Should I Allow Tenants to Paint my Rental Property? 

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Paint Rental Unit Featured

No two tenants are alike. While some may be very particular, others may not really care about property aesthetics at all. If you spend a while renting out your property, you’re sure to eventually wind up with tenants who want to have their say in the appearance of their unit.

Every tenant deserves a unit that is clean and well-maintained, but there’s a difference between maintenance and decorating. Tenants may request quite a bit of freedom to make changes and redecorate the rental unit, which may include repainting the space. 

So what should you do? Should you permit this or not?

When you’re trying to retain long-term tenants, how you handle a situation like this will be significant. You’ll likely want to contribute to the joy and happiness of your tenant by saying yes. On the other hand, you’ll likely feel hesitant about the unintentional damage that could result. There are no shortage of issues that can emerge from an improper paint job

Of course, it depends on your own preferences and taste as well. Are you very particular about the design and look of your units? This could make the decision to surrender a bit of control harder for you.

There are plenty of pros and cons of allowing or not allowing a tenant to paint your rental property. It all depends on your flexibility as a landlord. This article will present possible positive and the negative outcomes of this decision.

Pros of Allowing a Tenant to Paint the Unit

1. The Tenant Will Be Happy

It’s important in the rental property business to strive to keep tenants happy. Landlords put a lot of effort into finding good tenants, but an equally important task is to hold onto good tenants once you have them.

While your main objective may be to keep your property vacancies at a minimum, it’s the renters themselves who can ensure that by sticking around. If you give a tenant flexibility in redecorating the unit and repainting it, you’ll provide feelings of freedom and happiness. 

2.The Tenant May Be More Likely to Renew

If you allow the renter to redecorate or repaint the unit, they may be inspired to stay longer. They will likely feel an extension of ownership over the space, and will be happy to come home to the rental unit everyday.

Neutral Paint Colours

It’s important for all of us to leave a mark of our individuality on their world. Making an impact on surroundings may make us more likely to want to stay where we are.

3. Encouraging a Sense of Home

With an opportunity to affect the aesthetics of their surroundings, renters may feel a sense of ease and comfort afterwards. After personalizing their home, renters will likely stay longer. After all, looking for other rental units takes considerable effort. It’s not every day that renters are permitted to make personal changes to reflect their own sensibilities. 

Cons in Allowing a Tenant to Paint the Unit

1.Huge Time and Labor Allocation

If your tenants come and go, repainting your rental unit back to its original shade can be tiresome. Painting the interior of a unit can take up a huge amount of time, and it’s especially difficult to have maintenance done during a global pandemic

For example, say you have a new prospect who wants to move in right away. They wouldn’t be able to do so if you needed to allot time for a repainting session to be done. If this new prospect was reliant on a speedy move-in, you could miss out on a reliable renter. 

2. Maintenance Can Be Costly

Giving permission for tenants to paint the unit can have a great financial impact. If you want a professional job to be done, you’ll need to hire a professional painter. If the tenant plans to shoulder the expenses, it can be difficult to have control over the quality of the paint finish.

Painting Messes

Your tenant might decide to perform the work on their own. The prospect of a poorly done job introduces a world of other potential stresses. 

3. Possibility of a Huge Mess

Painting professionals exist for a reason. Painting properly is tough, and the mess of a bad paint job can affect the look of your rental property. There’s no shortage of potential problems that can arise after a substandard paint job. For just one example, a sub-par job could damage your flooring and furnishings. 

Designing Detailed Conditions in the Agreement

Now that you’re aware of the pros and cons of permitting a tenant to repaint, are you still keen on giving the go-ahead signal? Or are you hesitant to acquiesce to the request? You can always choose a third option if you don’t want to respond with a definite yes or no. 

Your third option would be to design detailed conditions in the lease. You can permit the tenant to change the colour of the rental property with provisions. This would limit the tenant’s control in redecorating the rental space, while also providing a sense of freedom at the same time. 

Range of Colours

Here are some questions to address in the leasing agreement: 

  • Should the tenant or landlord pay for the painting materials and labor?
  • Should the tenant repaint the unit back to the original shade upon moving out?
  • What’s the required length of stay for the tenant to be permitted to alter the unit by repainting?
  • Are there limits to a painting palette, or can the tenant choose any colour they desire?

Being clear on your expectations will greatly reduce any misunderstandings. The tenant’s task is to meet the conditions. As long as the tenant follows the agreement, there shouldn’t be any problems. 

Making an Inventory 

Since there will be changes to the appearance of your unit, it’s advisable to make an inventory. This way, you can easily compare the past and present property conditions.

Painting Tools

When you ask the tenant to revert the painting colour back to the original upon the lease’s end, it will be quicker. Not having an inventory may result in stressful arguments. As much as possible, we aim for peace of mind as landlords.

Bottom Line

So, should you allow your tenants to paint your rental property? There’s no hard and fast rule to this. You can opt to make the renters happy, but then you’ll have to be ready for the drawbacks. After all, maybe you’ve had to have your unit painted already as one of the steps to get your unit ready for the rental market

If you want to be more flexible but protect yourself at the same time, a good compromise solution is to give a conditional permission.

If you need professional property management to handle your property, contact Real Canadian Property Management Solutions at (780) 532-4900 or visit the website at www.rcpmsolutions.ca.