Property Management Blog

Should I Allow Tenants to Paint My Rental Property

Pinnacle Property Management - Monday, August 10, 2020

Have your tenants inquired about painting your rental?

As a landlord, it’s likely that you have opted for colors in your rental units that are as neutral as possible. Gray and white are common favorites among rental owners. Even though these colors are neutral, you may still encounter tenants who find these colors off-putting.

As a result, your tenants may propose to undertake a paint job in your rental property. In this article, we are going to take a closer look at what options you have in order to find a solution in these scenarios.

Should Your Allow Tenants to Paint Your Rental Property?

Your tenants may want to paint the walls by themselves instead of having you do the paint job for them. This means that all the expenses regarding tools and paint will be paid by your renter.

Now, if your renter asks you to paint the rental, you have three main responses that you can opt for:

1. NO – They Can’t Paint the Rental

You can always reserve your right to completely oppose your tenant’s idea. However, even though you are disapproving of their plans, you can do so in a friendly and polite manner. 

You can also offer other alternatives. For instance, you can propose that they install removable wallpaper, or “renter’s wallpaper.” 

In theory, this type of wallpaper should come off easily and leave behind zero marks. However, you must be careful. Sometimes, after stripping it from the walls, the renter’s wallpaper may still leave unsightly stains.

You want to make sure your renter buys high quality removable wallpaper.

2. YES – But There are Certain Conditions

You may allow your renter to paint the property under certain conditions.  

One of the basic conditions is agreeing on the colors beforehand. Otherwise, you could find your rental to be painted in a color that has no popular appeal. This outcome will likely lower your property’s value until it’s repainted again.

You are also able to set clear boundaries regarding the suitable rooms and areas of your rental property for painting. For example, you can tell your tenants that woodwork and natural stone are off-limits.

Another condition is charging your tenants a repainting fee. This fixed fee would pay for any costs that result from the painting job when their lease finishes. It’s important to check whether this fee is legal in your particular jurisdiction.

3. YES – They Can Paint the Rental

This is a simple way to move forward, but you should definitely weigh the pros and cons of saying yes. As already outlined, it pays to take a precautionary approach and set a few conditions for your rental’s repainting.

Saying yes doesn’t mean that you have to skip a discussion with your renter. You can still try to understand their plans and offer your personal opinions and preferences on how the final outcome should look.

Agreeing to the painting project does have its risks, but it comes with advantages as well. For instance, saying yes can foster a better long-term relationship with your tenant. When the market is tough, it makes perfect sense to focus on these aspects too.

Rules Surrounding Repainting the Property

As a rental property owner, you have to be ready for a variety of situations. You could find yourself being asked to repaint your entire rental or a part of it. The reasons behind this could range from dissatisfaction with the current colors to finding the paint too faded.

You are definitely not required to proceed with a painting job. At the same time, it’s smart to remember that your local area could have requirements for your rental’s paint job. For instance, there are localities in the States that require you to repaint the living quarters every five or seven years.

Similarly, there are rules and regulations in place that govern the tenant-landlord relationships when the paint in the property contains lead. In most cases, your renters can ask you to eliminate the paint that contains lead and repaint the walls.

These requirements are not based on aesthetics but on public health considerations instead. This means that when your tenants want the walls to be repainted based on aesthetic preferences, they are not going to have any legal justifications to back them up.

Sometimes these situations take a wrong turn. For example, you may discover that your tenants have painted the property without notifying you of the changes. In such a case, you are likely to have the right to deduct the paint removal and repainting costs from the security deposit.

In a Nutshell: Allowing Tenants to Paint My Property

When your tenants want to paint your property, you have three major options.

  • Allow them to paint the unit without conditions in order to foster a long-term relationship.
  • Let your tenants paint the property after disclosing a set of conditions.
  • Politely disagree with the idea so as not take any risks with the paint job’s quality.

For further inquiries, contact us today!

Pinnacle Property Management
CA DRE # 01905815
22700 Crenshaw Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90505
Ph: (310) 530-0606
Fax: (310) 626-9786

We are open from 8:30am to 5:00pm M-F.

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