Are Broken Blinds Normal Wear and Tear ?

broken window blinds

The concept of “normal wear and tear” is a common topic in discussions between landlords and tenants. It pertains to the natural and expected deterioration of a property that occurs over time due to regular use. One of the frequent subjects of this debate is window blinds. 

Are broken blinds considered normal wear and tear, or are they the tenant’s responsibility?

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Understanding Normal Wear and Tear

Normal wear and tear refer to the expected decline in the condition of a property and its fixtures due to everyday use. This could include minor scratches on floors, faded paint, or small carpet stains. These are changes that occur even when the property is used responsibly and maintained properly.

What Constitutes Normal Wear and Tear for Blinds?

Blinds, like any other fixture, are subject to wear and tear. Here are some examples of what might be considered normal wear and tear for blinds:

  • Fading: Blinds exposed to sunlight can fade over time, which is a natural process and typically considered normal wear and tear.
  • Minor Discoloration: Discoloration from age or exposure to sunlight can happen, and this is generally expected.
  • Loose Mechanisms: The mechanisms that open and close the blinds can become loose with regular use.

When Are Broken Blinds Not Normal Wear and Tear?

There are instances where damage to blinds goes beyond normal wear and tear and could be deemed the tenant’s responsibility:

  • Severe Breakage: If blinds are broken, such as slats snapped in half or completely pulled down from the mount, this is generally considered damage rather than wear and tear.
  • Stains or Marks: Large stains, marks, or scribbles on the blinds that result from negligence or misuse are not typical of normal wear and tear.
  • Mechanism Damage: Damage to the opening and closing mechanism from forced operation rather than gradual wear would likely fall under tenant responsibility.

Responsibilities of Landlords and Tenants

Landlords: It is the landlord’s responsibility to maintain the property in a habitable condition. This includes repairing or replacing items that fall under normal wear and tear, such as faded blinds or those with minor discoloration.

Tenants: Tenants are responsible for returning the property in the condition it was received, barring normal wear and tear. This means if the blinds are broken due to misuse or negligence, tenants may need to cover the cost of repair or replacement.

Tips for Landlords and Tenants

For Landlords:

  • Documentation: Conduct a thorough inspection with the tenant at move-in and move-out, documenting the condition of all fixtures, including blinds.
  • Clear Lease Terms: Specify in the lease agreement what constitutes normal wear and tear and what is considered damage, outlining the tenant’s responsibilities.

For Tenants:

  • Routine Cleaning: Regularly clean and maintain the blinds to prolong their life.
  • Report Issues Promptly: Inform the landlord of any issues with the blinds before they worsen, to avoid being held responsible for damage.


While broken blinds can sometimes fall under the category of normal wear and tear, the extent and nature of the damage play a critical role in this determination. Fading and minor mechanical issues from regular use are usually acceptable, but severe breakage or misuse are not. Clear communication and documentation between landlords and tenants can help prevent disputes and ensure that both parties understand their responsibilities regarding the care and maintenance of blinds and other fixtures in a rental property.

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