How tenants paint their walls is up to them. Strong colors must be removed when moving out. Even if the landlord is responsible for cosmetic repairs.

Tenants are often required to perform cosmetic repairs. However, the clauses in the rental agreement are often ineffective. However, that does not mean that tenants can ultimately return the apartment as they want.

This is shown by a ruling by the Wupptertal Regional Court (Az .: 9 S 18/20), which is reported by the magazine “Das Grundigentum” (No. 16/2020) of the Haus & Grund Berlin owners’ association . According to the judges, dowel holes and strong latex paint do not work.

In the negotiated case, the tenants moved out without renovating the apartment. The cosmetic repairs clauses in the lease were ineffective. After the apartment had been returned , the tenants demanded a repayment of the deposit, reimbursement of rents that were accidentally overpaid, and the payment of a credit from an utility bill. The landlord counted against the removal of the dowel holes and the painting of the strong latex paint on the walls.

Rightly so: the tenants are liable for damages, according to the court. Dowel holes must be closed at the end of the lease, even if they were made during the lease as part of the contractual use. The obligation to remove does not only exist in the case of atypical user behavior.

Even with strong latex paints on the walls, tenants are obliged to restore the apartment in such a way that normal cosmetic repairs would have been sufficient. However, the landlord has no claim to compensation for loss of rent: Due to the inadmissible clauses in the rental agreement, he is obliged to make cosmetic repairs anyway.