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One of my roommates is moving out after renting from me for two years. I’ve had a good run at keeping this room occupied for 78 consecutive months or about 6.5 years(including the two years from the roommate who is moving out). From a live-in landlord’s perspective, this is outstanding, especially when the roommates are ultra-reliable in paying rent in-full and on-time.

Having the room rented out for 6.5 is great, but on the other side of the spectrum, roommates do put wear and tear on the room to the point where I need to invest some money to keep up with it. When I first rented out this particular room, the carpet was practically brand new. Over the 9 years I’ve been renting the room out, it’s showing its age. I’m not going to take anyone’s security deposit as I’m attributing the dirtiness as normal wear.

Now the question is: do I get it cleaned or just replace it? I’m leaning towards the latter because the opportunity is right and the price is affordable at about $335 installed. I would be responsible for disposing of the existing carpet and padding. Alternatively, I could pay a professional carpet cleaner for $154 or rent a steam cleaner it and myself for $30.

I already committed the $35 to have it measured and replaced. I’m leaning towards replacing it because it’s something that would eventually have to be done and I might plan to live in the room during the summer months. I also pride myself on providing a clean room to rent and by replacing the carpet that would definitely hold true.

One thing for sure, if I’m going to have a professional clean it, I’m better off replacing it for twice the money. I’m not sure having it professionally cleaned prolongs the life of the carpet. If anyone can provide input, I would be grateful.

Here’s a few pictures of the room after my roommate moved out.



How has your spare room looked after your roommate moved out? Do you steam clean or professional clean the room after each roommate moves out?


I’ve migrated the blog to a new host so I’m still working out the kinks

  • June March 4, 2015, 9:59 pm

    Hi Mike,
    Pro steam clean, annually if necessary. Frankly i dislike wall to wall carpet…difficult to keep clean and thus needs to be changed out frequently.Many of my rooms, laid out porcelain tile with thin grout lines, some folks use their own area rugs over it. If the grout gets really dirty, i regrout, much cheaper for me in the long run. I live in warm climate so tile works well.
    I would change the carpet. Thank you for sharing!

  • yola tomas March 4, 2015, 10:30 pm

    Replace it. I’ve tried to clean them and stains are hard to lift. I think you have had a good run.

  • pat b. March 5, 2015, 1:15 am

    The problem with carpet is that the dirt gets under the pad and when you clean the carpet it looks great at first and then the dirt rises back to the surface,especially stains.If you have ever replaced a carpet yourself you know what I mean,there can be a layer of fine dirt under the carpet pad which is impossible to get out.
    For the amount of time you have rented this room I would gladly replace the carpet or go with another type of flooring,such as tile or hardwood.
    On another note, when I rent out a room I always allow kitchen prividges,so long as they are willing to clean up after themselves,which is clearly stated in the agreement I have.The one thing I left out of the agreement was that eating in the room is not ok,or any kind of cooking,like microwave,toaster oven etc. and no small refridgerators for storing food or drinks.
    Live and learn!

  • Minna March 5, 2015, 3:48 pm

    Hi Mike,

    I think it’s a matter of finances, it you have the money to spare you may want to replace it but this time you might want to look into those carpet squares. They make really nice ones and that way if one or two get damaged you can just change those. If you have the time you might want to see if renting a steam cleaner from the local grocery store will do the trick. With a can of heavy carpet stain cleaner and the steam cleaner it might come out fine in the short term. It’s expensive to pay to have the room and steps replaced with new carpet so you may want that to be your last resort. Good luck!

  • Luke Groen March 6, 2015, 12:53 pm

    I haven’t dealt with it yet because I just started having room mates. I imagine if it get’s real bad, I’ll just replace it. I wonder if it would be best to install wood floors or a type of laminate and let tenants use their own area rugs if they’d prefer. Anyone done laminate in rental bedrooms?

  • Amanda June 23, 2015, 4:57 pm

    if i rent a room from someone is it my responsibility to clean the restroom and kitchen or just clean after myself??

    • Mike June 23, 2015, 7:28 pm

      You should share the responsibilities with your roommates. Set this expectation when you show your spare room and before your roommate moves in.

  • Sophie November 5, 2016, 5:43 pm

    I’m surprised that you do not own a carpet cleaning device.

    I think 9 years is a pretty good run for a carpet, so I’d still say replace it. However, I do own a carpet steamer myself and I always clean carpets between room mates. It just gives the room a fresh and clean smell and gets rid of any of those lingering (but not terribly unpleasant) personal smells that people tend to leave behind. In the long term, it prolongs the life of the carpets as well and I find it comes greatly in handy in my hallway, which gets the most wear from extra people in the house.


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