Should I Let My Tenant Paint the Rental?

Maintaining a rental property is a lot of work. Landlords that own rental properties know that keeping them attractive is important.

One of the best ways to ensure that tenants are happy with the place is to paint the rental before they move in. Most landlords choose a white or cream color to keep the look neutral. But what happens when the tenant approaches the landlord and wants to paint?

Some renters want to add some color to their living space while others are simply tired of white or cream and want an accent wall in a beautiful color. However, there are several factors that landlords need to consider before asking themselves, “Should I let my tenant paint the rental?”

Should I Let My Tenant Paint the Rental: Pros

Should I Let My Tenant Paint the Rental: Pros

When a tenant wants to paint their rental, they usually want to bring some color and personality into the space. Usually tenants just want to liven up a children’s bedroom or put in an accent color wall in the main living room.

The advantage to allowing a tenant to paint is that they may have a greater feeling of ownership about the place and treat the rental as more of a home.

Some landlords feel that if an especially good tenant with a proven history of on-time payments and clean habits may deserve the perk of painting as an incentive to stick around and renew their lease for another year.

Still other landlords recognize that the choice to paint certain areas attracts quality tenants who find that feature highly desirable and may provide a palette of approved colors and paint brands that a tenant can select from.

Having the freedom to create a space of their own makes most tenants very happy. After all, a happy tenant is usually a happy landlord.

Should I Let My Tenant Paint the Rental: Cons

The downside of answering the question of “Should I let my tenant paint the rental?” is that painting may seem easy but to do a professional-looking job requires some care and experience that many tenants simply don’t have.

Problems like accidental paint spills, roller bumps on the ceiling and paint on outlet covers and trim can make things look even worse in a rental.

Allowing paint can also create more work for the landlord when the tenant moves out, because the new color must be primed first, then painted over to match the original neutral paint once again.

Many landlords simply don’t want their tenants doing any work or improvements on the rental property as a rule, painting included. It’s often easier to just say no to improvement requests across the board rather than head down that slippery slope.

RentPrep’s Take On “Should I Let My Tenant Paint the Rental?”

Should I Let My Tenant Paint the Rental: Cons

There’s really no right answer that applies to every rental situation when it comes to allowing a tenant to paint. Each tenant and each situation affects the decision and landlords must assess the pros and cons for their unique circumstance.

It might be a good idea to let a long-term tenant do some painting as an incentive to renew their lease. The landlord may determine they will have to repaint that unit anyhow once it is vacant again, so it would be no big deal to allow it.

On the other hand, many landlords realize the value of a quick turnover, and keeping the same paint in all the rooms of the rental makes it easy to put on a quick topcoat to get the rental looking as good as new.

The best compromise may be to allow tenants to paint, but have a lot of rules in place. Many landlords do give the tenants a choice of whether to paint or not but add a lot of stipulations into the lease agreement if they do.

Common paint clauses include the landlord approving the color and that the rental has to be returned to the original color upon vacating. Some landlords even insist on professionals doing the job at the tenant’s expense.

All in all, most landlords we associate with don’t allow tenants to paint the rentals, but there are always exceptions and if the landlord feels it is the right decision for the property and for that tenant, we support it fully.

What Are Other Landlords Saying About Tenants Painting a Rental?

The answer to the question, “Should I let my tenant paint the rental?” is up to every individual landlord and can vary based on their preference, quality of the rental, and location.

Here’s a screenshot of landlords discussing this question in our private Facebook group for Landlords.

You can see even more comments on that post by checking it out in the group.

should I let me tenant paint the rental