How Often Do Landlords Have to Paint in California?

22 Feb, 12:28 pm

Are you a tenant who has noticed the paint on your walls deteriorating, becoming an eyesore in your rental home? Or maybe, you are a new landlord and are curious about how frequently you should paint your rental property to keep it in excellent shape.

In this article, we will discuss how often should landlords paint a rental place to maintain its fresh and appealing look. Additionally, we will also explore the factors influencing the need for repainting, the benefits it provides to landlords and tenants, and practical tips for effectively maintaining a well-painted rental property.

Let’s explore the subject and learn insightful tips for keeping your rental property lively and aesthetically pleasing!


General Guidelines for Landlords in California


As far as rental accommodation goes. Even though there aren’t any laws in California landlord-tenant guidelines specifying when such units should have new paint applied, it is the responsibility of a property owner to ensure that the buildings’ overall visual appeal and safety are preserved.

And a fresh paint job has always been thought to be a simple yet efficient way for landlords to maintain the perfect state of their properties over time. 

Though not always prescriptive. It is recommended that repainting should be carried out every 3 to 5 years wherever feasible/possible while allowing some room for maneuverability.

Should the paint flake or reveal hazardous materials such as lead or similar pollutants, federal and state regulations must be observed while promptly addressing any issues that may arise. Promoting prompt repainting also demonstrates that landlords are truly committed to prioritizing tenant satisfaction. [1]

The responsibilities for painting in rental properties can vary depending on local laws, lease agreements, and the terms negotiated between landlords and tenants. However, here are some general guidelines regarding landlord painting responsibilities:

  1. Initial Painting: In many jurisdictions, landlords are typically responsible for ensuring the rental property is habitable before a new tenant moves in. This may include painting the walls, ceilings, and trim to freshen up the space and ensure that it meets specific standards of cleanliness and aesthetics.

  2. Routine Maintenance: Landlords are generally responsible for addressing routine maintenance issues in rental properties, including repainting or touching up paint to maintain the property’s condition. This may involve periodic inspections to identify areas requiring attention and scheduling painting work accordingly.

  3. Wear and Tear: Normal wear and tear on painted surfaces is generally considered the landlord’s responsibility. This includes minor scuffs, scratches, and fading that occur over time due to regular use of the property. Landlords may need to repaint or touch up these areas between tenants or as part of ongoing maintenance.

  4. Tenant Damage: If tenants cause excessive damage to painted surfaces beyond normal wear and tear, they may be responsible for covering the cost of repairs or repainting as outlined in the lease agreement. This could include damage such as large holes, stains, or extensive marks on walls that require professional repair or repainting.

  5. Lease Agreements: The specific responsibilities for painting and maintenance should be clearly outlined in the lease agreement between the landlord and tenant. This document should specify who is responsible for painting, how often it should be done, and any applicable conditions or exceptions.

  6. Local Laws and Regulations: Landlord responsibilities for painting may be subject to local housing codes, landlord-tenant laws, and health and safety regulations. Landlords should familiarize themselves with these requirements to ensure compliance and avoid potential tenant disputes.

Landlords must communicate clearly with tenants regarding painting responsibilities and address any issues or concerns promptly. By maintaining the property in good condition and addressing painting needs promptly, landlords can help ensure tenant satisfaction and protect the long-term value of their investment.


rental property in need of a repaint in LA

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Factors That Influence the Need for Painting in Rental Units


Here are several factors that can assist landlords and tenants in determining whether a rental unit requires a new paint job.

Wear and Tear

It’s essential for landlords always to consider how daily activity takes a toll on rental units’ painted surfaces over time due to normal wear and tear. The following are vital considerations that landlords must keep in mind: 

  • Usage Patterns: When evaluating the state of a rental unit’s paint job. It’s essential to take into account how it was utilized over time. Commonly traversed high-traffic zones like hallways or entryways often see more damage than seldom-used spaces such as bedrooms or storerooms when it comes to scuffs and scratches.
  • Furniture And Moving Objects: The disturbance of items like furniture and appliances inside the unit can lead to harm being caused to the walls. Such mistreatment could result in dents, marks or scrapes being formed directly.
  • Pet-Related Damage: Pets can pose potential risks when residing in rental properties due to their propensity for accidental damage to painted finishes around the home, such as walls and trim. Being cautious while renting with these companions is highly recommended before moving forward with an agreement.
  • Cleaning and Maintenance: Tenants need to be mindful of how they clean painted areas as abrasive methods or harmful chemicals may cause slow but irreversible damage to it eventually.
  • Time Since Last Paint Job: Painted surfaces will inevitably show signs of aging, such as fading or dulled coloring that detracts from their visual appeal. These concerns are unsightly and can turn away potential tenants who might be put off by units with dingy-looking walls or doors in poor repair


Maintenance and Upkeep

Regular maintenance practices, such as addressing leaks, repairing cracks, and fixing water damage promptly, can help prevent paint deterioration. Timely action can extend the lifespan of the existing paint job.

If you notice, most of the problems that are related to paint are water-related it is because excessive moisture or high humidity levels can cause paint to peel, bubble, or discolor. Areas that are prone to humidity, like bathrooms or kitchens, may require more frequent repainting or the requires use of specialized moisture-resistant paints to avoid a health and safety issue.


Environmental factors affect the need for repainting of buildings

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Environmental Factors

The weather has a negative impact on painted surfaces; this is particularly true for harsh conditions like heavy rainfall or extreme fluctuations in temperature that deteriorate surfaces, leading them towards chipping or cracking apart, gradually leaving them looking untidy. Maintaining the elegance of rental units exposed regularly to such hostile climates requires sturdy painting maintenance at shorter intervals preventing further destruction. 

Counteracting these situations may not be enough, though; direct sunlight over an extended period can bleach out colors and then make them look dull by eroding away pigments through UV light exposure. Regularly maintaining your rental property by using high-quality painting materials assures that those who live there will comfortably bask in an aesthetically pleasing environment.


Health and Safety Regulations


As we have previously mentioned, rental property owners must factor in health and safety issues when considering repainting living spaces. This ensures tenants’ protection while fostering comfortable homes to reside in. 

Many older rental units still have lead-based paint present on walls; therefore, specialized techniques need implementation for safe handling during the repainting processes.

Consequently, careful consideration should be given regarding choice-of-paint due to probable adverse outcomes on occupants’ indoor air quality from low-quality products with highly volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Therefore, suggestions from regulatory bodies to use options with lower VOC concentrations would be preferred. [2]


Aesthetic Considerations


The color of the paint can significantly impact the atmosphere and mood of a rental unit. Outdated or unappealing color choices may deter potential tenants or make existing tenants less satisfied. Repainting with modern, neutral, or trendy colors can breathe new life into the space, making it more desirable.

Keeping up with design and style trends can enhance the marketability of a rental unit. Outdated or unpopular design choices may make a unit appear dated or less desirable to prospective tenants. Repainting in line with current design trends can help maintain a fresh and appealing look, attracting more tenants.


Satisfied tenants in LA

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Benefits of Frequently Repainting Rental Properties


Landlords’ ability to understand the benefits of giving their rental properties a professional paint job allows them to make better decisions about maintenance and upkeep. Here are several benefits that come with having a rental property repainted:

Positive Reputation

Rental occupants’ satisfaction with the newly renovated appearance of their homes draws attention when they convey it positively to others. Word-of-mouth recommendations and favorable online evaluations hold substantial sway on how landlords are regarded in the surrounding vicinity. These reviews serve as crucial advertising tools that generate interest and trust among potential tenants

Increased Tenant Satisfaction

A fresh coat of paint on walls and surfaces can have an appealing effect that gives tenants a comfortable atmosphere within their rented homes. This is particularly important for tenants who occupy rental spaces for prolonged periods.

Besides its aesthetic value, it’s essential to recognize that a nicely-painted rental unit plays a crucial role in maintaining a tenant’s security deposit safety. because this contributes to their satisfaction levels significantly. 

Satisfied renters are inclined to extend lease agreements, minimizing turnover rates that benefit both property owners and occupants. Moreover, reduced tenant turnover also saves time, effort as well as costs associated with finding new renters while decreasing revenue loss from extended vacancies.

Efficient Turnover Process

Tenants are naturally drawn to well-maintained properties that look great both inside and out and applying fresh coats of paint ensures your property meets these expectations. Doing so can inspire greater interest from potential renters leading to reduced vacancy periods which translates into maximizing revenue opportunities for property owners.

Therefore, Landlords who have efficient turnover processes will also avoid financial losses caused by empty rentals while benefiting from consistent cash flow throughout the year. Additionally, investing in routine maintenance and repainting efforts is critical for commanding premium rates expected by tenants looking for quality living spaces.


Painting increases the property value in california

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Increased Property Value

Enhancing a rental’s curb appeal is critical in determining its market value. The initial impression that new exterior painting creates increases the property’s eyesight worthiness for prospective tenants or homebuyers by enhancing its visual attractiveness.

It highlights your commitment towards your asset and generates more interest in it, thus elevating its overall value and the perceived worthiness of interested parties. 

Another aspect property owners must contemplate is ROI; despite upfront costs associated with repainting, investing in repainting your properties yield certain returns, including higher rental income & sales rates warranting additional investments since they pay off over time, adding long-term benefits to owning/renting properties.


Choosing the Right Paint


Selecting the most sensible type of paint for your property is an integral decision that should be approached with utmost care. The overall quality and longevity of your painting endeavor will be heavily influenced by this choice so consider these essential factors before making a final selection:

Paint Type

Multiple types of paints are accessible today – latex/acrylic ones, oil-based options, plus specialty ones like mold-resistant or stain-resistant variants. Latex/acrylic enamel has become a convenient choice due to how easy it is to use with its short drying period and resilience.

In contrast, oil-based paintings guarantee an elegant result and are frequently picked in high-traffic locations. There are also custom-made formulations which provides tailor-made solutions based on individual scenarios.



When choosing paints for any project that involves surfaces like walls and ceilings with varying degrees of traffic and exposure to moisture in different indoor areas, it is essential to consider paint finishes that will serve well in those other conditions.

  • Flat/Matte Finish paints hide ceilings’ imperfections much better than others, making them ideal for low-traffic spaces since they scratch easily.
  • Semi-Gloss Finish paint offers easy clean-up convenience primarily used in commercial settings which needs frequent cleansing activities.
  • High-Gloss Finish reflects more light than any other paint finish, making it perfect for high-moisture spaces like bathroom walls. [3]


Use of the correct types of paint in a rental property

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Durability and Washability

Choosing a durable and long-lasting paint brand is a critical aspect of preparing to rent out your property successfully. Tenants may not always prioritize wall maintenance during their stay, which can lead to extensive wear-and-tear over time.

Opting for high-quality paints with sturdy washing capabilities and effective stain-fighting solutions can combat these issues while retaining the polished appearance of a freshly painted walls throughout frequent upkeep activities.

Prioritize brand reputation and durability when selecting a paint line; this will ensure optimal results during both self-maintenance checks and tenant cleaning routines.




A property owner who manages rental properties must be aware of the rules and factors related to how often they should repaint rental units. It bears mentioning that there is no specific legal requirement mandating landlords to repaint their rental units at set intervals.

However, The burden lies with the landlord to see to it that these properties remain well maintained from an aesthetic as well as functional standpoint. This involves performing regular upkeep activities – such as repainting – as deemed necessary. 

At Lotus Properties, we understand how important it is to uphold high standards across all aspects of rental property management. 

As an industry pioneer with extensive knowledge of the Pacific Palisades, Malibu, and West Hollywood neighborhoods as well as the Greater Los Angeles regions, we provide exceptional property management services by utilizing qualified personnel in a variety of areas. Get in touch with us here at Lotus Properties today!