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Should landlords let their tenants decorate?


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We asked this question at the beginning of the week over on our Instagram and it got a HUGE response from our followers. 

So we thought we'd ask you guys what your thoughts are on the subject, as we know not everyone has social media.

This will be part of a feature piece for the Property Hub Magazine so if you're keen to get involved then leave your responses below and we could be contacting you to see if you'd be happy for your comment to feature in the magazine. 

So, do you think landlords should allow their tenants to decorate? 

 

And, just as a quick reminder, if you're thinking of subscribing to the magazine, make sure you take advantage of the offer we have on until midnight on Monday! You can subscribe here and use code 'SPECIALOFFER' to be signed up for the final issue of the year, and receive the September/October issue for FREE!

Megan Farrow
Marketing Executive

www.propertyhub.net

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I think there is a balance to be found here. Allowing a tenant to decorate may allow them to feel more “at home” and more inclined to renew a tenancy . On the other end you loose control over what is done to your property and to what quality. I have allowed certain tenants, typically longer term tenants, to decorate in keeping with the tone of a property and I approve individual colours etc. Also, I have at times given permission for tenants to decorate on the condition that the property is returned to its original states from paint, fixtures, wall conditions etc. 

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And do they return if to the same condition - no. They are moving on and So no longer care. We had one move out this year and had to strip off the emulsion they had used on the gloss. Created more work than necessary. 
 

BUT. it is there home so invariably we wsngvthdd Ed m to feel at home even if they hadn’t decorated it would need a fresh coat of paint when they leave. 

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I ask tenants to get permission before they decorate and then make it clear that poor standards or strong colours will incur a redecoration charge when they leave if not corrected.

I think tenants who invest in their home are  more likely to stay and also to look after the property.

We need to bear in mine that although it is out house it is their home :) 

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We're prepared to allow redecoration to their own style, but usually only after they have been in the property for a longer period of time. We then ask that only neutral (creams/greys) colours are used and advise that the finish has to be as good as it was before otherwise they may incur redecoration charges at the end of the tenancy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My take is to meet them half way. I make sure it's down on paper that they're free to decorate the walls as long as its neutral colours that will be easy to cover and the woodwork must stay white.

I once had a tenant decorate the house herself. She was a sitting tenant when I bought the property so I let her carry on as it needed a whole paint job once she moved out, she had green wall, brown skiting, pink bathroom which they didn't have a brush to cut in so they just butted the corners with a roller, they'd started painting the coving with two different colours but didn't like either so left them as they were. That's when I realised I'd have to be more strict about it.

I personally take it as a good sign when they ask if they can paint a bit as it's a sign they intend to stay and it saves me having to pay to keep it up to scratch. Win win

 

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10 hours ago, amariino said:

How do you charge them redecorating charges at the end of the tenancy? Do you have that written into the tenancy agreement somewhere?

I make sure all the correspondence is in writing and they check I'm happy with the colour before they start. That way if they steer from the agreement I can keep the bont to cover costs. It doesn't cover a full redecoration but it's something

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I'm pretty much of the view that the house will be redecorated when they leave anyway, and if they want to decorate it implies they may have been there a while and as such I'd be more than happy to let them decorate if it keeps them happy and in occupation.  My main concern is liability, injury if they fall, so I'd provide materials and equipment for them to make sure they have the right kit, including sheets to protect carpets etc.    

Same approach with pictures, etc.  Longer they stay, better outcome.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had this exact thing happen to me last month from new tenants moving in, they asked if they could paint a few walls grey (all walls are currently white). 

My answer has been 'We can discuss this after 6 months have passed'. Reason? I'd rather see that they pay their rent, cause no issues and with COVID still around, they intend on staying in the property long-term. After 6 months, I'd be happy for the to decorate a few walls grey, as long as I have approved the colours before hand and the work is to a good quality. If not, I'd charge them out the deposit for it to be rectified. 

John Skidmore

Director

Koselig Co.

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15 hours ago, JohnSkidmore said:

I had this exact thing happen to me last month from new tenants moving in, they asked if they could paint a few walls grey (all walls are currently white). 

My answer has been 'We can discuss this after 6 months have passed'. Reason? I'd rather see that they pay their rent, cause no issues and with COVID still around, they intend on staying in the property long-term. After 6 months, I'd be happy for the to decorate a few walls grey, as long as I have approved the colours before hand and the work is to a good quality. If not, I'd charge them out the deposit for it to be rectified. 

This is a pretty good strategy and one I have adopted when tenants ask if they can have a pet. Once they have been in for 6 months and proved to be a reliable tenant I am inclined to allow pets / decoration. The longer they stay the less impact this has on the cost of returning property to a good condition for the next tenant. Plus, they are more likely to stay in a house that allows them to live as they choose.

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I have had tenants who just go ahead and redecorate without getting permissions! Then there are others long term whom I will help towards decorating, although I'm not keen on wallpaper - although a longer termed tenant I am flexible on.  I will always try and treat my Tenants how I would want to be treated and respect that, yes, it is their home.  I am not keen on pets though - in my experiences there is never a good outcome in terms of wear and tear as well as the presents left in the garden! 

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When it comes to decorating the house/apartment, you should meet your tenants half way. They do not have to go over the top with their decoration, as it might affect the look and character of the house, however, as many of you already stated, wanting to decorate the house is a sign that they are willing to stay longer, and this is positive.

The tenants are free to communicate the changes in the decoration that they would like to make, and if you approve, then they can proceed with the changes. Decorating though, doesn't only mean painting the property. Sometimes the tenants would like to do more than that. This has to be agreed with the owner though.

Respect for the property is a must in this kind of situations though.

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