Should I Allow Tenants to Paint my Rental Property

If you’ve been a landlord for several years, you’re likely to encounter a renter who wishes to paint the unit a color of their choosing. For easy maintenance, most property owners opt to pick neutral hues for their rental properties. This is because it’s easier to maintain and paint.

Light shades such as beige, gray, and white are also popular because they can easily pair a variety of furnishings compared to bolder colors. However, some tenants want to express their personalities through colorful shades. Thus, you end up with some requests to change the color palette of your rental unit.

This article will provide you with options on how to respond to a tenant's request to paint the unit. You can study these considerations before finalizing your decision.

What to do With the Tenants Request

Turning Their Painting Request Down

As the property owner, the choice is yours. If you find that you want to avoid the hassle of dealing with a paint project, you can reject the request. However, do it with tact so your renters will not move out due to harsh disapproval of their request.

Note that this doesn’t exclude the option of considering other substitutes such as applying new wallpapers. If you don’t want the tenant to make certain adjustments to the property, be sure to list what is and isn’t acceptable in the lease agreement.


Approving the Request with Conditions

Before the tenant can embark on a new paint job, you can outline some conditions. This can mean only allowing certain colors to be applied in your rental space. There may be certain colors or shades that you don’t want as they can be distracting or take a lot of effort to change back later when the tenancy expires.

To increase the value of your rental, you must set boundaries when it comes to permitting painting. Decide which rooms can be painted and what areas are to be excluded. Acceptable colors should be discussed beforehand. You may also wish to add a clause saying that the paint job but be done professionally.

As a landlord, you can also opt to charge a repainting fee. You can use the fee to return the paint color to its original shade when the tenant moves out. Note, however, that it’s vital to review first if charging a painting fee is legal in your local and State area.

Approving the Painting Request

Some property owners are very flexible and permit renters to change the paint. The reason would be to cultivate a better landlord-tenant relationship.

Allowing a paint change leads to renters feeling happy and establishing a sense of home within your rental. Still, landlords are cautioned to consider all the advantages and disadvantages before giving a go-ahead to the renter.


Approving still requires further discussions where property owners can understand the vision of the renter making the request. You still have a right to express your opinions and readjust your tenants’ expectations.

Issues Around Painting Rentals

You must be prepared to address the different outcomes regarding the paint request. Tenants can change their minds and request to paint the interior and exterior of the unit or only a specific portion.

Renters may succeed in getting their request of changing the paint approved if they discover that the current paint has lead in it. For safety and health reasons, laws protect the tenants. They can require the landlord to change the rental paint.

Another scenario you might have to deal with is finding out that tenants painted the property without asking. You can calculate the total paint charges and deduct this from the renter’s security deposit upon moving out.

What are Important Details to Discuss for the Paint Job?

Here are some things you, as the landlord should consider and dicuss before allowing tenants to follow through on painting their rentals:

  • Cost of painting the property - Check the expenses and be clear about who will bear the costs of the painting project. This should be discussed before the painting begins. You want to avoid future disputes over financial matters.


  • Deduction from security deposit - Your leasing agreement should be very clear about the coverage of rental deductions. If you expect your renter to return the paint to its original paint color then mention this in detail in the contract. State that the costs will be taken from the security deposit if they fail to do so.
  • Preference for professional painting workmanship - The cost of hiring a professional painter is higher than performing a DIY painting project. However, the finished result is more polished. Make sure that the paintwork will result in an outstanding appearance to further succeed in attracting prospects.
  • Clear painting policy and fees - You must cover this topic in your leasing agreement to set clear expectations. State the fees so there’s little misunderstanding and conflict with your renters. If your state allows non-refundable fees then you can proceed to collect. It’s vital to mention fees in the contract.

Bottom Line

Should you allow tenants the freedom to paint your rental? In summary, it’s up to you as a landlord. There are benefits to allowing and rejecting a tenant's painting request. No matter what be sure that you always communicate your expectations and limitations clearly with tenants to avoid any confusion.

If you need help handling tenant requests or managing your rentals, contact that expert team at Schambs Property Management today!

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