Can a renter install highway or road signs on a rental property? And I mean like drilling right into the side of the house, which is stucco.

I'm in California and have a new problem neighbor who has done just this. I don't know what he does for a living, maybe he works in construction and has free access to them.

He has drilled different-sized highway/construction and road signs on the one side of the property he's renting. It looks God-awful now.

Is this legal? What can the property management company and/or the property owner do about this?

1 Answer 1


The question is if a renter can significantly alter the property or the property's appearance - in this case the exterior with the signs. I doubt the fact that the alterations are signage is really significant; unless they are stolen, or they cause someone to make a wrong turn into the corner of the building. :)

It's probably in the lease that a renter can't make significant changes to the property's appearance without permission from the property owner or management; i.e. many leases don't allow you to repaint rooms, put in new carpet, etc. without permission from the landlord.

But, it all depends on the lease. If you both have the same property management company, see what is in your lease about property alterations.

Every lease I have ever seen (and most of the free template lease forms on the web have) had a clause stating that making unauthorized changes to the property is not permitted, along with the possible penalties, like paying for the damages, losing a deposit, even eviction.

The fact that you're in CA really doesn't matter when it comes to the lease; damage clauses, though pretty much universal, are by choice of the landlord. (As an aside, CA does have statewide laws about lead paint, for one example, that are required to be disclosed in leases.)

Is this legal?

This depends on the lease, as above.

What can the property management company and/or the property owner do about this?

That's up to them, but a possibility is for someone to call the property manager and let them know what's happening.

  • Many tenancy agreements here also include clauses such that the tenants must not cause disruption or upset to the neighbours, with similar penalties (usually a warning or a termination). Even if the alteration was approved in theory by the PMC/owner, it can still fall foul of other clauses.
    – user4657
    Jul 15, 2016 at 10:12

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