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Old 09-28-2005, 06:20 AM
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Default Landlord Tip of the Week - 1/7/02

Can a Tenant remove wall-to-wal
carpeting?<br><br>Q: My tenant installed wall-to-wall carpeting in my
rental. Now he's moving and wants to take it with him.
Can he do that?<br><br>A: No. The wall-to-wall
carpeting is a fixture. Unless you agreed otherwise, the
tenant cannot remove the carpeting from the
house.<br><br>Fixtures are items that were once personal property which
have been installed in, or attached to, land or a
building constructed on the land. Fixtures are also things
which cannot be removed without damaging the structure,
such as something that was attached with cement,
plaster, nails, bolts or screws.<br><br>It also may be an
item that designed specifically for the property on
which it sits. So things such as wall-to-wall
carpeting, custom-designed draperies, screens, Venetian
blinds and tool sheds qualify. But a window-mounted air
conditioner would not. Nor, for that matter, would anything
installed by the tenant to make the dwelling more
comfortable and attractive during the lease period qualify,
such as pictures on the wall and throw
rugs.<br><br>One warning: if your tenant was conducting a business
on the premises, the situation is different. The
fixtures the tenant used in the business are trade
fixtures. As such they may be removed from the premises at
any time prior to the expiration of the lease. But,
if the tenant damages the property in removing the
fixture, he must repair the damage. If the fixture is not
removed before the lease is up, the fixture could be
yours. If you don't want it, or if it detracts from the
value of the property, you could remove it yourself and
deduct it from the security deposit.<br><br>Trade
fixtures might include automobile repair equipment,
counters, showcases, shelving and such.
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