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Severe issue with carpets

Wouldy
Experienced Contributor

Severe issue with carpets

I moved into a rental property just over two weeks ago. The carpet was cleaned before I moved in. The house itself us a very old house, heritage listed. 

 

One if the main issues us extremely old carpet with lots of old stains and it us work throughout. I have not stayed even one night in my house since I moved in. Just stayed with a friend while I sorted the issue. Long story cut short, the owner doesn't want to do anything about it. So, it us left up to me. I do not know what the actual smell is. I know the carpet us old. It just smells too potent to be old carpet. 

 

I'm very sensitive and the smell makes me feel sick. I have organised another carpet cleaning company to do my carpets but they can't come till May 11th due to our area and surrounds recently being hit by cyclone Seroja. 

 

So, I'm going to have to move in. I'm scared that I'm going to get ill. I don't know what to do to help with the smell until the carpet cleaners come in May. I don't want to spend money in things that won't work. The carpet has no underlay. It has always been a commercial building but actually no one will buy it. It's got too many problems and owner is asking for more than its worth. The real estate doesn't give a dam. I just want to sort my carpets so I can actually live in my place. Doing a wet carpet clean I feel is not a solution that will work either. It's already been done. 

 

Can anyone help? Thanks. 

MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Severe issue with carpets

Hi @Wouldy,

 

Was the smell present before the carpet cleaning? If not, I suspect the property was closed up after the cleaning, and due to there being no ventilation, it hasn't had an opportunity to dry out. Damp carpet in an enclosed environment always develops a potent smell. It takes up to four hours for the carpet to dry adequately, and if the property is closed up within this time, the moisture has nowhere to go.

 

If this issue has occurred due to wet carpets, another wet clean with shampoos and deodorisers could assist. You'd want to explain the situation to the new company and request they make sure all residual water is sucked out of the carpet. You'll then need to ensure the property is well ventilated during the drying process. Alternatively, we hire Britex Carpet Cleaners, which can be used in suction mode to remove excess water before the drying process begins. However, most of the water has likely dried out at this stage, and only the lingering smell remains. Another wash with cleaners might be necessary, followed by a secondary dry pass to suck out the remaining water. 

 

Once the cleaning has been completed, I suggest placing several of these Sunfresh Moisture Absorber Containers inside on the carpet and leaving all doors and windows open for at least the remainder of the day. Once the drying process is complete, it would be a good idea to go over the carpets with No Vac 549ml Vanilla Professional Carpet Cleaner, which penetrates deeply into fibres and kills tough bacterial odours trapped in the carpet.

 

I feel the most pressing issue is ventilation, and I would encourage you to open up the property as much as possible whilst still having it secure.

 

Please let me know if you have questions.

 

Mitchell

 

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TedBear
Super Contributor

Re: Severe issue with carpets

Hi @Wouldy  another viewpoint (from an ex landord):

It isn't good enough for the owner to simply disown issues that affect health in a property that they rent out. They have legal obligations to ensure that the property is fit for use. You can contact Tenancy WA  https://www.tenancywa.org.au/ for guidance on your rights and best actions to take. You may at least get the unusable rental period reimbursed. They can't evict you for doing what you are legally entitled to do.  (I assume you are in WA from your reference to the cyclone. All states have similar organisations.)

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Wouldy
Experienced Contributor

Re: Severe issue with carpets

@MitchellMc 

 

Yes the smell was present before. I am going down the road of a dry clean and not a wet clean. It's not suitable for these carpets and any carpet contractor should have known that. 

 

I decided to go down the road of using nature and food. The no vac is full of chemicals that can produce lots of issues with people that have sensitivities and respiratory issues. 

 

I will also be taking the curtains down, washing them and adding some bositos eucalyptus oil to the mix when washing. 

 

Thank you for your suggestions. 

 

Wouldy. 

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Wouldy
Experienced Contributor

Re: Severe issue with carpets

@TedBear 

 

Thanks for your viewpoint. Unfortunately horrid owners are a dime a dozen and even worse real estate's are a dime a dozen. I'm not interested in worldly laws and rights. Been down that road too many a time and nearly every single time justice has not been served. I'm not interested in the fight anymore. They are not worth my time if energy. I have asked for reductions in rent till I could move in. That was ignored. I've been blamed for the problem mostly and then it's been suggested that they may terminate lease. All because I spoke up. They are pro owner, definitely not pro tenant. I will keep gathering my evidence until they have slipped up enough, then I will mail them. As far as me having anything to do with them, I will perform my duties as a tenant. As for the rest they can stay the heck out of my life. I havn't got time for this if them anymore. 

 

Thank you for your advice. 

 

Wouldy. 

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TedBear
Super Contributor

Re: Severe issue with carpets

All ok with that. I just wanted to be sure that you knew there is a voice that will be on your side (the organisation isn't an agent) and will know what all the options are, for you to choose from. They can help take the owner to task if they do try to move you on for just wanting a fair deal. But I hope that is all unnecessary and you get that smell out ok. Best of luck.

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Wouldy
Experienced Contributor

Re: Severe issue with carpets

@TedBear 

 

Thanks for your good wishes. I'm still not in my house. I went yesterday and cleaned for four hours. It smelt really good when I was done. I had it completely airing for four hours too. Went back thus morning to see how it went. 

 

It was back to the same smell. Could not even smell any of the cleaning I did. It's like I never cleaned. I now have an environmental health officer coming out, my friend who is a certified builder and have contacted tenancyWA which is now called circle green legal. I have an appt with them tomorrow. 

 

I've been trying to figure out the smell. At this stage I'm thinking the floorboards need to be cleaned and sealed. With the carpets being fairly worn in areas and no underlay, I imagine it's a build up of dirt, grime and whatever else. 

 

The lessor is an investment company. They have only two people in this investment company. It's not easy to end my lease because there is a housing crisis here at the moment. I live in a small town. Rentals are so hard to come by now. If it is the floorboards like I suspect, it is a costly job and I think the lessor may try to end my lease if I ask for it to be repaired. The real estate already said that termination of my lease may be the next best thing after the carpet contractor came out. It's not my fault the owner has neglected the property. It's been pretty stressful. I just want to move into my home and get settled. 

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TedBear
Super Contributor

Re: Severe issue with carpets

That sounds pretty awful. I know that rentals are hard to get so you may be best to hang in there while they get it sorted, if you have somewhere to live in the meantime. The termination option should be your choice to accept or decline, not theirs. You haven't done anything wrong for them to choose to terminate it, so when they know a legal process is across the situation they will be foolish to try to do the wrong thing by you. It would make better sense financially to fix the problem for a standing tenant than release you, fix it and have to find another.  I wonder if a male cat has sprayed the carpet?? I've experienced that and it is pretty hard to get the smell out. Just a thought. 

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Wouldy
Experienced Contributor

Re: Severe issue with carpets

@TedBear I signed the lease in the 8th April. 

 

I have been staying with a friend since that date. I have not lived in my house. I have not even unpacked or set up. A carpet contractor which they organised came out and said it's not the carpet. They think it was a dead mouse. It's not a dead mouse. Therefore the owner decided to not do anything. They asked for a doctor's letter from my GP which I gave. After all this happened and they approached the owner that is when they mentioned terminating the lease. 

 

I know they can't just terminate my lease. There was no tenant in there for a long time. It was actually for sale but no one had made an offer for many years. 

 

So, the frustration of all of this has really started to get to me. I'm now as I have said getting independent advice without them. I feel the carpet needs to go and the floorboards, need to be cleaned, sealed, sanded and stained. There is some carpet that I have been able to pull back and it is absolutely filthy. I have a feeling it is the floorboards and carpet. It doesn't feel nice being made to feel I am a pest or problem for wanting the house fixed. I don't think anyone would buy it in its current state. 

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Xue
Budding Contributor

Re: Severe issue with carpets

Thanks. 

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