Ripped, torn, missing screens?

Most of the screens in the house we are renting are either missing or torn. The weather has been getting nicer and we would like to have the doors and windows open to get some fresh air in. Also, with me being pregnant, I run warmer than normal so I would like to have breezes coming in. We have been asking for new screens since we moved in in January. We've had nice days on and off since we've moved in. It It was quite a drag because we actually had a very nice and warm February, but we couldn't leave most of the doors or windows open because of the lack of screens.  We kept calling and writing requesting them, but no luck. I just sent them another long letter requesting that the screens be put in and stating all of the reasons why we needed them soon. The property management just said that they passed the word along to the landlord and that's all they can do. I'm concerned that they aren't going to bother putting the screens in until late summer and I am going to be miserable at 8 and 9 months pregnant in June and July. What are our rights concerning this and how do I get them to put the screens in right away?

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April 26 2011 - Twain Harte
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Best Answer
Profile picture for Pasadenan
I'm not familiar with your city, but in many cities it is a code violation.  And if you have 4 or more units in the complex, it may be subject to a city quadrennial inspection.

Anyway, it doesn't hurt to call the code enforcement department (of the local building department) to ask.  Give your landlord some time if it looks like they will proceed.  If you are getting no response and code enforcement says they are required, call them up and report it to have them inspect and give a citation.  (No fine initially, just or correction notice, but if not fixed within a given number of days, they get fined).

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April 26 2011
Profile picture for wetdawgs
If they have decided that they are responsible for repairing/installing the screens, then they have a certain number of days to comply (you can find that information in the link you've been provided already).   If they don't so, then you can find information in the CA landlord/tenant handbook about the steps to take to have them installed yourself and limitations for deduction from rent.

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April 27 2011
A landlord who does not address the need of his tenants is moving in the wrong direction with his property.  I agree with Pasadenan that code enforcement may take care of this issue.  But the property management company may not be passing on your request.  I think you need to send a letter directly to the landlord outlining your requests and your discussions with the property management company.  This will get his attention very quickly.  You can find his address by going on line with the county recorders office in most counties.  By the way, congrants on the new baby!

Randy Thomas
Broker 
Cornerstone Real Estate Group

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April 27 2011
Thank you Pasadenan!  That's a great suggestion.  I will try that if they don't get the screens in soon. 
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April 27 2011
The maintenance man told us that the landlord looked it up and that they are responsible for replacing screens. We are in California. We do not have air conditioning. We do have a fan, but that does not help. I'm pregnant and need fresh air coming in. Especially because the previous tenant chain smoked in the house and had lots of cats. She left behind really awful smells so the fresh air is important. Even without the smells I am not okay with just closing myself in an air conditioned house and require fresh air coming through the house. I know they are required to replace the screens, but I was wondering if there is any sort of time line they need to abide by and how to get them to do it now rather than later.

Thank you
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April 26 2011
Please refer to your lease and Landlord/Tenant laws of your state. I am assuming you are in California. Here is an online guide for California Tenants. I am not a lawyer, but I do not find anything in it that states that the landlord must provide window screens but that the windows must be operable (unless there is a fan), waterproof, and lockable. Can you use a fan or air conditioner instead?

I am not a legal professional,, nor am I familiar with Tenancy Law of California. This is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult with a legal professional that is familiar with Landlord/Tenant issues in the State of California. Good luck with your pregnancy!

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April 26 2011
 
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Ripped, torn, missing screens?
Latest answer by wetdawgs
April 27 2011 | 6 answers
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