Even the best apartments tend to have a couple of flaws that require some attention. One of the most common issues is a poor paint job.
The paint on the walls of your new place might be old, cracked, and peeling. It could be a terrible shade of beige that makes you want to vomit whenever you see it.
Is it possible to paint the walls in your apartment?
Most Landlords Don’t Mind a Fresh Coat of Paint
If you paint the apartment walls in the same color that is already present in your unit, then your landlord will thank you profusely for doing something that would have cost them a few bucks. Although you’ll find a few sticklers out there that want to use that choice to hold your security deposit, it shouldn’t be much of an issue.
The problem with painting an apartment happens when you decide to use a color that isn’t something the landlord appreciates. Although your lease may allow for improvements at your cost, you may need to restore the walls to move-in condition. The best way to do that is to get the brand and name of the original color.
If you plan to stay for a few years, then most laws require landlords to provide a fresh coat of paint anyway. It may not cost you anything beyond the cost of materials.
When you don’t return the paint to its original color, then the landlord might have the justifications to take the cost of repainting out of your security deposit.
What About Landlord Inspections?
If your lease doesn’t permit making a change to the apartment without landlord consent, then get the permission you need to paint the walls in writing before starting the project.
Most cities allow landlords to enter an apartment to inspect the property every quarter. If they see that you’ve painted the walls without permission, then you may get a letter that says you violated the lease.
If you find a letter on your front door or in your mailbox because of this issue, then you have a specific time to complete the repairs listed on that paperwork. The landlord could start eviction proceedings in some situations if you don’t correct the problem.
That’s why it helps to communicate your desire for a different look before you start the painting process. If you can agree on a color that is versatile and neutral, you might receive permission to leave it up when you eventually move out of the apartment.
Be Careful of Lead Paint!
If your apartment building was constructed before the 1980s, then there is still a chance that old lead paint is lingering on the premises.
Encountering this situation may allow you to work with the landlord to improve the paint in your apartment without paying for it.
The terms of what you can or cannot do should be outlined in your lease. Follow the language there first, and then ask your landlord if you have any questions.