Can my landlord charge me for his repainting costs with 6 months left in the lease?

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Can my landlord charge me for his repainting costs with 6 months left in the lease?

I have 6 months left on my lease. I repainted the walls, and the landlord wants to charge me now for his cost of repainting. Since I told him I intended to paint the walls back to their original color, and since I gave him a security deposit, this seems strange to me.

Asked on June 19, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A tenant is generally required to return property to the landlord in the same condition as it was received-- even the color of the walls.  So generally speaking, his demand for payment is premature, especially if you cure the paint issue before you surrender the unit back to him.  Most landlord tenant contracts are written for this type of enforcement provisions.  The exception would be, however, if your landlord had you sign a non-standard contract which prohibited you from making these types of changes and which gave him the automatic right to charge you any repair costs.  So, look at your contract.  Absent a provision just described, he just needs to wait until the paint dries and the contract is done.


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