Window Treatments: Landlord and Tenant Responsibilities

Under California law, landlords and tenants both have certain responsibilities, some of which pertain to the maintenance of the rental property. It’s important for both parties to understand these legal responsibilities. However, for both landlords and tenants, the beauty and function of a home is a quality of life issue and an investment in long-term value. At Bay Area Vinyl Shutters, we understand the unique challenges associated with rental property maintenance and aesthetic appeal. At our location in San Jose, you’ll find shutters, blinds, and other window coverings that are built to last.

Landlord Responsibilities

The law requires landlords to make repairs and perform maintenance services that are necessary to preserve the habitable condition of the rental property. In other words, it is the landlord’s responsibility to comply with all applicable building and housing codes for the protection of the tenant’s safety and health. One common issue is mold growth. Toxic mold is a serious health problem and it can be difficult to get rid of. Landlords may wish to take a preventive approach and have custom plantation shutters installed over the windows. These allow for healthy air circulation and may be closed or opened easily to suit the tenant’s privacy preferences.

Tenant Responsibilities

Although landlords have substantial responsibilities regarding the repair and maintenance of rental property, tenants do share some of the responsibility for reasonable upkeep of the premises. California law requires tenants to keep their units clean and sanitary. Tenants must also avoid willfully or wantonly damaging or destroying any part of the structure. This requirement extends to structures such as plantation shutters and any other window coverings that the landlord had installed, such as custom window shades or blinds. For example, it is the tenant’s responsibility to keep these window coverings reasonably clean and to protect them from damage beyond normal wear and tear.

Normal Wear and Tear

California housing laws establish a broadly defined concept of normal wear and tear. If a tenant damages a structure of the rental property beyond the point of normal wear and tear, then the tenant is responsible for paying for the repair or replacement of the structure. The landlord is legally allowed to deduct the costs from the tenant’s security deposit. On the other hand, if the damage falls under the concept of wear and tear, it is the landlord’s responsibility to fix it before renting out the property to the next tenant. For example, if the paint on the shutters has begun to wear away, this would be considered normal wear and tear. If there are large tears in the window shades, the landlord can reasonably expect to deduct the cost of replacement shades from the security deposit.

When it’s time to spruce up your rental properties, you can put your trust in Bay Area Vinyl Shutters in San Jose. Call us at (888) 697-7186 for customized and affordable solutions for every window.