Allowing Your Tenant TO PAINT: PROS and CONS

It’s a lot of work to maintain a rental property. As a landlord, you probably understand how important it is to keep your rental property attractive. An attractive property has the ‘wow’ factor that will attract maximum rent – and good tenants.

One way to ensure the property looks appealing to prospective tenants is to paint it prior to them moving in. Majority of landlords go for neutral paint colors. This is essentially because neutral colors are always popular, timeless, and appropriate for many decorating styles.

However, some renters prefer more vibrant and interesting colors. So, what should you do if your tenant requests to change the paint color?

Well, before deciding what to do, a professional real estate and property management company Rogue Real Estate Sales in Medford, shares with us the pros and cons that go along with allowing your tenants to paint.

The Pros of Allowing Your Tenants to Paint Your Rental

It is amazing what paint does to a place. A fresh coat of paint can completely transform a room. Usually, when a tenant wants to paint their rental, they are looking to put in an accent color wall in the main living room or they just want to liven up a child’s bedroom.

Here are some reasons why it may be worthwhile:

•Allowing tenants to create a space of their own will make them happy. And as a landlord, you probably know that happy tenants mean long-term investment returns.

•The freedom it brings attracts quality tenants. Very few landlords allow their tenants to paint their rentals. If you allow this, it will undoubtedly make your property highly desirable to prospective tenants.

•It can act as an incentive to good tenants. If you have a tenant with clean habits and a proven history of on-time payments, consider allowing them to paint their units if they wish so. Finding good tenants isn’t always an easy walk in the park.

•Tenants may rent longer. Allowing your tenants to paint may give them a greater feeling of ownership about the place and treat the rental as more of a home. Consequently, they may rent for a longer period.


The Cons of Allowing Your Tenants to Paint Your Rental

Allowing your tenants to paint has some pitfalls. Here is why it may not be worthwhile:

•The tenant may use the wrong paint. The wrong paint can leave your property looking worse than ever.

•The tenant may use an incorrect technique. Examples of painting techniques include glazing, sgraffito, dry brushing, and underpainting.

•The tenant can get some paint on the ceiling, trim and floor. This will lead to unnecessary repairs.

•The tenant can choose a unique and unpopular color.

•It may mean more work for you when the lease period comes to an end. This is because the new color must be primed first, then painted over to match the initial color once again. If you didn’t have a paint policy, this may mean an added cost for you.

Luckily, you can prevent these pitfalls by simply putting some conditions. Such conditions are as follows.

•Let your tenant know that they must always seek permission first. Let your tenant know that it’s a lease violation to make changes on your property without your consent.

•Make them pay for all (or some) of it. You could buy the materials and let the tenant contribute their time and labor. That is, as long as they do a good job. Repainting between tenancies is a standard practice. If you have a good tenant and you pick a good paint, repainting every year may become unnecessary. You may only need to repaint your home every three to five years.

•Put it in writing. Before allowing your tenants to paint, get a written agreement. The agreement, among other things, should stipulate if and how the tenants are reimbursed if they pay for labor and materials.

•Clearly define the standard and share what the consequences would be if they don’t meet that standard. The standard could be as simple as placing a deposit with you, or as extensive as contracting professional painters themselves at the end of the tenancy. The standard should also address the paint color. Tenants can choose really strange colors if you allow them to do this. So, let them know what is okay and what is not.

•Specify what, in the space, you’ll let your renters paint. Renters can sometimes get ambitious with their painting. If you have special features in your unit (i.e. crown molding, brick walls, wood paneling), this could be at your very hefty expense.

A coat of paint is typically much cheaper than a vacant rental property. The right answer is really up to every individual landlord and can vary depending on their location, quality of rental, and preference.

If you choose to allow your tenants to paint, make sure you have a written agreement. Among other things, the agreement should stipulate who pays for it, what space tenants can paint, who bears any resulting liabilities, and the amount of paint deposit if any.