Landlords: do you pay for tenants redecorating?

(19 Posts)
AveryJessup Tue 29-Oct-13 18:01:03

New tenants have just moved in and they don't like the colour of the living room so want to reprint to a more neutral shade. Originally when we lived there we had it an eggshell colour then 3 years ago when the first tenant moved in he wanted to redecorate the bedroom. I said ok to that but he then took the liberty of redecorating the living room too, in a colour I'm not mad about so I can understand why the new tenants don't like it either.

Anyway first time around the tenant covered his own costs. This time around the tenants have asked if I will pay for the paint. I'm not that bothered about repainting the room to be honest and would not have suggested it myself so my first thought is, if they want to paint it then it's up to them to pay? We re-painted the hall in a place we rented previously and paid for it ourselves.

Do landlords typically pay for materials for voluntary redecorating by tenants?

specialsubject Tue 29-Oct-13 18:35:16

no, not unless it needs doing. If it is just 'don't like the colour' that's tough, they rented it like that.

also be careful about allowing painting - we let two lots do it, one were very competent, the others had the DIY skills of two year olds.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 29-Oct-13 18:40:10

My friends who rent were allowed to redecorate at their own cost in a neutral colour or to wallpaper in the same style.
It was actually written into the contracts.

3xM Tue 29-Oct-13 18:46:27

You could do one of two things imo:

Say No, it was that colour when you rented it so tough.

Or say they can do it at their own cost, but any mess or spills etc will come out of their deposit at the end of the tenancy. Inspect their work when complete and put everything in writing.

PeppermintBark Tue 29-Oct-13 19:11:38

We rented out our house whilst on an expat posting. It was newly neutrally decorated when we left it, but we allowed the tenants to paint the rooms whatever colour they wanted, at their own expense, on the condition that the rooms were returned to a neutral colour, again at their expense, at the end of the tenancy.

As we were renting ourselves at the time, we understood what it's like to live in a house where you hate the colours it's decorated but can't do anything about it (we weren't allowed to decorate ourselves).

lalalonglegs Tue 29-Oct-13 19:43:27

I think for the cost of a couple of tins of paint, why not start off on a good footing? You said yourself that the front room isn't a very nice colour.

rollmeover Tue 29-Oct-13 20:21:42

We have just had new tenants ask us this question. We painted the rooms that needed painting when the old tenants moved out (had been in 3 years so a few marks) but left this room as the walls were in good condition. We have said yes no problem to decorate but at their expense.

There is nothing wrong with the colour, just a personal preferance. We have said that if the painting is to a good enough standard then they dont need to return it to the previous colour when they move out.

mediawhore Tue 29-Oct-13 20:27:21

Not unless it needed doing.

My tenant has redecorated our home and done flooring in a number of rooms. At their cost!

We are neve moving back in and they want to stay indefinitely. As long as they pay rent were happy!

We did used to have a lap dancing hooked who trashed the place so anyone is better!

Talkinpeace Tue 29-Oct-13 20:42:32

students I rented to "redecorated" by gluing newspaper to the walls and made a "coffee table" by sawing the legs off my dining table
funnily enough I kept their deposit

AveryJessup Tue 29-Oct-13 21:40:23

Thanks for your responses, everyone. That's kind of my view - it's their choice to redecorate so it should come out of their pocket.

My thoughts on it are that if I'm going to have to pay for a paint job, I'd rather wait until we're selling the place in a couple of years and just choose the colour myself and have it done professionally.

It's not so much about the cost because the sum of money itself won't make much difference. For me it's more about not giving them the impression that I'm a soft touch. That first tenant we had really took the piss, making changes that were definitely not agreed to in the contract, late with rent etc. and I think it's precisely because I was nice to him in the beginning of the tenancy to try and get things off to a good start. Unfortunately rather than reciprocating, he took that to mean that I was a soft touch and it ended badly. I don't want to make that mistake again.

AveryJessup Tue 29-Oct-13 21:41:27

Yikes! Lap-dancing hookers and DIY-er students - I think I've got off fairly lightly so far even if the first tenant did take the piss a bit!

icklekid Wed 30-Oct-13 04:30:40

I think its a bit unfair for new tenants to suffer because old tenants took advantage. I would have made old tenants pay cost of putting back to neutral as they didn't have permission to paint living room. If you can understand why don't like it then why not say you will pay for white but if they want a different colour can pay for that themselves. I know you don't want to be soft but if they are good tenants and you get on you will both benefit!

JoandMax Wed 30-Oct-13 04:36:32

We have told our tenant they can decorate if they wish as long as its back to neutral (or if subtle colours it can stay) when they move out.

We decorated the whole house magnolia before they moved in so its in good condition but we're happy for them to change it, it is their home after all, but at their cost.

cavell Wed 30-Oct-13 10:02:51

Could you agree to pay for the paint on the condition that you approve the colour in advance? With luck, you'll have happy tenants and a property that is more attractive to prospective future tenants.

Amedea Wed 30-Oct-13 11:35:30

In the interest of starting off on a good foot, I'd reimburse them for the cost of the paint/brushes etc if the work is done to a reasonable standard, as if they make a mess, you will have to pay to get it done properly when they leave, but if they do it well, then you might not have to get it redone before you sell, and even if you do, it might be easier than covering up a weird colour from scratch.

You could tell them upfront that they will have to cover the costs as if it's just a colour thing, that is tough, really, and they are lucky that you will let them make any changes like that - I've had landlords who wouldn't even let us get the carpets cleaned without their say-so (and it really needed it). If they have done a good job, you could offer to reimburse them - as they wouldn't be expecting the money, it would be a nice gesture and hopefully they'd think that you were reasonable, rather than a soft touch...

ChippingInNeedsANYFUCKER Wed 30-Oct-13 11:46:25

I think you are penalising the new tenants for what the first & last tenants have done and that's not really fair.

Yes - they rented it how it is now, but people often don't have a lot of choice when renting, so take what is the best option, the paint colour isn't generally something they are able to be fussy about.

You say yourself it isn't neutral and it isn't nice - so I would say to them that you are happy to pay for the paint if they agree the colour with you first.

It doesn't really matter if they do a fab job or not because you are prepared to pay to have it painted before the next tenants anyway.

Just be very clear that the permission is on a room by room, colour by colour basis - not a 'general permission' to do as they please. The everyone wins smile

msmoss Wed 30-Oct-13 13:48:14

I once had a landlady not only pay for the paint (that I chose) but she gave me £180 to reimburse me for the time it took me to do the painting grin

msmoss Wed 30-Oct-13 13:48:28

btw not saying that you should do this OP.

YoureBeingAnAnyFuckerFan Wed 30-Oct-13 13:52:33

I think houses should be repainted between tenants tbh. Unless a tenant was only in 6 months and the paint is still immaculate.

In your shoes as you havent done that i would tell them they're welcome to decorate at their own expense but accept that it mightnt be to your taste. I you want control over colours then i think you should pay.

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