fair wear and tear, but I can't see how you can do anything about weed seeds (having just been weeding!)

                  Substantial moth damage isn't fair wear and tear, one small bit of damage, fair enough - can't be 100% moth proof.
                  When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                  Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post

                    Hopefully you have some interim reports in which you state that the place is not being cared for.

                    I have an interim report saying that it is in "fair but messy" condition, but that explicitly notes that the carpets are in good condition. I also have the invoice showing the carpets were laid 2 months before the tenancy started (and the property was vacant during that time). The interim report was 16 months after the start of the tenancy, and no moths at the time, so clearly not inherited.

                    It seemed unkind to try to claim the full amount, but I'm sort of wishing I had now, after reading all this.

                    I have never gone to dispute resolution with DPS before - if you provide evidence, are they usually fair?

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                      #11
                      I think there's no problem with settling with tenant for a lower amount, by telling them that you intend to claim a higher amount from the adjudicator. (My stupid tenant wouldn't settle, so I did actually get more money from the adjudicator.)

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                        #12
                        Moth eggs could have been introduced whilst in carpet wharehouse, (all you can eat buffet for moths etc), but stairs only does suggest T lack of vacuuming, wear IMO.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by JK0 View Post
                          (Though sadly in my experience, it is pretty impossible to get rid of moths without discarding all fabrics that might harbour eggs.)
                          And even then you need to treat the new carpet because eggs/larvae are likely to remain in the property.

                          Use a spray that contains permethrin, And do not wash carpet afterwards.
                          (I get mine from camping shops: sold to treat mosquito nets and clothing)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            There is also the point that had the tenant informed you when they first noticed the moths then remedial action could have been taken earlier, lessening the damage - that is acting in a teannt like manner, ignoring the issue, just not seeing it, is not.

                            Comment

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