I have been renting an apartment for several years. A new office block has been under construction for some time nearby and is now nearing completion. Unfortunately, it has direct views into my living area and bedroom. Right now, I have curtains that I can close but no blinds. Can I ask my landlord to supply and install new blinds to allow me more privacy whilst still letting in daylight? As I’m only renting the apartment, I don’t want to have to invest in the blinds myself but definitely need a better solution for privacy for the future.
First of all, it is difficult to understand how an office block got planning permission which looks directly into your apartment. However, setting that aside this would be my advice on how to deal with your predicament.
When you made an application for this apartment you would naturally have viewed it and taken it in the condition it was in and agreed to all the fixtures and fittings that were in place. This would have included the curtains but no blinds. Also, under your lease terms and more importantly the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 and all subsequent amendment Acts the landlord has a legal obligation to maintain the property throughout the course of your tenancy.
This would include sending in a plumber when you have problems with your heating or an appliance expert when your dishwasher breaks down. The landlord also has to make sure the property adheres to minimum standard for rented dwellings. However, all of that said, there is no requirement on your landlord to introduce additional items over and above that.
Therefore, in this situation the best way to approach it is to take a practical approach. Inform your landlord about this new development (which they probably know about already) and tell the landlord how it is potentially encroaching on your quiet and peaceful enjoyment of the apartment but more importantly your privacy. You could also invite your landlord or their agent to come and visit the apartment to see for themselves what your issues are.
Once you approach the landlord in a reasonable manner, I would suggest that any fair-minded landlord would agree to purchase and have fitted the blinds you request. Although you said you do not want to invest any money in the apartment because you are renting it, if for some reason the landlord is not prepared to do this the other approach would be to seek their permission to introduce and pay for the blinds yourself.
You would also need to confirm that they would be correctly installed without causing any damage to the walls or ceiling in question. If this is the case, you can then agree to leave them in place when you leave or bring them with you.
During my many years in property management I have found the majority of landlords to be very fair and reasonable individuals. If tenants’ requests are not too costly or onerous, they are usually happy to agree to them.