Dust mites & Dr's note
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Dust mites & Dr's note (by Manks [CA]) Aug 13, 2012 2:57 AM
       Dust mites & Dr's note (by George [NJ]) Aug 13, 2012 4:21 AM
       Dust mites & Dr's note (by frank [NY]) Aug 13, 2012 4:22 AM
       Dust mites & Dr's note (by RV [CT]) Aug 13, 2012 4:32 AM
       Dust mites & Dr's note (by pattyk [MO]) Aug 13, 2012 5:50 AM
       Dust mites & Dr's note (by CC [VA]) Aug 13, 2012 9:09 AM
       Dust mites & Dr's note (by Reid [KS]) Aug 13, 2012 10:43 AM
       Dust mites & Dr's note (by Blue [IL]) Aug 13, 2012 11:12 AM
       Dust mites & Dr's note (by Janet [KY]) Aug 13, 2012 11:27 AM
       Dust mites & Dr's note (by Kathi [OH]) Aug 13, 2012 12:35 PM
       Dust mites & Dr's note (by Moshe [CA]) Aug 13, 2012 3:06 PM
       Dust mites & Dr's note (by Hollis [MA]) Aug 13, 2012 6:11 PM
       Dust mites & Dr's note (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Aug 13, 2012 10:11 PM
       Dust mites & Dr's note (by Kathi [OH]) Aug 14, 2012 6:55 AM

Dust mites & Dr's note (by Manks [CA]) Posted on: Aug 13, 2012 2:57 AM

My sister and I are new landlords of a building we inherited from our father. In the beginning, we had a flood of requests for improvements such as new carpet. Since the carpets were still in pretty good shape, despite being old, we turned down all of these requests except one. We decided it was our responsibility to replace carpet in one apt. that had been exposed to numerous floodings of water due to a plumbing problem in another apartment. (We DID, however, propose an option of having a rent increase of $50 in exchange for new carpet to all of those we said no to.)

It's been a few months of relative quiet. One apartment accepted the "$50 deal". But another tenant just won't give up. He has gotten a note from his child's doctor that informs us that the old carpet "harbors dust mites" and to "please allow for it's replacement". Our tenant works for Kaiser and the note happens to be from a Kaiser doctor, which I suppose it not surprising. Now I doubt that the doctor actually analyzed a carpet sample from the apartment... And from what I understand about dust mites, new carpet is not really the best solution even if their son has a legitimate dust mite allergy. But then, is it our responsibility to put in laminate floors? My instinct says "of course not" and i am tempted to put him in his place for attempting to manipulate us with a questionable doctor's letter.

How do I respond to this persistant tenant who has a tendency to get dramatic in his dealings with us? I don't really put a whole lot of creedence in his doctor's letter, but it's probably not wise to challenge him by questioning it's authenticity and such. I don't want to cave to his demands, but would agree to some kind of concession. Any suggestions? --108.200.xx.xxx

Dust mites & Dr's note (by George [NJ]) Posted on: Aug 13, 2012 4:21 AM

If he needed a ramp built or doorways widened because he was in a wheel chair, you'd have to let him do it. . . on HIS dime, tell him it's the same with the flooring. He can change it to a solid surface floor on his dime & you wont raise the rent. --71.48.xxx.xxx

Dust mites & Dr's note (by frank [NY]) Posted on: Aug 13, 2012 4:22 AM

I would change the carpet to laminate. Hard to argue with a doctors note about a child.

You as a landlord in CA might not have many "rights" and "friends" in the eyes of the law.

How many square feet of carpet in the apartment?

As a landlord you need to take some losses today to make money later. Keep of raising the rent every year and you'll make your money back in spades.

Also with the children, make sure of no peeling paint, if so, correct it today. --207.207.xx.xx

Dust mites & Dr's note (by RV [CT]) Posted on: Aug 13, 2012 4:32 AM

Get the rug professionally cleaned and sanitized. However, dust mites can come from anywhere I suppose where premises are not clinically clean. Dust from under a bed - in corners, etc. and I suppose anywhere in a house that is not kept spotless. But how many of us live in dust free conditions? And if you have forced hot air with duct work - how about the dust that accumulates there and circulates throughout the house. (filters don't always work that great)

I would tell your tenant that you can't guarantee a dust free environment and you will give him a 30 or 60 day notice to move.

Anyway, has he been a long term tenent and he is just bringing this up now because he wants a new rug?

On the other hand, it you have offered to replace any equipment or appliances in your building because they are old or shabby, it should be done without an increase in rent as a matter of upkeep and maintenance that a landlord should provide and usually done between tenants. The new tenant gets the 50.00 rent increase. That is what I would do. --72.200.xxx.x

Dust mites & Dr's note (by pattyk [MO]) Posted on: Aug 13, 2012 5:50 AM

please allow for it's replacement".

Look up the definition of "allow" - To give permission, to give someone the opportunity, accept something that is true.

The unit had carpet in it when they rented it, they had the child then. The dust mites are theirs!!

I would ALLOW them to change out the carpet at their expense providing you approve the color and installer. And please be reasonable in accepting most any brick and mortar business and any color in a mid range of light beige to dark brown or a mix. texture the same.

You may only risk if they leave, if they REALLY feel there is a health hazard they should take measures to protect themselves.

You are not their mother.

How long have they been a tenant? I would in some fashion address the letter... so you are corroborative and ALLOWING without breaking the bank and giving in to their ever wimp of taking advantage of you... most likely and you may feel this, they are just whinny because because they saw the other unit get new carpet. HOWEVER you have a responsibility now that you have receive this "doctor" letter to respond in a business and responsible manner. To tenant they may mean you should be come submissive and stupid with your checkbook... to you that means, being wise and know when you are being bullied and back in a corner... since you are aware of that, and you have seeked wise council then write a letter and post it for all of us to read,,, a letter to them that addresses the issue perhaps offer to ALLOW them to replace at their expense, carpet cleaning, or perhaps to get out of their lease. You know what you are willing to do,,, and not do. Anyway that is my 2cents worth... I'm tired of being bullied and running an orphanage,,, mature grown up adults don't submit letters from friend doctors and cry wolf... uuurrggghhh....


Dust mites & Dr's note (by CC [VA]) Posted on: Aug 13, 2012 9:09 AM

Keep in mind that if you totally cave to this tenant, you'll have the other tenants expecting the same thing. I'd stick to the $50 rent increase offer you already made, and offer either carpet or laminate. Or, as George (NJ) says, allow him to replace it on his own dime without a rent increase. Also, allow him to leave with with 30-60 days notice as RV(CT) suggested. Once you give this guy new carpet for $0 to him, believe me you'll be hit for the same treatment from everyone. --98.140.x.xxx

Dust mites & Dr's note (by Reid [KS]) Posted on: Aug 13, 2012 10:43 AM

Unless the kid lives in a climate controlled plastic bubble there will be dust mites present . New carpet or old. --108.238.xxx.xxx

Dust mites & Dr's note (by Blue [IL]) Posted on: Aug 13, 2012 11:12 AM

I would not replace with more carpet. I would replace with solid surface.

I agree that mites are everywhere!! Do they have mattresses? Couches? Then they have dust mites. --99.32.xx.xx

Dust mites & Dr's note (by Janet [KY]) Posted on: Aug 13, 2012 11:27 AM

There is nothing like a $50 increase

in rent offer to bring a silence over the


I would tell him I will offer new carpet at

at $50 increase in rent or I would be willing to have it professionally cleaned

and santized as stated above Or I always

bring a hush when I tell my tenant if they

are that unhappy they may find another

place to live just give me 30 days notice,

which they usually won't do because they can't find a house in as good of shape

as mine for the rent price.

I put carpet in the house as I can

afford it not when tenants demand it.

There are more dust mites in his kid's

bedspread, pillow, sheets, clothes ect

as there is in the carpet.


Dust mites & Dr's note (by Kathi [OH]) Posted on: Aug 13, 2012 12:35 PM

The only way to avoid dust mites is to live in a bubble. Hard surfaces help. Matresses and pillows can be encapsulated with cases made for this purpose. Have they done this. Bedding is a primary source. Housekeeping is also criticsal. Carpets and upposterred surfaces can be sprinkled with diatomaceous earth and/or boric acid (the ingredient in No Roach), brushed in, and later vaccumed with a heppa vac.

If the carpets were professionally cleaned prior to move it, and hard surfaces cleaned, they probably brought them themselves.

For more information see Bugspray dot com. --69.221.x.xxx

Dust mites & Dr's note (by Moshe [CA]) Posted on: Aug 13, 2012 3:06 PM

I am curious about how the doctor knows that the carpet "harbors dust mites".

Mites can be seen only with a microscope. He would need to look at the carpet with such an instrument, and then need to actually find some mites on the part that he inspected. You might want to interrogate him (under oath) about just what he knows about presence of mites in the carpet. The usual way that the exterminators diagnose mites is by placing glue traps around the area and examining the traps under a microscope.


Dust mites & Dr's note (by Hollis [MA]) Posted on: Aug 13, 2012 6:11 PM

Write a certified letter to the Drs office and ask if he/she indeed wrote it. (Tenant may have access to letterheads and these are used in ways more often than you think and if so, an explanation of tests used and copies of the results to how they came up with that statement.

this isn't the 50's and before,.... where all a Dr had to do is say something. Its not accepted by insurance companies or has to be anyone else if there is no rationale that can be proven.

The Drs office will seldom want to get involved very much over something like this,...

I can tell you a certified letter in a Drs office gets a lot of attention. --96.236.xxx.xxx

Dust mites & Dr's note (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Aug 13, 2012 10:11 PM

Manks - some thoughts...

-They are convinced and nothing you say will change their minds. If you don't so something, they will move and you will have $1500-3000 in turnover costs.

-I'd ask to see the note (It's probably a brochure)

-I would offer to install laminate at some increased rent. Find what they want and let them pay you for it.

-Seems half the applicants are allergic to SOMETHING so we no longer install ANY new carpet. AS the old carpet wears, we replace with hard surface flooring.

-no more shampoo bills or stains or odor!

-this is a sensitive and emotional situation. Liability! DO NOT spray any chemicals yourself. Offer to pay up to $50 and let THEM choose and spray.

-print out the bugspray. com explanation on dust mites. Stuffed animals, pets, mattresses all hold dust mites.

-if this is their first child with allergy problems, they will need to learn the many ways to protect that child no matter what is on the floor! We had a good friend who would smoke while helping her asthmatic child on his breathing machine. Duh!

-FYI More veggies and less processed food will often reduce allergy reactions. --50.129.xxx.xxx

Dust mites & Dr's note (by Kathi [OH]) Posted on: Aug 14, 2012 6:55 AM

I can just about guarantee that 99+ % of all homes have dust mites. They feed on shed skin cells. I'm betting that you'll find them in your 5 star hotels as well.

OT: Years ago I had a fiance who came back from the alergist with a diagnosis of a numbeer of alergies, one of which was to dust mites. It came with a sheet that suggested that someone ELSE should be sure that the dwelling was thouroughly cleaned at all times. He seemed very pleased about this. I baught him a respirator.

One of many reasons that he is a former fiance and NOT a husband. --69.221.x.xxx

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