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Should I Allow My Tenants to Paint my Rental Property?

Should I Allow My Tenants to Paint my Rental Property?

As a landlord, you should consider painting your rental property in a neutral palette. That way, the walls match any furniture colors.

However, some tenants, especially long-term ones, would prefer changing the color of the walls. They may want brighter colors or want to follow a certain color scheme.

Allowing tenants to paint your rental property can be a great idea. Giving them this option may make them feel more “at home” in your rental. Thus, it may encourage them to continue renewing their lease.

That said, before signing your approval, you can set conditions. This will help mitigate certain risks.

In this post, we are outlining what you should do if you’re considering allowing your tenants to paint the rental.

natural paint colors paint chips

1. Speak about Costs and Fees

When creating your leasing agreement, include a clause addressing the repainting of the rental unit.

Before crafting your lease, check with your local regulations to ensure that you’re compliant with the current laws. In Florida, you’re permitted to charge the renter with a nonrefundable painting fee.

You can also state that once the tenancy ends, if the tenant decides not to renew their lease, they’re responsible for repainting the unit back to the original color and paying for the associated costs.

Finally, if you state that your authorization is needed for a tenant to paint the rental, but they paint the walls without your consent, then they can face a consequence. You can charge the repainting fees to their security deposit.

2. Hire a Professional

If you or your renter don’t know how to paint well, the job will be sloppy. This means you will have an unattractive rental unit. So, we recommend you hire the services of a professional painter.

Professionals safeguard their reputation, so they always strive for excellent results.

A bad painting job can mean paint spots on the floors, furniture and woodwork. Although painting the unit yourself can save you money, it may not be worth it in the end.

If you decide to let your tenant paint the rental themselves, you can collect a paint deposit. If the painting job is unsatisfactory, you can keep the paint deposit. If the job is well-done, then you can return the painting deposit to the tenant.


3. Have a Paint Policy

Having a paint policy helps clarify limits. Directly rejecting a tenant’s request to paint the rental unit can disappoint them.

So, from the beginning of the tenancy, set painting conditions.

Here are some of the conditions you can set:

  • Range of colors: A preselected paint palette helps narrow down the choices. The advantage is you’ve tested these shades. You know they’d look good, and also be easy to manage when repainting the unit.
  • Brand, type and primer brand: As a landlord, you reserve the right to choose quality to match your property’s standards.

4. Consider an Accent Wall

If your tenant wants to repaint the whole unit, you may not be ready to deal with the associated painting expenses or work.  This is where you can bargain and be open to the idea of only repainting one wall – creating an accent wall.

Not only is it affordable, but it also saves the landlord and the tenant time and financial resources.

Accent walls can satisfy the tenant’s need and it can give the unit a fresh and personalized look.

Work out a compromise with the tenant by permitting an accent wall. This way when the tenant moves out, the repainting process will be quicker. Pleasing and making your tenants happy should certainly be your goal, but it’s also important to be practical.


Bottom Line

Dealing with painting requests should be handled with care.

Paying attention to your tenants’ happiness is vital in the competitive rental industry. So, remember to discuss the painting costs, work with a professional, set conditions in your approval and consider having an accent wall.

If a tenant asks you to paint their rental unit, the decision is yours. Just be aware of the consequences and create good alternatives. You want to encourage your tenants to continuously renew their lease – and a good way to do so is to make them happy and make your rental feel like home.

An outright “no” may result in turnovers, so find the right balance and keep smart strategies in place.