Blinds in A Rental House

12 Replies

Hi All,

Some friends and I are 99% through with flipping a house and putting it up for rental.  When you flip a house for rental, do you put window coverings/blinds in it?  If so, which ones do you choose?  I'm thinking simple/cheap cordless accordion shades would be best.  But I thought there would be people with lots of experience on Bigger Pockets!  

Thanks for the help!


@Mark Bosworth , you are on the "mark"! lol. Sorry, had to make that joke.

I use the cheap blinds from Walmart. They are simple to install, give a clean finished look, and are cheap to replace if a tenant damages them.

There are probably people who do really LOW and rentals or higher end rentals that either don't provide anything or provide something nicer. I think for B and C class rentals that these cheap blinds are a really good option. I have been using them for years and never regretted the choice. 

@Mark Bosworth another bonus to providing blinds is that many tenants don't own curtains. They tack up heavy blankets over the windows and leave holes in the sheetrock (not to mention how "tacky" it looks from the street). If you provide blinds you can prohibit tenants from hanging window coverings in your lease. 

I put up mini blinds. If it's a lower-quality unit, I use the cheap plastic ones you'll find at WalMart because there's a really good chance they'll be ruined after 1-2 tenants. Nicer places get cordless aluminum blinds.

I've tried just about everything when it comes to blinds and window coverings.  Some homes I've put in basic Ikea type drapes along living room windows, some of the homes I've put in the faux wood 2" blinds, some the general Home Depot horizontal blinds.  I think there are benefits to each.

The faux wood last longer and generally requires less maintenance on a turnover because I'm not replacing them every time, as long as the tenant didn't have a dog.  I saw that because dogs seem to inevitably jump on a window sill and break anything that is in the window.  These would likely go into a higher end rental.

The drapes I've found are generally only worth it to rent the unit based on a staging approach.  They look good when showing it, however, the tenant will replace them or do whatever they want to do there anyway, so maybe just having a curtain rod there - just know that the rod will likely be pulled out and you'll be fixing holes and replacing brackets.

The lease expensive and often easiest are the cheaper horizontal blinds.  You can get black out versions or light filtering.  I think they generally look decent but they are cheap and most situations I've seen, no matter the tenant, is that you'll be replacing them at almost every turnover - just expect it.  If they aren't broken, then they are probably too dirty to even mess with.  One area of frustration though is that these companies seem to constantly change the brackets and they aren't always that easy to just pop out one for another.

Lastly, if you do nothing, then know that you're leaving it up to the tenants to decide.  I've found that you should do something - and even though you're providing the window covering, it still seems like a tenant will want to do something in addition no matter what - so you really probably can't account for all scenarios.

Flipping or renting,,,aren't those different things?? Anyway, if renting, I always put blinds up, or like everyone said, they will do their own thing. Cheap ones from Lowes/Depot/Walmart that block some light is good enough, they will get destroyed, so don't go pricey.  Even some cheap ones don't have the cord anymore.  Flipping...then maybe nice drapes for visual appeal (staging)

Look at your market, but the answer is usually to include window coverings. If you don't, some tenants may put it up themselves (badly) or hang sheets/blankets that make your property look cheap. Cheap rentals I would put up cheap blinds. nicer ones get nicer blinds. Maybe blinds and a curtain rod for even nicer ones.  

I used to include window coverings, but the last couple properties, I have not included anything. Nobody has made a negative comment and it has made no difference on my ability to rent.

Blinds and for some large windows in living rooms/ dining rooms curtain rods and  some neutral curtains are more inexpensive. There are a few places where I have used those pressure rods for cafe curtains during showing but they always take them with them when they leave so I stopped. 

I put up heavy-duty drapery rods with cheap grommeted curtains. I hate trashing mini blinds every 1-2 years - trying to be a good human. I use upgraded drywall anchors (rated 50 lbs), rods that are 1" in diameter, and then pick up grommeted 84" or 96" curtains/drapes from a local charity shop or amazon. These are easy to wash and the tenant can swap them out if they prefer a different color. A slightly higher initial investment means I'm not trashing and replacing mini blinds constantly. And, my lower-income places show A LOT better than the competition. :)

For years we have used the (I like the above term so I am going to co-opt it) "Cheapo Depot" mini blinds (except ours comes from Lowe's) because they are inexpensive, quick to mount and replace, and provides basic window treatments which is the norm in our market. However, we have started changing to the slightly more expensive 2" faux wood vinyl (still in white) blinds for a couple of reasons:

1. Everyone has gone cordless, and these have a different bracket mounting system than the mini-blind system that's been used for 30 years. So you have to change the brackets anyway;

2. The bigger slats are easier to clean in between tenants; cleaners never manage to get the tiny mini-blinds clean;

3. If the tenant breaks the bigger one it just comes out of the deposit same as the mini ones.

4. The bigger slats look more upscale for negligible cost.

5. The bigger slat blinds are a little more durable. The strings that hold them together are slightly thicker. The slats are a little harder to bend. ETC.

So for those reasons, as blinds require replacement we have gone this route. Generally not whole house - room by room. So if we have a house that has 2 damaged minis in different rooms, and there's 2 windows in each room, one room will inherit the non-damaged mini and the other room gets 2 of the bigger slat setup. Which room depends on the way the house is configured and the value of the room - master bedroom gets priority, for example. 

Oh, we have a system. It's ALWAYS the white cordless mini blinds at Walmart for us -- can't go wrong for four bucks a pop. Then we have the white $1 curtain rod from Big Lots. This is topped off with the $4 sheer curtain panel from this godawful place in Duquesne called Roses Discount my wife found this pit of retail hell I'll never know, but they reliably have $4 sheer curtain panels.

If you do not have at least a basic curtain in place in C-class you're practically begging for a cheap sports banner or flag from the dollar store or a sheet to cover that window.

One time we drove up to a duplex we were thinking of buying with inherited tenants and one dude had a Che Guevara flag covering his front window. My wife is Russian, she greets the tenant with, "Tovarisch!" I shake his hand, "¡Hasta la revolución siempre!" The guy just looked confused. His ex gave him the flag. Total and complete waste of effort with that loser.