An alternative to painting rental between tenants

Washable product erases scuff marks, preserves wall texture

By Inman News Feed
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Dec. 16, 2011

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Washable product erases scuff marks, preserves wall texture

Robert Griswold
Inman News™

Q: I have a rental property with new tenants that moved in last week. Upon move-in, they contacted me and said they noticed a few scuff marks on the wall. They are requesting that the property interior have a new coat of paint applied. Although I like that they are conscientious of maintaining a clean apartment, I'm concerned about applying yet another coat of paint on the wall.

I've had other tenants, and have always painted the walls before the next one moved in, but this time I didn't because I'm concerned that repainting can somehow affect the texture of the wall. I don't know the chemical properties of paint as to why it might be a problem, but somehow I get the impression that it may not be a good idea to keep doing it every time. What do you think?

A: I think that your policy of painting between tenants is just fine. I wouldn't worry too much about the number of coats of paint reducing the amount of texture on the wall if the walls really do need to be painted.

I would agree that at some point there is the possibility that multiple layers of paint could lead to thicker layers of paint on portions of the walls and thinner layers on the raised or textured areas and thus the walls will appear to be less textured over time. I would suggest you consult with your painter and ask for suggestions.

If you are using a flat paint that isn't washable at all, you may find it necessary to paint every time. Your painter may be able to recommend a different paint that would be more durable and allow you to wash certain marks or scuffs as well as touch up a specific wall rather than repaint the entire rental unit.

Q: We just moved into a new rental home and have three cars but only two parking spaces. Our landlord told us verbally before we moved in that we could use one of the four outside parking spaces. We did that but discovered we live in a homeowners association area and they fined me and towed my car.

There is nothing in our rental agreement that said we had to abide by any association rules or that we were even in one. The rental agreement does not say anything about parking. Please let me know if I have any legal grounds.

A: Based on the facts you provided, it appears that your landlord did not give you basic information that he should have about the rental home being located in a homeowners association.

Not only would it be prudent and proper for the landlord to let you know that the rental home you occupied is in a homeowners association, but he should also give you a copy of the association rules and any other pertinent documents that would affect your tenancy. This would include any regulations by the association about parking.

You may want to contact your landlord in writing and point this out and ask him for a copy of the homeowners association rules. You can then decide if you are willing and able to abide by them.

You may also want to see if the landlord will pay the fine that you incurred based on the failure to provide these documents at the time you moved in. You may be very happy with the rental home other than this issue of the parking and the association fine, but I would not suggest you break the lease without consulting with an attorney that specializes in tenant/landlord law.

If your landlord does not voluntarily provide you with the association information, you should contact the local homeowners association and ask them for the rules and any other requirements that renters are required to meet.

While you should not have to do this, I think it is prudent to avoid any further problems, as you certainly are now aware and on notice about the existence of the association. Any future violations of the association rules would likely be your responsibility.

I don't know whether your landlord is a first-time landlord, but this oversight is somewhat hard to believe. Many standardized rental agreements even contain clauses that have paragraphs or check boxes if the rental property is in an association. Every year, more and more properties are built in associations so it is not that unusual to find rentals that are subject to association rules.

Most homeowners associations actually require that owners of properties that are rented to third parties provide the name and other requested information for all occupants. That often includes the vehicles that are owned or will routinely be at the property, especially if the association has rules about parking.

Many associations are even notified by the local utilities of changes in ownership or tenancy or they may have a courtesy or security patrol or receive a change of address for the billing of association assessments.

Any of these items will usually trigger the association to contact the owner of the property and inquire about the possibility of a new tenant. Some associations even have mandatory forms and fees that must be paid for new tenants.

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