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Ask an Expert: Do I have to follow the 80% carpet rule if I have asthma?

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By Teri Karush Rogers  |
November 15, 2011 - 1:48PM

Q.  I live in an apartment with wood floors. Recently my downstairs neighbor complained to the management that I am making too much noise walking around, and management has said that I must cover 80% of my apartment with rugs.   

However, I have a history of asthma and my doctors have recommended that I don't live with carpets.

Do I still have to put down rugs? 

A. Most likely, yes, say our experts.

"There are plenty of hypoallergenic rugs out there," says real estate lawyer Steven Sladkus, whose firm recently worked on a case like this. "Some people have even put in astroturf."

Though most hypoallergenic rugs are somewhat more expensive than regular rugs, they are not prohibitively so, notes real estate lawyer Dean M. Roberts. That means that you probably aren't entitled to a 'reasonable accommodation' as set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act, which would excuse you from the carpeting requirement.

If it's any consolation, notes property manager Thomas Usztoke, "All types of flooring require cleaning to mitigate any form of bronchial triggers. Some reports state hardwoods, no less than soft carpets, may even require more attention."


Trouble at home? Get your NYC apartment-dweller questions answered by an expert! Send us your questions. 

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Teri Karush Rogers

Founder & Publisher

Founder and publisher Teri Karush Rogers launched Brick Underground in 2009. As a freelance journalist, she had previously covered New York City real estate for The New York Times. Teri has been featured as an expert on New York City residential real estate by The New York Times, New York Daily News, amNew York, NBC Nightly News, The Real Deal, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and NY1 News, among others. Teri earned a BA in journalism and a law degree from New York University.

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