Installing Blinds – Whose Obligation

Recently a tenant called complaining there are no window blinds in their unit. We told the tenant that the owner is not willing to put up window blinds and that the blinds were not part of the offer. This issue should have been raised before the move in for the owner to accept or reject. Still the tenant felt it was the landlord’s obligation.

Is the tenant right?  There was no request made prior to leasing and the lease is silent on  who is responsible for putting up blinds.

So – Who has the Responsibility for Installing Window Blinds in Rentals? The Landlord or the Tenant? Is there a law which requires the landlord to provide window blinds?

Per Florida Statute, at the beginning of a residential rental lease, the landlord (or its agent) must make sure window screens are installed and in reasonable condition, and management must repair screens once annually. Although there is only a yearly obligation to repair or replace screens, it is recommended that the landlord up – keep the screens throughout the year, to avoid potential code enforcement/inspection issues.

The statute specifically states – the landlord, at commencement of the tenancy, must ensure that screens are installed in a reasonable condition. Thereafter, the landlord must repair damage to screens once annually, when necessary, until termination of the rental agreement.

However there is no language in the Florida statutes that requires that the landlord to provide window blinds.  That is a cosmetic improvement. So unless there is a local municipal building or housing code or ordinance requiring it – the Florida statutes do not. And if the property is a single-family unit, the landlord can modify the written lease requiring the tenant to be obligated to comply with code.  In the past, I recall looking at Miami Dade municipal code and blinds were NOT an obligation of the landlord – rather it is solely a product of what was negotiated in your lease.

Bottom line – Tenant should have negotiated this upfront. Remember you are renting an unfurnished property, not a furnished property.                               Installing window blinds in rentals are not the responsibility of the landlord unless there is special stipulation in the lease.

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Posted by: marvinkatz on February 13, 2015