I’m currently in escrow on a condo in SoCal. I was really excited about the place, it’s a top floor unit with cathedral ceilings, 2 bedrooms and an enclosed loft. There’s nice laminate flooring throughout except for the second room and the loft which I didn’t mind since I plan to rent both out to house hack the place. However, when I received the CC&Rs from the HOA I noticed a clause for Hardwood Floors “If hardwood floors have been installed in an upstairs unit (except in kitchen and bathrooms) by previous owner, they must be removed and replaced with tacked down padding and carpeting prior to the close of escrow.”
Now, mind you, this was never mentioned in the listing, nor did the listing agent mention this when I made my offer. We had a discussion with the listing agent who told me that, according to the seller, when they bought the property the hardwood floors were already installed. When the HOA approached and told them to install carpet and they claimed that they could not afford to and so the HOA agreed to let it drop. My agent and I also agreed to let it drop, especially if the seller wouldn’t mention it, assuming that the HOA would probably deal with us in the same way.
Cut to yesterday when I’m going through the seller’s disclosures and lo-and-behold, the hardwood floors is listed as a known violation in the property. That changes things. My agent and I had a call with the HOA about the floors and they tell us it wasn’t some simple handshake agreement. This was a hearing with the HOA and an agreement was signed wherein the seller agreed to install carpeting if their downstairs neighbor complained or they sold the place.
So now I’m stuck with a seller who has completely misrepresented their property twice. They definitely have to replace the floors with carpet now but I don’t trust them to not put in the cheapest, ugliest carpet they can possibly find. I ask them if I can have input on what carpet they put in? The listing agent then offers, if I want to have a say in the carpet, would I consider splitting the cost?
I’m inclined to accept and split the cost of the carpet, but I draw the line at paying for any labor costs involved. I’ll help out with the materials but the removal of the laminate and the installation of the carpet should be on them. Am I being swindled here? Should I refuse to pay anything? Any insight, anecdotes, or tips would be greatly appreciated.