Asking landlord to pay for improvements

ciyraMarch 24, 2008

I have rented an apartment in a 1940s era house. None of the windows have screens on them, which is an issue since I live in an area that gets 100+ degrees during the summer and open windows are key to keeping the house from turning into an oven. I only have a swamp cooler, so during the hottest months of the year it will be useless. I'm not willing to let every bug in to the house through my open windows. Also, as a single woman living by myself in a ground level apartment in a fairly busy urban area, I don't think that it would be safe.

These windows are original to the house, so there are no prefabricated frames that I could purchase. I have to order them custom made to fit. I'm willing to take the time to order them and have them installed. I have no intention of ordering anything that would look cheap or detract from the appearance of the house.

Is it fair to ask my landlord to cover all or part of the cost, since this is something I would leave there after I moved out?

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Of course ask him - there may even be laws to cover something like that, but don't approach him as if you were asking for a 'favor', do it in an almost indignant way, saying you hadn't realized there were no screens, and can't possibly live without them, yada yada. Don't even talk money - it's his place to provide the basics and I think screens definitely qualify.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 6:29AM
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Also, as a single woman living by myself in a ground level apartment in a fairly busy urban area, I don't think that it would be safe.

I don't think any screen you buy, even a custom-made one, is going to keep you safe at night.

You should have bars on any window you plan to leave open while you're sleeping--even if it's on the inside.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 11:32AM
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A screen is not going to keep you safe if they really want in. screens do keep the bugs out and if it was someone that did not want there entrance heard or seen a screen may discurage them. now here is the thing about your landlord paying for them. some states or cities require them and part of the code for rentals. you didnt say what state or city you are in. In pennsylvania its not in the landlord tenant act but the city of Harrisburg requires working windows and screens. worst case you may have to get some of those adjustable one you close the window sash one at the hardware store.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 12:02AM
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Just get the adjustable screens from the hardware store, no big problem and they arent that expensive.
As for safety, you shouldn't have rented a first floor apartment then.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 1:24PM
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ciyra, you rented without screens and knew that. No matter how nice you think they might look, you can't install anything without the landlords permission because you don't own the house.

You are renting a 1940s era house with original windows. Talk to the landlord. He might have the original wood screen frames.

If not, when I rented the first floor of an 1800s house with no air conditioning, I cut some 1x1 wood, made a square and stapled screen to it. They cost me maybe $20.00 for the entire house. I would open the windows, put my screens in, close the window on top of it and enjoy the bug less air.

Yes, when the windows were closed I had my screens to deal with but that was small thing and anyone who saw them said I was smart for thinking of such a simple solution.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 6:58PM
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One little note of caution - If you have cats, they are masters at pulling screens out or just tearing through them, so I'd be ultra careful about what I did put in the space. There is a kind of extra-strong 'pet' screen you can get at the hardware, but the frames still need to be fastened very well.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 8:20PM
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Your message reads as if you live in Arizona (100+ degree weather). If that's the case, I've provided a hyper-link to tenant law in layman's terms for residents of Arizona. You may want to check § 33-1324 (landlord's responsibility to maintain fit premises) and § 33-1363 (self-help for minor defects). Hopefully, you've got a half-way decent landlord who isn't a jerk.

Here is a link that might be useful: Arizona Tenant Law in Plain English

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 1:12AM
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I wouldnt replace them because theyll just get stolen again.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 1:13PM
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