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Landlord Request
updated: Feb 19, 2013, 8:41 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

I have lived in the same apartment for over 15 years and it hasn't been painted since I moved in. Can I ask the landlord to do that? So far, they've ignored my written requests.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 376034 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 08:47 AM

whos your landlord pini? Have them paint, clean, and steam your carpets at least.


 COMMENT 376035 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 08:47 AM

Yes, by all means.


 COMMENT 376038 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 08:53 AM

When was you rent last raised? If you've been there 15 yrs, most be an ok landlord. Do you want to risk higher rent or just ask if u can DIY, or have her pay for materials at least.


 COMMENT 376041P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 08:55 AM

Landlord alert @038 !!


 STRAY agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 09:10 AM

You may certainly ask. However, as 035 says, if you haven't had a rent increase in awhile, have you just created an opener?


 COMMENT 376062 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 09:33 AM

I always just painted the walls myself. Most landlords are OK as long as you use a neutral color and you don't risk the thought of a rent increase.


 COMMENT 376067 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 09:39 AM

Landlord here:

It helps if you let your landlord know that you have cleaned the walls, remember they were rented clean to you. We have tenants regularly think we can paint over grease, food and hair.

Also, do not follow 38's advice and do it yourself unless you have permission. I have seen door knobs, blinds, outlets, door stoppers and light fixtures in addition to the ceiling and flooring painted by DIY tenants. And using the wrong paint may end up with you being charged to remove your paint (check your contracts looking for the word "alterations")

I would ask to have my unit painted as well at 15 years if I were you, but only after I cleaned them first and showed the landlord that it is only wear and tear.

And if you rent is not at market, think about if you can afford a 5-10% increase. Some landlords will not paint/replace carpet because they are giving you a discount on your rent.


 COMMENT 376070 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 09:43 AM

If you have been a good tenant for 15 years your landlord should be happy to accommodate your request. Rent increases don't occur due to reasonable requests from tenants that have cared for the unit in an appropriate manner. The worst thing a tenant can do is not report issues that need attention due to fear of rent increase. That's the reason so many have trouble getting their security deposits back. Nothing worse than going into a unit after the tenant leaves and seeing water damage and numerous issues that weren't reported in a timely manner.

I am curious why you have had no response to your request though. Most landlords don't want their units to get rundown and have to put a lot of money into the place when a tenant vacates.


 COMMENT 376086 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 09:59 AM

Hi, I'm the one who wrote.
It's Sesame Tree apartments and they increase the rent as often as they can. I think it's because I do ask for maintenance and I think they increase my rent more often than others who have been there long term.


 COMMENT 376088 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 10:01 AM

Don't even try unless it is causing a health problem and you have a doctors note to prove it.


 COMMENT 376115 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 10:57 AM

086: I don't know if they have to paint it (though they can't charge you for paint when you leave). You can ask, but I don't believe they have to. And considering you HAVE asked, and they are ignoring you, that says scores. Of course, going in and physically asking a manager might bring better results. And I'm sorry, but the tenants who require "more work" are the ones who are going to have rent raised. At my place, we do all small work that needs to be done & we don't bug the landlords. We're easy tenants, we don't ask anything from them, they don't bug us. That said, paint in 15 years isn't asking a lot, and I'd try in person.
And 67: That's what my place looked like after the landlord painted (paint on mirrors, toilet, counters, blinds, outlets, and over hair, grease & I'm pretty sure boogers. Yuck.). Anyone can do an awful job. I just hope it makes it easier when we move out to get a full deposit considering they did such an awful job getting the place ready for us. ;)


 COMMENT 376137P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 11:34 AM

In California, under a month-to-month rental agreement a landlord has the right to give you a 30-day notice, or in your case a 60-day notice (since you've lived there over 12 months) for ANY REASON AT ALL - provided it's not the "wrong" reason. An example of a wrong reason would be that they are discriminating against your for racial, gender, ethnic, religious, disability...reasons. If you have a fixed term lease they can't give you niotice until the end of the term. But - if you are telling the property manager they need to update the apartment, they might agree. Often it's easier for landlords to give the tenant notice, go in and refresh it and then re-lease it to a new tenant at an even higher rent. If I liked where I lived and felt like the rent was fair, I would paint the place myself and keep quiet about it.


 COMMENT 376138 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 11:35 AM

@115 is basically saying that you can ask, but the landlord can decline. Then what? Are you prepared to move? If you're paying market rates at your current place, then you should shop around for nicer digs.


 COMMENT 376141P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 11:37 AM

Oh yeah - and if you do decide to DIY, take before and after photos witrh a camera that has a correct date stamp, in case they try to withhold your deposit. Also keep the request form(s) you have given them in the past asking them to paint.


 COMMENT 376150 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 11:48 AM

Apartments are supply and demand- landlords have the supply, and we have the demand. As long as students and workers are willing to pay top dollar to cram twice as many people as are supposed to be in a unit, the apartment scene in SB will be a nightmare. Moving to a non-college town helps. Finding a really nice landlord who appreciates that you are a good tenant is also good. Ask your friends if they have a good landlord and to recommend you when they move out. We lived 10 yrs in our last place and got back all of our deposit when we moved out, as we always have in our apartments.


 COMMENT 376188P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 12:59 PM

37P: A landlord can evict you for no reason with a 30-day notice. A landlord can't evict you for an illegal reason, for example he just found out you're gay and he's a homophobe.


 COMMENT 376194 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 01:15 PM

Another landlord here - I think you are asking normal wear and tear maintenance. I have about 60 units. I only have 3 tenants that have been there for more than 10 years. I ask all my tenants to advise me of any repairs or maintenance that they need. At the 5 year mark I ask the tenant if there is anything they need or would like - paint is a popular request. If they are willing to remove everything from their walls - my crew comes in, moves furniture, cleans the walls and repaints. Things break, things wear out - if you rent from me and you tell me about it, I will fix it. That is my job. I ask them to pay their rent on time - it is not a one way street. We are not all heartless ass hats.


 COMMENT 376210 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 01:47 PM

You Think? No! you can only ask for a rent increase!


 COMMENT 376336 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 06:03 PM

If I were you I'd move from that roachtrap. Those people don't do maintenance and they screw you over every chance they get.


 COMMENT 376394 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 08:00 PM

Just ask what they would like you to do to get what you want. Perhaps they will insist on painting it themselves, or let you do it. If you do a good job, they'll appreciate it and keep you off the 'bad list'.


 COMMENT 376442P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 01:31 AM

So glad I'm not a renter.


 COMMENT 376445 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 04:20 AM

yes...and everything in real estate needs to be in writing.


 COMMENT 376454P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 06:44 AM

This whole debate is disgusting- you have been a tenant for 15 years and you have to worry about a rent increase or eviction because you request a freaking PAINT JOB? And people defend the slumlord? I am so happy that we are going to be moving in two months- where we are going we will have a three bedroom home for the same price as our tiny studio.


 COMMENT 376758 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 04:01 PM

Landlady here, ditto 194. After 15 years of normal "wear and tear", you deserve a new coat of paint. Since you have written letters with no response, send them a written estimate how much a professional painter will cost you, include a paint chip for their "pre-approval" of color. Then request that that you be allowed to pay the painter and reduce it from your rent over 3-4 months. There are sites online to explain how to do this legally. That will either wake them up to respond to you or you will have a basis to proceed with the professional. Make sure that the letter is certified, return receipt, etc. My renters just text me.


 COMMENT 376925P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 08:51 PM

I've been in my rental for well over 15 years and cannot ask for paint or common repairs-such as a new toilet, unless I want a huge increase or to move. The last time she had to do repair work, right afterwards, the rent went up by one third of the total rent! I think it is TERRIBLE that we live in a place where, because we have no money, we are treated like serfs. There is no equity in the rental market. It feels like the caste system. It's tragic and makes for a world of unhappy people.


 COMMENT 376970 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 07:25 AM

I had a tennant who asked for replacement of drafty windows (not curtains, windows) after 9 years. Near-perfect tennants, and they got the best double paned noise blocking energy efficient windows I could find. Paint? after 15 years? If the landlord's agent isn't there by the end of the week showing you paint chips AND carpet samples, the guy is crazy. Sadly, there are a lot of crazy landlords (and tennants) in this little town.


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