Walk Thru Dispute- Office Property

11 Replies

Walk Thru issue - Office Property


The tenants were the original owners and had done a sale leaseback many years ago. The tenants have now decided to move out. In the process of getting the property ready to be returned to the Landlord the tenants used the original paint they had (presumably leftovers from the original date of purchase of the property or later years of repainting) to paint areas (internally only) that needed paint and touch up.

As a result during the walk thru the paint the tenant used does not match the existing walls color. It looks patchy and unprofessional. In addition, the tenants probably used rollers instead of the original spray making it look different.

The tenant claims that since they used the original paint (many years old) they are not responsible for the paint differences.

The Landlord claims that the property was given to the tenants with uniform colored paint on the walls and returning it with patches of different paint color/shade does not constitute ordinary wear and tear and has asked the tenant to correct the situation.

The lease clearly states the property needs to be returned to the Landlord in the same condition as received and broom clean except for ordinary wear and tear.

The tenant has refused to correct the situation.

Since the office property is up for sale and not re-tenanting it is going to be sold as is. The paint on the rest of the walls is fine except for these patches. A new buyer will ask for a reduction in price so the Landlord wants it to be corrected.

What are your thoughts?

I don’t know the stent of the “damage” that was repainted, but.....sounds if they had Not repainted, it would have been normal wear and tear.  After years, the landlord Should expect to have to repaint.

Guessing they've been there for a long time.  If that is the case and it is being sold as is, do you think the cost of a paint job would pay for itself in the sales price and time to sell?  If you think it is worth the cost, then just pay to get it done and write off the cost.

Not sure if the following info will change any of the answers given so far, but here it is:

The property changed hands a few times over the years. The tenant has always been the same. As mentioned earlier the tenant had done a sale leaseback some years ago. The current Landlord has only had it for about 2 years. 

Also the tenant is threatening to sue if the Landlord deducts  from the deposit any costs incurred for repainting the patchy areas.

I'm out of my element as your question is for commercial, not residential, but IMO if owner planned to repaint anyway, just repaint and call it a day. If owner did not repaint, you need to consider if the paint has consumed its useful life. If it was just painted a few years ago, I would charge them for the damage. If the paint is 15-20 years old, the fresh coat of paint would have been needed anyway. 

Originally posted by @Joe Kelly:
Originally posted by @Andrew B.:

If the paint is 15-20 years old, the fresh coat of paint would have been needed anyway. 

Even if something is old it doesn't give the tenant the right to cause further damage beyond normal wear and tear. If they would have just left the paint as it was we could argue about that, but they attempted to fix it and then did a bad job of it. 

This is what security deposits are for. Every tenant says they're going to sue, most of them don't have the slightest idea how that works. We're probably only talking about a few hundred bucks, but that should not be on the landlord.


 I'm not condoning the behavior. The fact of the matter though is that the juice is probably not worth the squeeze if you had already planned on painting. 

Sound like the paint was old.  It does not matter when the owner changed, but how long ago the place was painted.  If it was more than 5 years, then the owner should just repaint it.