Can my landlord force me to pay for replacement blinds/shades?

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Can my landlord force me to pay for replacement blinds/shades?

I have rented an apartment for 7 years now and the blinds have been replaced several times. I am now being told that I will have to pay $20 per blind to replace them if they are damaged or not working. They require the blinds be clean and in working order as par our lease, can they force me to pay even though the are standard in each unit?

Asked on August 19, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) If you damage the rental property or its appliances, attachments, etc. --such as blinds--you can be required to pay to repair or replace them. You don't need to pay to "upgrade" them or make them better than they had been, but you do need to repair damage.

2) Since the apartment is in your control, if they stop working while you're in possession, the assumption is your are responsible for  the damage, unless you can show that it instead was caused by persons not under your control and for whom you are not responsible--like the landlord's super.

3) Normally, you do not need to pay for normal cleaning--i.e. to take care of the usual grime and grunge from ordinary wear and tear--though you would have to pay for cleaning occasioned by your acts--e.g. if you somehow spilled red wine or grease on the blinds. However, if your lease specifies that the blinds need to be clean, etc. that is enforceable.


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