Rental Basics in Yuba City>Question Details

Tcrider, Renter in Yuba City, CA

if a rental home has a window in the bedroom does that window have to be able to open

Asked by Tcrider, Yuba City, CA Sun Aug 7, 2011

Help the community by answering this question:


You'll have to check your local building ordinances, but here in Chicago, it isn't a bedroom unless it has access to both natural light and fresh air from the outside, which means it needs to have a window that opens (or some other very clever system involving, I suppose, a series of mirrors and a ventilation shaft). This isn't so much for fire safety as it is a quality-of-life issue.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 17, 2011
You'll want one window or door in the bedroom that will allow you to get out or a fireman to get in, just in case your home is burning down. Regardless of what your landord tells you, make sure you can get out of the home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2011
In the interest of occupant safety, the window should be at an accessible height, large enough to climb out in case of a fire, and easily opened from the inside in such an emergency.

Here is a link to the Yuba City building department:

For additional information search "emergency egress window requirement"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2011
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA
Hello Tcrider,

My thought would be that if the window was designed to open originally then it should open now. If it was made as a single pane of glass and not intended to open then maybe not. I say maybe because I do not know if the owner replaced a window that should open with one that does not open (a less expensive option). If so there may be safety concerns in the case of emergency.

I will assume it is supposed to open but does not now. Make sure the owner is aware of this so when you leave there is no mistake and you have to pay from your deposit to fix it. You should have completed some sort of move in checklist/form that describes the condition of the home when you moved in (photos are great too). Either way I would send the owner an email or note (something in writing) that states the window does not operate properly (describe what is not working) and it never has since you have been in the home.

Good luck,
Brian Wilson, Realtor
DRE# 01321478
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2011

Call the local fire department; I'm sure they will be able to comment authoritatively on your question. Obviously, having a window that allows egress during a fire can be a life or death issue.

You should also ask about the new Carbon Monoxide sensor law that went into effect in July.

Best, Steve
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 7, 2011
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