Owning a rental property like apartments in Round Rock is a lot of work, and often you have to deal with a ton of requests from your renters. Although most of these are often maintenance or repair-related, sometimes they might have questions about personalizing the property.
Whether you’re a new landlord or a seasoned real estate guru, you might experience some conflict when it comes to the issue of tenants repainting. After all, unlike a kitchen remodeling project, you have significantly less control over the outcome. Thus, this article aims to weigh in on the question of whether tenants should repaint rental properties.
Benefits of Allowing Tenants to Repaint
Increased tenant satisfaction
As a renter, the list of do’s and don’ts of decorating rental property is a long one. Thus, leaving many tenants feeling like they have to tiptoe around their homes. Since painting offers renters an opportunity to transform a room into their space and be self-expressive, it makes them happier. Letting prospective applicants know they can repaint could even help you win them over.
After all, people are more likely to have reservations when they can’t change anything to suit their taste. More so, happier tenants tend to stick around longer. Thus, you can reduce your tenancy turnover by allowing them to make small cosmetic changes on their dime.
You could save some money
Besides making your tenants happier by allowing them to repaint, you could also save some money at turnover. In general, a lease agreement may allow tenants to paint with the stipulation of returning it to the original color upon vacating. Therefore, when it comes time to move out, the tenants will need to ensure the property is freshly painted. Thus, saving you time and money not having to do so yourself. In addition, some jurisdictions allow landlords to charge non-refundable security deposits which could cover repainting if the tenants leave the property in anything but original condition. Just be sure to research applicable security deposit laws in your area that may influence your decision.
Drawbacks of Allowing Your Tenants to Repaint
The job might be substandard
The most significant drawback of letting tenants repaint your rental property is that you might not have control over the quality of work. Thus, if they contract a subpar painter or attempt to do the job themselves, you could end up with something shabby. Worse still, it can affect other surfaces throughout the house. For example, if they use low-quality paint, it could be hard to scrub off of flooring, doors, windows, or other furnishings that might get stained. As a result, it could take a toll on your rental value.
It could mess with your color scheme
Most interior decorators advise landlords to stick to more neutral schemes since they are more appealing to a broader reach of people. However, when you permit tenants to repaint, they might not necessarily share your value for mass appeal. After all, they’re only after their satisfaction and not the subsequent tenants you might have. This is why allowing tenants to repaint must be accompanied by a clause in the lease or separate agreement. This should state that the tenant is responsible for any damage repainting causes and that the home must be returned to the original color before moving out.
Tips for Letting Your Tenants Repaint Their Rental
Set clear terms in your rental agreement
Whether or not you decide to let your tenants repaint your rental, it is in your best interest to have a relatable clause in the lease. If you’re unwilling to let renters change the space’s color, then there needs to be a specific clause to prohibit these cosmetic changes. That way, tenants understand before moving in that the current color is there to stay.
However, if you’re willing to allow them to personalize your rental property in such a way, you could set specific conditions. For example, you could make it mandatory that they discuss such changes with you prior to taking any action or hire a professional to complete the job.
Discuss color schemes
If you’re willing to let tenants have their way, besides setting clear conditions in your policy, you could open a discussion about the project. You could make it clear that you would prefer if they stuck to neutral colors and that you might waive specific fees if they do so. That way, even when they move out, the next applicant would be less put off by their choice.
Offer alternative “no damage” solutions
Nowadays, there are a ton of easy-to-use and non-permanent decorating ideas for renters and homeowners alike. If you really do not want to allow tenants the option to repaint the rental property, offer some less invasive ways to customize the space. For example, removable wallpaper comes in a variety of colors, patterns, and styles, all while being easily removable similar to contact paper. Also, encouraging the use of rugs, creative lighting, and damage-free picture hangers are all great ways to showcase personality without damaging your rental.
When it comes to the question of, should tenants repaint rental properties, no single answer fits all? On the one hand, it might be considered an intelligent investment choice since it makes your tenants happier. However, on the other hand, repainting could be a costly undertaking, especially if the work is poorly done or their color choice is unappealing.
Whatever your stance is, hiring a professional property manager to draw up leases, handle discussions, and supervise painting or other jobs could save you a lot of hassle.
This article was brought to you by Alyssa Bishop, the Content and Social Media Manager for Bay Property Management Group. Offering full-service rental management for owners and investors, BMG oversees over 4500 rental units across Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, and Northern Virginia. If you are interested in learning more about how professional property management can benefit you, reach out o BMG today.