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Carpet, allergies, asthma and renting


pinkmint
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So we've lived in this rented house for 3 years. In the time we've been here we've discovered that our oldest and youngest both have different but very serious asthma and allergy issues. At this point we're trying to figure out how to deal with the matter of the old, cheap, dirty carpet, and that the landlord is showing resistance to working with us on replacing the floor (not on his dime, by the way, we happen to be good friends with 2 people from church-- a contractor and the vice president of a flooring company) .

 

When we moved in we weren't aware of our children's conditions (one of them wasn't born yet) and now it's becoming a bigger and bigger problem over time. To my understanding it is pretty much a no-brainer that carpeting is the worst choice for allergy and asthma sufferers. And this carpeting seems pretty bad to me. And yes we've messed it a lot but it's nearly impossible with 3 young children, a small space and wall-to-wall carpeting to stop the constant spills, vomit etc. But we clean it as much and as frequently as we can. It's still carpet though and you can only do so much to stop the accumulation of dust mite debris, mustiness etc. My oldest is severely allergic to dust mites.

 

When it comes down to it I would move in a hot second if we could. The carpet is only one of many things I don't like about this place but we are basically stuck because the rent is very low and other options to move to in our price range are not good. So basically I'm asking if it is reasonable to ask the landlord to work with us (again NOT asking him to pay for the flooring), and also asking for experience with allergies, asthma and flooring.

Edited by pinkmint
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We have two areas with old nasty carpet, but pulling it up is going to open a can of worms, so we haven't done it (the rest of the house is hard flooring). Some other options if you aren't getting anywhere with the landlord (that work to varying degrees)...

 

- a carpet cleaner (we have a Bissell pro heat for the two carpeted areas in our home, which we purchased on sale)--be prepared to run the thing frequently and to MAKE SURE you get everything dry so that you don't get mold (we turn fans on). I find that the soap usually bothers my asthma, so we cut it way down. The hot water seems to get tons of dirt all by itself anyway. Even with cleaning several times per year, the water that comes out of the carpet is beyond disgusting.

- good vacuum cleaner (hepa filter) used daily and even more than once per day if it helps

- air purifier (I have not used one, but my parents do for my dad's allergies)

- replacing carpet only in the area where they spend the most time (this is usually in the bedroom because of hours sleeping but not always)

- replacing carpet only in the most disgusting areas

- really good entryway dirt stoppers (Aldi just had some a week or two ago--the big mats are really helpful)

 

Honestly, while flooring is a HUGE issue, washing bedding faithfully and effectively (this almost always means on hot, and it may mean stripping the bed down to the mattress weekly), washing window treatments, and keeping furniture dusted and vacuumed might be just as effective. You might already be doing that.

 

Whatever happens, I would try to minimize contact with the carpeting by encouraging kids to play on a well-laundered bed, at a table, on a hard chair, etc. 

 

I hope your landlord will work with you!

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No advice, but :grouphug:  It is definitely worth asking him again.  Also, when I rented a house, something (coughcrazydogcough) happened to a portion of the carpet and I just went ahead and replaced that part of the carpet (without going to the management company) even though it didn't match the rest of the carpet in the house (color-wise it did, but the other carpet was so run down it actually looked pretty bad). Nothing happened when I moved out, I got my full deposit back.  I think the owners were going to replace the carpet to sell anyways.  If you went ahead and replaced all the carpet, what would your landlord be able to do - oh my gosh, you put NEW carpet in my house now I'm going to sue you!!  I dunno, I guess that's possible...

We don't have allergies here, but when I replaced my old carpet last month, I noticed that my cats went from throwing up daily to once every 2-3 weeks (other medical issues), so it is definitely possible that the old carpet is a major contributor.

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So we've lived in this rented house for 3 years. In the time we've been here we've discovered that our oldest and youngest both have different but very serious asthma and allergy issues. At this point we're trying to figure out how to deal with the matter of the old, cheap, dirty carpet, and that the landlord is showing resistance to working with us on replacing the floor (not on his dime, by the way, we happen to be good friends with 2 people from church-- a contractor and the vice president of a flooring company) .

 

When we moved in we weren't aware of our children's conditions (one of them wasn't born yet) and now it's becoming a bigger and bigger problem over time. To my understanding it is pretty much a no-brainer that carpeting is the worst choice for allergy and asthma sufferers. And this carpeting seems pretty bad to me. And yes we've messed it a lot but it's nearly impossible with 3 young children, a small space and wall-to-wall carpeting to stop the constant spills, vomit etc. But we clean it as much and as frequently as we can. It's still carpet though and you can only do so much to stop the accumulation of dust mite debris, mustiness etc. My oldest is severely allergic to dust mites.

 

When it comes down to it I would move in a hot second if we could. The carpet is only one of many things I don't like about this place but we are basically stuck because the rent is very low and other options to move to in our price range are not good. So basically I'm asking if it is reasonable to ask the landlord to work with us (again NOT asking him to pay for the flooring), and also asking for experience with allergies, asthma and flooring.

Wow, I was a landlord for years, and I let a tenant have the carpet replaced on his dime for a lesser reason than that.  I only asked that it be professionally installed, which it was. 

What's under the carpet?  Any chance you have hardwoods?  Ask the landlord if you could remove carpeting to go to the hardwoods, if they exist.  That would be an upgrade. 

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We have two areas with old nasty carpet, but pulling it up is going to open a can of worms, so we haven't done it (the rest of the house is hard flooring). Some other options if you aren't getting anywhere with the landlord (that work to varying degrees)...

 

- a carpet cleaner (we have a Bissell pro heat for the two carpeted areas in our home, which we purchased on sale)--be prepared to run the thing frequently and to MAKE SURE you get everything dry so that you don't get mold (we turn fans on). I find that the soap usually bothers my asthma, so we cut it way down. The hot water seems to get tons of dirt all by itself anyway. Even with cleaning several times per year, the water that comes out of the carpet is beyond disgusting.

- good vacuum cleaner (hepa filter) used daily and even more than once per day if it helps

- air purifier (I have not used one, but my parents do for my dad's allergies)

- replacing carpet only in the area where they spend the most time (this is usually in the bedroom because of hours sleeping but not always)

- replacing carpet only in the most disgusting areas

- really good entryway dirt stoppers (Aldi just had some a week or two ago--the big mats are really helpful)

 

Honestly, while flooring is a HUGE issue, washing bedding faithfully and effectively (this almost always means on hot, and it may mean stripping the bed down to the mattress weekly), washing window treatments, and keeping furniture dusted and vacuumed might be just as effective. You might already be doing that.

 

Whatever happens, I would try to minimize contact with the carpeting by encouraging kids to play on a well-laundered bed, at a table, on a hard chair, etc. 

 

I hope your landlord will work with you!

 

If you really want the carpet to be clean, the only way to accomplish this is with a truck-mounted steam cleaner.  No rentable cleaner is going to remove the allergens in the same way.   Just FYI

 

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Tranquil, we ripped up a corner of the carpet to peak and there's not hardwoods unfortunately. Looks like concrete with some wood or cardboard slats in between it and the carpet.

 

We try very hard to be reasonable tenants buy our landlord is not the best. It is well known at this point that hard surface floors are an upgrade in almost all cases. Especially compared to this carpet. I think he just doesn't want the hassle even though he won't have to pay for it or even do anything.

 

I wish we could just move but we can't.

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Tranquil, we ripped up a corner of the carpet to peak and there's not hardwoods unfortunately. Looks like concrete with some wood or cardboard slats in between it and the carpet.

 

We try very hard to be reasonable tenants buy our landlord is not the best. It is well known at this point that hard surface floors are an upgrade in almost all cases. Especially compared to this carpet. I think he just doesn't want the hassle even though he won't have to pay for it or even do anything.

 

I wish we could just move but we can't.

 

Oh, boo.  Too bad.  It's always nice to find hardwoods.

 

You will have to reattach that corner if the landlord still wants the carpet or ripples will form. 

 

Almost all landlords LOVE Allure Trafficmaster laminate (that really look like hardwood) from Home Depot.  That stuff wears like iron.  Maybe your landlord will let you have it professionally installed if he picks the color?

 

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In my experience, vacuum with a HEPA vacuum at night or when the allergic people are out of the house. It shouldn't matter with a true HEPA, but all the moving around on carpet did seem to stir things up. Do the same with furniture. Do it as frequently as you can.

 

Some of the HEPA air filters, do research to find good ones, really did seem to help. I had one in the main play area of the home, which was old ick carpet, and one in the bedroom too. He still has one in his bedroom here, even though we have hard flooring in this home.

 

I make sure all bedding and curtains in the bedroom are washed and dried on hot weekly. I have dust mite encasement on mattresses and pillows. My allergic child takes a shower before bed and changes into clean (hot wash/dry) bedclothes nightly. I saw a study that seemed to indicate that the bedding stuff didn't make a huge difference for allergy sufferers. I hope the shower improves the odds.

 

What types of allergy meds are being used? My son does zyrtec, singulair, and pycnogenol (helps asthma when allergies are a factor in studies; but it's pricey; turmeric would probably help and is lots cheaper). You really can't beat dust mites even if you get the carpet out, so hopefully she's taking stuff. Have you considered allergy shots? There are nasal sprays, some just antihistmine, that we use in big outdoor allergen seasons. The nasal stuff cascades to asthma here.

 

I empathize. If the landlord will give a bit, consider prioritizing the allergy kids bedroom.

Edited by sbgrace
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The landlord needs to realize that good laminate is going to last him much longer than cheap carpet. We rent, and over our first year here it became apparent that some of the carpets had pet odor that we hadn't noticed upon first inspection of the house. They were in our kids' rooms, so when our lease came up again we asked the landlord about replacing it with laminate. He bought the product, dh installed it. That was 12 years ago and it still looks great. Carpet would have had had to have been replaced probably twice during that time frame, so we actually have saved him money.

 

 

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I understand there's a protocol to help keep carpeting clean in allergy households... its just a lot of work for some seriously ugly old nasty carpet that no one likes anyway. I'm pushing for him to let us replace it with laminate before we go buying an expensive vacuum and spending so much time each day dealing with it.

 

DH texted the landlord again yesterday and he hasn't responded. He tends to ignore us when he doesn't want to deal with something.

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Have you ever done a don't ask/don't tell thing with this landlord?  We painted our kitchen.  It was dark wood paneling, and after a few years, it was so dark and depressing, I just couldn't anymore.  So we painted it white.  We didn't mention it to him, which was a risk, but one that turned out pretty well.  That was about 4 years ago (we've lived here 5.5).  The first time he came into the house after the paint, he asked me if we got a new light fixture, cause it was brighter in there.  Hahahaha. 

In our case, don't ask/don't tell works just fine. 

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We have two areas with old nasty carpet, but pulling it up is going to open a can of worms, so we haven't done it (the rest of the house is hard flooring). Some other options if you aren't getting anywhere with the landlord (that work to varying degrees)...

 

- a carpet cleaner (we have a Bissell pro heat for the two carpeted areas in our home, which we purchased on sale)--be prepared to run the thing frequently and to MAKE SURE you get everything dry so that you don't get mold (we turn fans on). I find that the soap usually bothers my asthma, so we cut it way down. The hot water seems to get tons of dirt all by itself anyway. Even with cleaning several times per year, the water that comes out of the carpet is beyond disgusting.

- good vacuum cleaner (hepa filter) used daily and even more than once per day if it helps

- air purifier (I have not used one, but my parents do for my dad's allergies)

- replacing carpet only in the area where they spend the most time (this is usually in the bedroom because of hours sleeping but not always)

- replacing carpet only in the most disgusting areas

- really good entryway dirt stoppers (Aldi just had some a week or two ago--the big mats are really helpful)

 

Honestly, while flooring is a HUGE issue, washing bedding faithfully and effectively (this almost always means on hot, and it may mean stripping the bed down to the mattress weekly), washing window treatments, and keeping furniture dusted and vacuumed might be just as effective. You might already be doing that.

 

Whatever happens, I would try to minimize contact with the carpeting by encouraging kids to play on a well-laundered bed, at a table, on a hard chair, etc.

 

I hope your landlord will work with you!

All of this! Get a dehumidifier to run after you clean the carpets.

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I'm a landlord, and I would advise being cautious with making changes without permission. In my case, tenants making changes to the property would be a violation of the lease that would be grounds for eviction.

 

Luckily, we have no lease.  :)

 

We had a lease the first year, but after that, no lease.  We pay a little under market rate, but we put up with a lot of questionable stuff for our neighborhood.  We have 2 large dead trees in our yard that he doesn't want to take down, we didn't complain (too much) when we had raccoons in the attic, our house is in a flood plain and settles a couple of inches a year which usually leave the doors unable to open or close, forcing the house to be jacked up periodically, and there are large gaps in the bathroom "covered" by questionable caulking.  It's, um, well, it is what it is.  We don't complain unless something is really bad, and our landlord pretty much lets us do what we want to do.  Win/win for us.

 

 

We did just do our yearly reminder email about the dead trees.  In the back of my mind, I remember threads like this, and I worry that our too-good-to-be-true situation may really be too good to be true.  Just to cover ourselves, we let him know about the issues once a year so he can't come back and say that he never knew that the roof leaked or the trees were dead or whatever.

Edited by Zinnia
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We have cheap carpeting in the living room and bedroom. We have a floor rug in the dining room. It is the bedding and comforter though that gave my oldest and me hives. If you are in a hot weather area, sunning the mattresses, blankets and the rooms help.

 

My university's dorm room was Armstrong laminate flooring. A friend in the same hall of residence helped me mop with bleach weekly in return for me helping her with weekend cooking. The dust mites were still present even with laminate flooring.

 

Good luck. Dust mites are a pain to deal with.

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I'm a landlord, and I would advise being cautious with making changes without permission. In my case, tenants making changes to the property would be a violation of the lease that would be grounds for eviction.

You would truly evict a tenant that installed much better flooring than what was in the rental and at no cost to you??

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I'm a landlord, and I would advise being cautious with making changes without permission. In my case, tenants making changes to the property would be a violation of the lease that would be grounds for eviction.

 

Same here.  My Leases forbid changes without written authorization and I would notice. 

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You would truly evict a tenant that installed much better flooring than what was in the rental and at no cost to you??

Well, that's not the point. It isn't that a tenant undertook work on the premises that happened to turn out ok. It is that the tenant simply decided he had the authority to do so despite the written proscription against making changes, and he does not own the property. If it isn't your property, you don't get to decide what goes in it.

 

And some tenants do truly terrible things to the property that cost money to remove.

 

I never permitted tenants to do work, ever. One tenant did build a paver patio outside though, and it turned out ok. But several others cost me thousands over the years.

Edited by TranquilMind
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You would truly evict a tenant that installed much better flooring than what was in the rental and at no cost to you??

I didn't say that. I'm just stating the realities of landlord/tenant relationships.

 

First, there are times that a landlord would like an excuse to evict but can't because they are committed to a lease. Maybe they know someone who would move in at a higher rental rate. Maybe they have a good friend or relative who need a place to live. Maybe the current tenant is too high maintenance. So the landlord ends up with a nicer floor, as well as a grounds to evict. I would never do that but know people who would.

 

Second, "better" is always subjective. You may feel you are improving things but your landlord may not. Just as a hypothetical--if someone ripped out the carpet and installed luxury vinyl that is popular now, thinking that it's less mess/allergens/etc., that would not be better to me in terms of re-rental, wear/tear, and overall maintenance and cost.

 

Third, there are tax implications to making improvements to a rental property, especially for larger scale improvements like flooring. It affects depreciation value and can be a headache to account for even if the installation cost is absorbed by the tenant.

 

Ultimately, it's not your house to decide what is better or not if the lease indicates you are not to alter the property. If you are like a PP who has no lease, or if you know your lease doesn't have those kind of restrictions, then of course you have more leeway. It's all about knowing what you have contractually agreed to when you signed your lease. I promise I'm not heartless (we've had the same tenants for years now so we can't be too bad), but I felt I needed to caution that to many landlords renting is nothing more than a business transaction so proceed wisely.

Edited by meena
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OP, if you are going to approach your landlord, he might be more receptive if he had explicit details about what you are requesting. Specific details including contractor name/contact info, materials to be used including material type, brand name, color, type of underlayment, installation details (ex: glue down vs nail down), will baseboards be reinstalled/repainted or replaced. All of this in writing, plus material samples if possible, as well as written confirmation that there will be no charge to landlord. As a landlord, I think this is the type of information I'd need to be sure that my tenant was serious about replacing the flooring. Otherwise I'd be wary especially when someone's offering to do something for free.

 

If this doesn't work out, for the short term you have gotten lots of good suggestions regarding dealing with the carpet. For the long term, perhaps there is someone in your church who can connect you with a better housing situation but still within your budget. I'd definitely ask for prayer and see where God leads you.

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I didn't say that. I'm just stating the realities of landlord/tenant relationships.

 

First, there are times that a landlord would like an excuse to evict but can't because they are committed to a lease. Maybe they know someone who would move in at a higher rental rate. Maybe they have a good friend or relative who need a place to live. Maybe the current tenant is too high maintenance. So the landlord ends up with a nicer floor, as well as a grounds to evict. I would never do that but know people who would.

 

Second, "better" is always subjective. You may feel you are improving things but your landlord may not. Just as a hypothetical--if someone ripped out the carpet and installed luxury vinyl that is popular now, thinking that it's less mess/allergens/etc., that would not be better to me in terms of re-rental, wear/tear, and overall maintenance and cost.

 

Third, there are tax implications to making improvements to a rental property, especially for larger scale improvements like flooring. It affects depreciation value and can be a headache to account for even if the installation cost is absorbed by the tenant.

 

Ultimately, it's not your house to decide what is better or not if the lease indicates you are not to alter the property. If you are like a PP who has no lease, or if you know your lease doesn't have those kind of restrictions, then of course you have more leeway. It's all about knowing what you have contractually agreed to when you signed your lease. I promise I'm not heartless (we've had the same tenants for years now so we can't be too bad), but I felt I needed to caution that to many landlords renting is nothing more than a business transaction so proceed wisely.

Yep, that sounds like SOP for the landlords I've had to deal with. Make no improvements ever and let the place go to sh** so the property taxes never go up.

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Yep, that sounds like SOP for the landlords I've had to deal with. Make no improvements ever and let the place go to sh** so the property taxes never go up.

Well, you've had the wrong landlords. My rentals have been nicer than my own house, and always get maintenance and upgrades first.

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I guess you get what you can pay for. This place has very low rent.

 

I can see both sides of it even though it's hard for me to relate the landlord perspective. I read a landlord forum online in my googling about this issue and landlords seem to generally see tenants as low-life scum who live to make bad decisions and must be endured for the sake of the income. It's no picnic being a tenant either. Especially when it seems like you're expected to put up with problems in the residence.

 

Maybe it is too much to ask.

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Yep, that sounds like SOP for the landlords I've had to deal with. Make no improvements ever and let the place go to sh** so the property taxes never go up.

Maybe it's different where I live, but property taxes change regardless of improvements or lack thereof. They are based on area sales comps vs. specific condition of each house. I live in a major metro area and there's no way they could yearly assess each property's specific interior condition. There's also a cap on how much property taxes increase each year.

 

I was referring to income taxes, where a house's depreciation and money invested in repairs and improvements can be used to offset the income from the property. LL are smarter to make improvements as needed to keep the tenants safe and happy while simultaneously getting the benefit of reducing their taxable income and keeping their property maintained.

 

I'm sorry that so many have had bad rental experiences. I've rented many times and have had good LL, my mom has been a property manager for 20+ years and she is wonderful to her tenants, and I feel we have been good LL. Unfortunately for too many LL, though, their tenants are just a column on a spreadsheet.

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Washing the carpet is likely to make things much worse.

 

My kids have ++ mold allergies. Any time you clean the carpets, you are adding moisture not only to the carpet, but also to the pad.  Even "dry-chem" cleaning of carpets caused issues for our kids. Just running fans or dehumidifiers is NOT enough to fully dry a pad if you live in an environment with any kind of humidity.  

 

If your issue is primarily dust mites and pollens, then if you vacuum with a HEPA and you do all of the cleaning protocols regularly, you might be able to squeak by.  One of my kids was primarily dust mites and pollens.  We didn't allow her to play with stuffed animals, we washed all bedding on hot weekly, we washed her curtains quarterly, and we didn't allow shoes in the house to track around pollen.  It was enough for her.

 

We cannot rent because of the issues that you describe.  We are in a carpet-free/leather or hard surface home and while we still have to run a dehumidifier, things are a lot easier to manage.

 

All of that said, if you would like to encourage a landlord, I would mention that what material you would install, how it would be done, and that it would be done by a professional contractor.  I'd also find a sample to show him.

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I guess you get what you can pay for. This place has very low rent.

 

I can see both sides of it even though it's hard for me to relate the landlord perspective. I read a landlord forum online in my googling about this issue and landlords seem to generally see tenants as low-life scum who live to make bad decisions and must be endured for the sake of the income. It's no picnic being a tenant either. Especially when it seems like you're expected to put up with problems in the residence.

 

Maybe it is too much to ask.

 

We've always rented.

 

I have a lot of carpet here and wish we didn't; we would never take out the carpet without the landlord's consent, even if we would prefer other flooring and would pay for the materials and installation ourselves, largely because overall I like living here and don't want to violate my lease.

 

Here are some issues to consider from the landlord's perspective:

1.  He is running a business.  He may be able to rent your property to many other tenants who are fine with the carpet, so he prefers not to risk a change in flooring (knowing he can rent it with the carpet that is there).  Because this is his property and his business, this is his decision to make and has no real moral implications either way.  

2.  You have found a way to get free flooring and installation, and while you may trust the materials provider and installer, it is possible your landlord doesn't.  In my experience most landlords have a few companies they are comfortable doing business with - they've used them before, etc.  He might not want to take a risk having someone he doesn't know install flooring.  If you offered to pay for it (that is, give him the money to pay his installer and materials provider) he would probably be more interested.

3. Different floors might seem like an upgrade to you, and might rent for more in similar houses, but have costs to him of which you're unaware.  Improving the property does probably cost him more in taxes, so even if the flooring change is free to you it may cost him more.  I know it seems heartless but if he has expected business costs and you want him to add to those costs, it's reasonable for him to refuse.

4.  Probably not relevant in this scenario, but some rental companies around here are renting homes on the behalf of the owners.  I might want to make an upgrade to the flooring but if the owners prefer the flooring they have, for whatever reason (maybe they're old and like the security of carpet, or something), the landlord can't really do anything about it - and rightly so, as the house belongs to them.

 

You do get what you pay for.  If there are actual problems you should be able to either force the landlord to fix them (if they make the place uninhabitable especially, like mold or something).  If it's just a matter of preference, that sucks - but I am not sure how a landlord is morally responsible for offering a product you prefer at a price you prefer.

 

Have you thought about moving to another area where you have more rental options, or a smaller place? (cheap apartments sometimes have laminate, but many have carpet, and they're *definitely* not changing out the flooring).  If you do convince him to let you put in the floors, be aware that he might raise the rent next lease (as the property is improved and worth more).

Edited by ananemone
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I wonder if the landlord would budge if he/she could choose the installer and the flooring (provided you paid for it). 

 

I guess I get the landlords POV, but geesh I would not give someone a hard time if they made a decent effort to come to some workable arrangement.  We once asked a landlord if we could buy new carpeting.  She said yes no problem.  We had it professionally installed.  It was far nicer than what was in there.  Maybe a little silly on our part, but that's what we wanted.

 

 

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Have you thought about moving to another area where you have more rental options, or a smaller place? (cheap apartments sometimes have laminate, but many have carpet, and they're *definitely* not changing out the flooring).  If you do convince him to let you put in the floors, be aware that he might raise the rent next lease (as the property is improved and worth more).

 

I've read a few of her posts and she has very limited options for housing. The ones that are nicer are too far away if I remember correctly and also on the other extreme of the price range.

 

 

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Maybe it sounds crazy, but my FIL installed these click wood laminate panels right over my BIL's carpet.  He did make it permenant by also gluing them together, but you don't have to glue them. They click into place and you can put them right over the carpet.  The edges near the wall might end up less than perfect looking without special trim, but otherwise this will be a removable option. 

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Maybe it sounds crazy, but my FIL installed these click wood laminate panels right over my BIL's carpet.  He did make it permenant by also gluing them together, but you don't have to glue them. They click into place and you can put them right over the carpet.  The edges near the wall might end up less than perfect looking without special trim, but otherwise this will be a removable option. 

 

I wonder why the article lists mold as a concern if you put the click wood on top of carpet?

 

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I would be cautious of putting the laminate over carpet, though, because what if moisture gets in there somehow and can't evaporate?  Mold.

 

We had molded carpets in the bathroom when we moved in here (they had carpet literally everywhere) and the landlord, who is generally pretty slow about fixing things, had a guy out in 2 days replacing it with vinyl.  I think it is because mold can ruin the subfloor and they wanted to avoid a huge expense (plus the shower had been leaking before we moved in, apparently, as it was dripping and the carpet was wet all around the shower).  

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Hah, your kids must be cleaner than mine :)  There is no area that is safe from massive wet spills in our house.

 

Ugh yeah no they aren't really. 

 

But if I had a major allergy issue and that was the only option then somehow I'd try to make that work.  Special non spill cups...no eating/drinking in certain areas upon thread of death...LOL

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I make sure all bedding and curtains in the bedroom are washed and dried on hot weekly. I have dust mite encasement on mattresses and pillows. My allergic child takes a shower before bed and changes into clean (hot wash/dry) bedclothes nightly. I saw a study that seemed to indicate that the bedding stuff didn't make a huge difference for allergy sufferers. I hope the shower improves the odds.

 

I am surprised at a study saying that--if I went a day past my tolerance level for dust mites in my bedding, I'd start coughing, sneezing, and feeling miserable within minutes of my head hitting the pillow at night! 

 

I did have to shower before bed if I was dragging other allergies with me into the bedroom (pollen, etc.).

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You are correct to understand the health problems caused/aggravated by carpeting. My late best friend and his wife had their home in TX burn down, some years ago (her Honda was in the garage and it caught fire...)   When they rebuilt their home, they had Tile Floors installed. He said the difference in cleanliness was remarkable. Prior to that, they had Wall to Wall carpeting which is more common and I suspect less expensive to buy/install.    We have Tile Floors in our house.  I remember, years ago, meeting a family here in Colombia who moved back from the USA, because their DC had so many health problems from Carpeting/Heating/Air Conditioning.    If you cannot move, and you plan to stay where you are renting now, consider paying for Tile Flooring to replace the Wall to Wall Carpeting, if that is OK with the landlord. You could vacuum and shampoo carpeting, every day, and you would never get all of the junk out of it.  It is full of filth, no matter how much one tries to clean carpeting.   Get anything you do in writing, with *nothing* ambiguous.  GL

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Yeah I've never minded carpet in terms of how it looks.  It's also relatively easy to take care of.  You just vacuum it for the most part.  But it's stunning to discover how much dirt gets trapped in them.  I have a lot of allergy issues myself.  Now we have no carpeting and what a difference that has made!

 

 

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Oh, I had this idea: you have 3 kids, right?  I imagine you get a decent tax refund (if you make $36,000 a year with 3 dependents it should be well over $6,000 - closer to $9,000 if your DH had any withholding).  Maybe with some of that $ you could offer to pay his choice of installer/materials, or split it with him?

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We have old carpet and two old chairs that are on my list of things to replace. They've been on that list for a few years. In the meantime, I resorted to trying a product that I claims to denature the protein of dust mites. It does something because I feel better after spraying them on the carpet. 

 

This one is the "non-staining" formula:

http://www.amazon.com/ADMS-Anti-Allergen-Spray-16-oz/dp/B007BR5I66?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00

 

This one has tannins that may stain: http://www.amazon.com/ADS-Anti-Allergen-Dust-Spray-oz/dp/B007BQ8OTA?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00

 

 

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The last time I walked thru one of my properties( I live out of state) the kitchen had flooring in it that was new since I had been thru it before, and I never paid for it.  

:huh:

I would let you change the floor, but yes, I would ask that it be professionally installed.  No DIY allowed. 

 

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OP, if you are going to approach your landlord, he might be more receptive if he had explicit details about what you are requesting. Specific details including contractor name/contact info, materials to be used including material type, brand name, color, type of underlayment, installation details (ex: glue down vs nail down), will baseboards be reinstalled/repainted or replaced. All of this in writing, plus material samples if possible, as well as written confirmation that there will be no charge to landlord. As a landlord, I think this is the type of information I'd need to be sure that my tenant was serious about replacing the flooring. Otherwise I'd be wary especially when someone's offering to do something for free.

 

If this doesn't work out, for the short term you have gotten lots of good suggestions regarding dealing with the carpet. For the long term, perhaps there is someone in your church who can connect you with a better housing situation but still within your budget. I'd definitely ask for prayer and see where God leads you.

 

Spot on! OP, have you given the landlord this info? Very pertinent to having a chance at convincing him!

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Just to let you know what helped my daughter.  She and her dh just moved to the States from out of the country, and are starting out living at her grandparents' (my parents') home in their basement apartment.  This is the daughter with quite severe asthma and allergies, and when, every other time she stayed at my parents' home in the past (over Christmas holidays, etc.), her asthma would kick in within hours.  

 

They were arriving broke (having just graduated from college), and my parents only ask for household help in return for living there.  It's a great deal, but we were all super worried about her asthma.  About two months before they moved up, I spent a week there cleaning. I first vacuumed with one of those really top quality vacuums (can't think of the name!).  I vacuumed everything.  The floor, the walls, the blinds, bed frame, mattress (top and bottom), sofa, chairs, everything permanent.  Then I vacuumed or got rid of every non-permanent thing:  books, shelves of DVD's, trinkets, picture frames, etc.  (Anything that could collect dust)  I especially concentrated on the bedroom.   In the bedroom, I had removed absolutely everything except the permanent furniture.  No books, trinkets, pictures, ANYTHING else allowed.  

 

Then I took hot water with a little bleach and wiped down everything.  Absolutely everything solid, that is.  Again, I concentrated more heavily on the bedroom.  There was not a single inch in the bedroom that was not thoroughly cleaned.

 

Oh, before I did all of that in the bedroom, I had removed all fabric in the room, including blankets, curtains, etc.

 

I then rented a professional shampoo from the local hardware store, and went over and over and over the bedroom carpet.  I shampooed the entire basement quite thoroughly, but far more in the bedroom and the other room that would be the main hang-out area.  I washed all curtains and bedding in hot water.  I bought a new blanket and new pillows for the bedroom.

 

I spent a lot of time cleaning and sterilizing the bathroom, every inch.  I bought a new shower curtain.  

 

The whole area had plenty of time to dry because they were't arriving for a couple months.

 

The verdict:  She is living allergy-free in their basement!  No asthma problems whatsoever.  The carpet is still the old, ugly carpet that has been through everything in the past:  many dogs, cats, young children, food spills.  But I guess everything was cleaned up well enough that her asthma seems to be in control, and it's been four months now.

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Just wanted to chime in to say I am sorry your children are dealing with the asthma and allergies. I have a child who gets asthma attacks related to whatever and it is no fun. If you do end up being able to replace the flooring, it would be nice if you could send your children somewhere else for a few days. We just replaced our very old downstairs carpeting with click-n-lock floating engineered flooring. The dust that got released into the home during the flooring change was awful. It even gave me mild breathing issues for a week afterwards and I don't have asthma. I should have worn a mask. My son had to use his emergency inhaler a few days after the carpet removal even though we made him play outside the entire day of the change and his bedroom was upstairs. Now we want to change the flooring upstairs, but I am waiting until grandma invites them to stay at her house this summer.

 

Having just taken up carpet and carpet tackstrips off concrete-which was a pain BTW, the LL may not want to change to hard flooring because if he is a fan of carpeting, reinstalling carpeting later may cost more because the carpet tacks strips are no longer there. It may not be a big deal, IDK. I wonder if he will let you get newer cheap carpeting installed. It is probably not ideal, but my guess would be new carpet and padding without a bunch of chemical treatment, if that still exists, would be better than old carpet and padding that has years of dust and dirt. Not the best option, but maybe a better one. You should have seen how nasty our carpet pad was when we removed it, and we bought the house brand new 12 years ago. Plus we are relatively clean people. I shampooed with the Bissell shampooer every 6 months and we had a pro shampoo once.

Edited by TX native
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Cheap laminate flooring and its off-gassing formaldehyde has been linked to increased asthma and other issues. There's a big federal investigation, criminal charges, and lawsuit over some of Lumber Liquidators' products for instance. You can buy test kits for it, but it's something else to be aware of should you be able to replace the floor. I would relocate the children during install and while the stuff airs out. 

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Thanks everyone.

 

I heard about the gasses or volatile organic compounds or whatever that are released by laminate. And the installation dust kicking-up process does sound like a potential nightmare for my allergic asthmatic kids.

 

I can see more where landlord is coming from even though it stinks for us. We're just telling all our friends now to keep eyes and ears out for a reasonably safe, hard surface flooring home for rent in our price range, which will not be easy to find (our price range is very low) but we're praying.

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