Windows: We Got You Covered!
Imagine this scenario: you found a great deal on an apartment unit and have found time to check it out and inspect everything. The unit looks bright and colorful; you are about sold on the concept of living there. You make your way toward the window to get a glimpse at the view, reach for the curtain and…it is literally a bed sheet hanging from a clothes hanger substituting for a curtain rod. Tacky, poor, and cheap? Yes. Something the landlord is legally obligated to fix for tenants? Not really.
As a landlord, you can technically get away with having a sheet on a stick as a curtain. You are not legally responsible to provide much more than that; anything beyond is merely an act of kindness on your part. California law states that landlords must provide tenants with unbroken window panes and intact window screens.
Despite the foreseen opportunity to save a couple bucks, providing suitable window coverings for your tenants has enough benefits to make it a priority when renting a unit out. Many apartment complexes provide at least plastic blinds. This makes blinds or curtains more-or-less the standard when searching for apartments to rent. Think of the scenario we made up in the beginning: if you were that prospective tenant, would you feel like you are getting your money’s worth with the rent? Or does the sense of cheapness start to make you question the value of something you’ll potentially have to sign a lease on?
On the other hand, assume the tenant does not mind installing curtains themselves. Maybe they were planning on having custom draperies anyway to match a certain look of the room. The risk there is that they could potentially hang something blindingly distracting to pedestrians looking from the outside. This could be in violation of your Owners’ Association guidelines. The landlord in this case is responsible for incurred fines, NOT the tenant. Lastly, choosing suitable curtains or blinds can help prevent sun-bleaching any areas sunlight will be touching during the hours of the day: carpet, hardwood floors, etc. It is in the landlord’s best interest to maintain these as long as possible to avoid having to replace them whenever the tenant decides to move out.
While it may not be legally required, providing suitable window coverage to potential tenants is almost industry standard. It is a basic luxury that many want included when moving into a new apartment. Providing this luxury should act as value for your prospective tenant. It lets them know that their privacy is important when attempting to sell them on this unit. Let them know that day or night, rain or shine, you have them covered.