Can I as a landlord just remove the window screens where my tenants live?

Asked by smith, Ashburn, VA Sat May 12, 2012

Sadly i have tenants from hell they complain about everything and I cannot get them to move out stuck with them for another yearly! I have no idea how I can come out of this lease. One of the major complaints she has filed to the fairfax county is my window screens are in bad shape and I should replace them On the lease window treatments are marked as is and says we are not responsible for the maintenance. Does that include window screens? The window screens are not in bad shape. Our tenant complains about everything. Any how we were told to just remove them and that should solve the problem? Is that possible? does anyone know the legal side for this? I have tried reading up on fairfax county's website but was unable to find anything. Thank you.

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garypuntman, , Los Angeles, CA
Thu Oct 23, 2014
It depends on if this is up to code. I think you should be able to do anything if you are the landlord though. You might want to look into this and see if it is the best option though.
0 votes
Joann L. Pro…, Agent, Centreville, VA
Sat May 12, 2012
Google the Virginia Landlord Tenant Act (VLTA) to see if you have any recourse. Mr. Jerry Friendlander is an expert real estate attorney and I think he has written a book on the Act. Google him for advice but be prepared to pay a fee. Or, you can google the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors (one of our local real estate boards.) Their Realtor store has info on the Act as well. When it comes to the law, your best advice is an Attorney.
0 votes
When I do a search for him it does not appear.
Flag Sat May 12, 2012
Also I am not sure about the name Jerry Friendlander did you perhaps mean jerry friedlander? Thank you
Flag Sat May 12, 2012
Thank you. I did read the VLTA and did not find anything on window screens. I am not sure how far the Fairfax county can take inspections and hold landlords liable? We are just researching on ways to evict our tenants.
Flag Sat May 12, 2012
Spencer Mark…, Agent, Centreville, VA
Sat May 12, 2012
Window Treatments refers to drapes & curtains, not the screens. I do not know of any obligation on your part to the state or county to have window screens BUT I would imagine they are included in the lease. I would check that. If they are then you are stuck and if not then it sounds like at a minimum you would have an argument. I would imagine that it would be dicey in that the screens were there when the tenant leased the property so taking them down might cause problems. From the description of the tenant that you gave I would imagine that is a given.
0 votes
It does sound like an interesting tenant to have. There is a lot of ambiguity to the phrase window treatment. I guess it all depends on what you want to deal with. Maybe talk to them and ask what they believe is wrong with it and how it can be fixed. It is going to be a dicey situation no matter how it is handled.
Flag Wed Oct 22, 2014
I would contact the county if it is not in the lease. It might not be mentioned specifically but there could be language referencing all affixed items. Is it a standard NVAR board lease? Either way it sounds like you will have a fight on your hands with this tenant
Flag Sat May 12, 2012
Thank you for your answer. I have read the lease a few times. And cannot find anything on window screens. She has gotten the county involved in this matter and we feel that is completely unfair especially when we feel the screens are fine. Is it worth us contacting the Fairfax County and confirm we can just remove them? Thanks.
Flag Sat May 12, 2012
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