I have painted the walls red w/some wood panels. Does it have to literally be white when lease is over?

In Leasing Property - Asked by Barbara S. - Apr 26, 2016
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Answer(s)

Ken S.
Owner/Investor
St. Charles, MO

depends on the lease, read it, or try to negotiate with the landlord

Apr 26, 2016
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David R.
Broker/Agent
Paramount, CA

Most rental agreements have an alterations and improvements clause that states something like this:
"RESIDENT shall not paint, wallpaper, alter or redecorate, change or install locks, install antenna or other equipment, screws, fastening devices, excessively large nails, or adhesive materials, place signs, displays, or other exhibits, on or in any portion of the premises without the written consent of the OWNER except as may be provided by law."
If you did not get landlord approval prior to painting, then the landlord would typically require the unit to be returned to its original condition upon move out, unless you can get them to retroactively approve this alteration, which means you would have to show that the alteration is an improvement that could increase the value/marketability of the unit. This argument is usually easier in situations where a tenant may have installed a closet organizer, or new neutral carpeting or flooring. Specialized paint colors may be a more difficult sell as they are more a matter of taste, than actual value add. Good luck.
One other note, if the landlord does in fact want it returned to original condition, you can ask what the cost would be. Landlords typically have special vendor pricing if they own/manage multiple units, and you won't have to worry about quality of work, time to find vendor, etc.

Apr 26, 2016
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Roger Z.
Broker/Agent
American Fork, UT

Not generally, but it depends on what the lease says. in most cases the new user will repaint anyway.

Apr 27, 2016
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Cherie E.
Owner/Investor
Lake Elsinore, CA

This totally depends on what is in your contract with the owner, or leasing agent. Find your contract (lease agreement) and read it. If you can't find your copy request one, you need to know what it says!

May 4, 2016
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