Yes or No? Should you let your tenants redecorate?
Finding the balance of making tenants feel at home in a property and ensuring that the property remains lettable when your tenants decide to move on is difficult, but there are ways of finding a happy medium to ensure both parties are content.
Points to consider:
- According to a survey conducted by insurance provider, Endsleigh, a staggering 43% of tenants would be happy to pay more rent if they were allowed to decorate the property.
- Tenants who re-decorate may be more likely to remain in the property for longer as they can create a more homelike space.
- Properties that are decorated by the tenants may stay in a better condition because the tenants are prepared to invest in the upkeep of your property.
- A landlord who is willing to be flexible but fair may ensure that tenants properly communicate any plans to re-decorate, rather than doing unauthorised work to the property.
To avoid any situations where you are left with a bold, inappropriate or difficult to rectify colour scheme it is important to look at whether:
- You refresh the property with neutral paintwork in between lettings already? If so then consider allowing your tenants to redecorate while they are in the property.
- You are happy for tenants to redecorate? If so you can require that they stick to a pastel colour pallet to make any re-decoration needed simpler and easier.
- You should stipulate what you are happy for your tenants to do. This may mean that you are happy for tenants to paint, but not wallpaper, as this can take considerably longer to rectify.
- You need to stipulate that any decorative changes must be agreed in advance with the landlord and include this within the tenancy agreement in advance.
- If your tenancy agreement is over a shorter term, then you may wish to consider that you only offer this to longer term tenants once you have developed a good relationship.
- You should also stipulate that any re-decorations must be completed while the tenants are in the property, as a half-finished property will need to be completed before it is re-let
- You undertake a thoroughly documented inventory, so that prior to any changes taking place you both have a visual record of the finish and décor of the property.
As a tenant, it is also worth knowing that although the majority of letting agreements state that no re-decorating is permitted, many landlords are happy to discuss your changes and many will be happy for you to undertake work to the property – after all, if you are adding value to the property and making your home more comfortable to live in it is a win-win situation for both parties.
Oulsnam’s Lettings Expert, Laura Fiddes-Baron, gives the following advise;
“Making your tenants feel at home is important and allowing them to redecorate is one way of achieving this. Putting certain restrictions on colours they can use is advisable and including contractual clauses stating that if any work is finished to an unsatisfactory standard it will be rectified professionally at their expense ensures landlords peace of mind and sets clear guidelines for tenants. “