The time will come when your tenants will ask if they can repaint the walls of your rental property. Even if you’ve painted your rental a neutral color (it’s the “safest” choice and tends to appeal to most people), your tenants may still prefer to paint it in a color of their choice. After all, it’s natural for tenants to want their rental to feel homier and more “them”. Some of your tenants will want to make some home improvements like painting. So, you need to know everything about improvements made to the rental property by tenants. In this post, we’re going to go over the pros and cons of allowing tenants to paint the walls of your property, so you can make a sound decision.
Advantages of Allowing Tenants to Paint the Rental Property
Let’s take a look at the advantages of letting tenants paint your property:
#1 Encourages Tenants to Renew Their Lease Agreements
Your tenants are aware that they don’t own your rental, however, if you make them feel that they have some ownership, they’ll likely stay for a longer time. The reason for this is that they feel more at home – a feeling that’s hard to find for most tenants, particularly for those who live in properties with very strict rules. Tenants already have to deal with a ton of restrictions, but if you ease up on yours, they’ll be less likely to leave. Because they’ll be more comfortable, they will rent with you for the long-term – this also means you won’t have to worry about cash flow, tenant turnover, and more.
#2 Allows You to Attract More Tenants
It’s rare for landlords to let their tenants paint their property, so when potential tenants find out that you allow it, you’ll be at the top of their list. They will turn away from the landlords who don’t allow tenants to paint their property. With that said, by allowing tenants to choose their wall’s colors, you’ll be able to attract more tenants. In short, your rental is sure to stand out.
Pro Tip: With the help of a professional property management company, you can market your rental with this as one of your main selling points.
#3 Allows You to Raise Your Rent
When you allow tenants to repaint your property, you may also be able to raise your rent. Remember, tenants will be more willing to pay a premium if the property offers them more freedom, such as the opportunity to paint their space the way they wanted. Since landlords who allow this are a rare find, so you can use this reason to increase your rental rate.
#4 Increases the Property’s Rental Value (Without Spending a Penny)
You can improve your property’s rental value by treating it to a brand-new coat of paint. If you allow tenants to repaint the walls, you may not have to spend a penny on property improvements. As a bonus of being able to boost your real estate investment’s value, you can charge a greater rent from tenants who are specifically looking for properties with fresh coats of paint.
Disadvantages of Allowing Tenants to Paint the Property
Now that you know what the pros of allowing tenants to paint your property are, let’s take a look at the cons:
#1 Risk of Amateur Work
Painting seems simple, but it’s best to let professionals do it if you want your walls to be as smooth as possible. Keep in mind that your tenants will want to save money, so they’ll likely do the paint job themselves. This puts your property at risk of a substandard paint job.
#2 Bad News For Your Rental’s Curb Appeal
What if your tenant paints the exterior walls in a color that’s so bad that it sticks out in a bad way? For example, they painted the exterior walls with red and white stripes. Allowing tenants to paint your property (particularly the exterior walls) can be risky, as it can badly impact its curb appeal.
#3 Costs to Restore the Original Paint
What if your tenants painted the walls in a bold, bright color that your future tenants won’t find pleasing to the eyes? You will have to repaint the walls to restore the original color, meaning you’ll have to spend more money. To mitigate this, you should let your tenant sign an agreement, stating that they should cover the costs to repaint the property to its original color prior to moving out.
A professional property management firm can help you draft a foolproof contract that clearly states if the tenant should shoulder the restoration costs.
#4 Risk of Property Damage
Your tenants aren’t pros, so they may not be that careful when painting the walls. The paint may drip onto the floors, causing damage to the wood, carpets, etc. They may also forget to prep the room (e.g. by taping the edges of cabinets) before painting.
#5 Likely to Cause Landlord-Tenant Conflict
Suppose you said yes to your tenant’s paint job, but you weren’t expecting them to paint your property in such an extreme color. This can create conflict between the two of you, weakening your relationship and discouraging your tenant from renewing their rental contract.
What Are Your Options?
There are three things you can do when a tenant asks if they can paint your property:
NOT Allow Your Tenants to Paint the Property
If you choose this route, you can save yourself from headaches. Just note that your tenants will probably be disappointed, so be sure to tell them that you can’t allow the paint job in a polite way.
Allow Your Tenants to Paint the Property (With Conditions)
You can allow your tenants to paint the property as long as you get to enforce certain conditions, such as choosing the color, choosing which rooms to paint, and charging your tenant the cost to restore the walls to their original color.
Allow Your Tenants to Paint the Property (With Complete Freedom)
If you want to offer your tenants complete freedom, you’re free to do so. This is the riskiest option, as your tenants will be able to do whatever they want to your rental property’s walls. The paint job may not be pleasant.
Weigh the Pros and Cons With a Davie Property Manager
Allowing tenants to paint your property is up to you, however, if you want the opinion of a professional, consider consulting a Davie property manager. At Luxury Property Care, our experts are here to help you decide if allowing tenants to repaint your property is a good idea, considering certain market conditions. Should you decide not to allow it, we’ll also help you secure the best deals, and connect you with reputable contractors who can do the paint job correctly.