Should You Let Your Tenants Paint the Inside

One question that you are likely to hear from time to time from your tenants, concerns whether they are allowed to paint the interior walls. According to an article published in the L.A. Times, your rental agreement (lease) should state that tenants are not permitted to make any modifications to the property without permission. It should also state that if they do, they may be asked to vacate the property.

Saying No Seems Reasonable

Simply saying no to a tenant’s request to be allowed to paint the walls seems to make perfectly good sense. After all who wants to go into a recently vacated rental, only to find the walls have been painted some outlandish colors. Many colors are almost impossible to cover over without significant expense and hard work.

Leaving someone else’s idea of the perfect color scheme in your rental unit is unlikely to attract new tenants, simply because finding two people with the exact same taste in décor is highly unlikely. This means the only way you are likely to be able to rent out your property again is to spend the money needed to restore the interior back to a neutral color that is more acceptable.

But, what if They Ask Nicely?

Okay, so far it sounds like letting your tenants paint the walls is a really bad idea. But, what are you going to do when you have a good tenant who comes to you with a proposal that includes offering to do the work themselves, paying for all of the paint and supplies, and lets you have the final say on any colors they are thinking about using. This could be tempting, especially if you are talking about a very good tenant.

You are, of course, within your rights to continue to refuse to allow any of your tenants to redecorate their rental. But think of this, is refusing to let one of your good tenants paint their walls worth losing them as a tenant? Let’s face it, finding truly good tenants is hard enough, but when you don’t stop to think about the high cost of losing them, you may be making a huge mistake.

Think of It This Way

How often do you end up making minor repairs and repainting the walls in your rentals once a tenant moves out? If you are like most property managers or landlords, chances are good you do this every time. So, with this in mind, is it really such a big deal to allow your tenants to add a few personal touches to their home?

While it might not be a good idea to let those tenants, who are on a month-to-month lease paint their unit, those who are long-term leases or who have proved themselves to be excellent tenants may deserve this privilege. What you will find, however, is that the cost of covering over even the most outlandish colors is far less than that of trying to find another reliable tenant. In the end, only you can know whether or not to let a particular tenant paint the interior walls of their rental home.