Can You Paint Apartment Walls in California?

Posted on: March 21st, 2022

Can You Paint Apartment Walls In California?

With nearly half of California’s households being classified as renters, it makes sense why people often wonder, “Can you paint apartment walls?” We all know the instant effects a fresh coat of paint can have on brightening up a room and making it look new again. It’s known to be one of the least expensive ways to upgrade any space and personalize it to feel like home. So if a renter is willing to do the work themselves and cover the product cost, are they allowed to paint their apartment walls in California?

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Can you paint walls in a rented house? 

Everyone wants to add their own sense of style and personal flair to their home or apartment. A landlord that allows his tenants to have some freedom with painting may give them a powerful sense of ownership which could lead to them renewing their lease longer and even treating their rental more like their own. Every landlord dreams of a tenant that will treat their rental with respect and care. Allowing these kinds of modifications is entirely up to the landlord but may prove to be of benefit if kept within certain restrictions. 

Why you shouldn’t paint your apartment? 

Landlords often pay professional painters to paint the interior walls of apartments they are leasing. This ensures the job is done well. Oftentimes, when a renter tackles a project like this, they don’t follow proper steps and may cut corners. Renters don’t always take the time to spackle holes or dents, tape off all windows, edges, and baseboards, or they may apply a cheap brand of paint that won’t hold up well over time. Also, if a dark color was used, it would take several coats to restore the walls to a cream or white. 

Painting without the landlord’s permission can be seen as an act of vandalism as it technically is damaging someone else’s property. Doing so could result in your landlord retaining a portion of your deposit.

Can I be evicted for painting my apartment? 

Typically, property management companies and landlords avoid evicting tenants. While they may be upset, it’s unlikely your landlord would be able to evict you just because you painted the walls without consent. Keep in mind that most judges won’t be too sympathetic to a lawsuit involving your tenant providing a free paint job. However, your landlord may require that the walls be returned to the original color and condition when it comes time for them to vacate. Also, a portion of their deposit may be used to cover those costs. 

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What happens if you paint your apartment? 

A tenant has the responsibility to leave a rental unit in the same condition that it was in when they moved in, minus the typical wear and tear. A proper rental agreement should indicate what modifications may be made by the tenant. This should include statements permitting physical modifications to be made upon permission from the landlord. It should also state if absolutely no modifications are allowed. The language chosen in a rental contract should give the landlord the right to decide whether to allow renters to repaint or not. 

If you paint your apartment walls without the proper consent from the landlord, they have the right to bill you to repaint the walls back to the normal color when you move out. Essentially, you’ll be paying a professional to undo what you’ve done. And as mentioned above, you could lose a portion of your deposit as well as cause a rift in your relationship with the landlord. 

What if your lease doesn’t mention anything about painting?

If you’ve carefully read over your lease agreement and it doesn’t mention anything about alterations or modification, you are probably fine to go ahead and paint. Here are some things to keep in mind if you are considering painting your apartment walls: 

  1. Check with your landlord 

We strongly recommend contacting your landlord before picking up a paintbrush just to be certain. Communication is key and may save you from facing grief in the future. It’s always wise to maintain a positive relationship with your landlord. Keep that in mind before moving ahead with any changes. 

  1. Restore to the original color or condition 

Sometimes it will specifically state in your rental contract that the property must be restored to its original condition. This protects the landlord from the tenant going overboard with their personal and unique decorating style. If you happen to get permission to paint, remember that you will more than likely have to repaint to the original color. Be careful to avoid colors such as red and pink which can be a nightmare to paint over. 

  1. Careful with the color 

You might absolutely love the color purple. However, other renters may not. Color is an individual preference. White and cream are by far the most desired wall colors for apartments. Apartments and rental homes painted white or off-white rent quickly. They make smaller rooms appear more spacious, are pleasing to the eye, and match with everything. So remember to stay with neutral tones to avoid complaints from your landlord.

What if the walls are in really bad shape? 

State and local laws may slightly differ on this topic. However, in most cases, the courts rule that the landlord is responsible for repairing and repainting damaged walls. This is especially true if the tenant has been living in the rental for multiple years and the walls could use a fresh coat of paint due to basic wear and tear. Contact your landlord and put in a request to have the walls painted. However, the cost and responsibility would fall to the tenant if the walls are in abnormally bad condition shortly after moving in. 

Can You Paint Apartment Walls In California Conclusion 

To summarize, it may be completely fine to paint your apartment walls in California. But, always contact your landlord first and carefully read over your rental agreement to verify and receive approval before taking action. It’s always better to be safe than sorry! 

If you live in the Sacramento area and have painting questions concerning commercial, residential, or rental properties, contact PaintRite Pros. Our experts have more than 25 years of combined painting experience and it shows. Click here or the button below to get your free interior paint estimate or give us a call. We serve the entire Sacramento area including Dixon, Roseville, Dorado County, and more! Tambien, hablamos Espanol!

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