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Real estate disputes: Who has to buy the window blinds?

When someone rents an apartment in Florida, he or she signs a contract that includes important information. Typical topics inherent in a rental lease include the dates the lease will remain active, the amount of rent and when payments will be made, as well as other issues, such as how many people may reside in a particular residence. Real estate disputes can arise, however, if the landlord and tenant disagree about an issue not covered in the lease.

A person who lives in a rental apartment recently sought guidance regarding the issue of window blinds. When the tenant first signed a rental lease and moved into the residence, there were somewhat inexpensive blinds covering all the windows. As time passed and daily wear and tear took hold, the resident determined that replacement blinds were needed.  

The renter wanted to know if the landlord was legally obligated to replace the blinds and to cover the expenses associated with such tasks. The columnist to which the person submitted the question responded by saying there is no definite answer because it all depends on the exact wording contained in a particular rental agreement. If a landlord and a tenant include terms in a lease that specifically states that the landlord will pay for and carry out the task of replacing window blinds, carpeting or other interior décor, then yes, the landlord would be obligated to do so according to the terms of the contract.  

This is why carefully chosen wording is critical, and all parties signing an agreement must clearly understand the obligations and responsibilities contained therein. If a general statement is made that says the landlord will replace window blinds but no details are added as to when or how often that will occur, then things can get complicated. To avoid real estate disputes, a prospective Florida tenant or landlord can ask an experienced real estate law attorney to review a proposed contract and help make sure no stone is left unturned regarding contract specifications.

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