Landlords: Should You Let Tenants Decorate? 5 Things to Consider

Posted on Friday, January 7, 2022

Landlords: Should You Let Tenants Decorate? 5 Things to Consider

Since the number of people renting long-term is growing, more tenants are finding themselves wanting to ditch the plain décor and make a rental feel more like home. But letting your tenants decorate a rental property is a relatively new concept for many landlords.

As a landlord, knowing how to respond to the decorating trend is tricky. There are downsides to letting your tenants decorate, but there are many benefits, too.

If you are considering whether you should let your tenants decorate, here is our advice on what the benefits are and how you can safely allow decorating.

Benefits of Letting Your Tenants Decorate

Letting your tenants decorate shouldn’t always be met with a feeling of fear and dread. At Scoffield Stone, we find that allowing your tenants to decorate can have its benefits, including in terms of:

1.   Marketability

The number of people renting long-term is growing, so more and more tenants are looking for somewhere they can make a home. Depending on who your target market is, allowing your tenants to decorate a rental can easily make it more attractive to long-term renters. And long-term renters are the goal for many landlords.

2.   Return on Investment

Decorating costs money. Even if your tenants are only buying a tin of paint or a few rolls of wallpaper, that can still be a few hundred pounds they’re spending on your property. Not only can this mean your property stays looking fresh, but you could even see a better return on investment for it.

Plus, if your tenants want to spend money on your property, it’s a good sign. It means they take pride in living in your rental and want to look after it as best they can.

How to Safely Let Tenants Decorate

3.   Set Boundaries

Stipulate very clearly in the tenancy agreements what you will and won’t allow. For example, you’re happy for them to paint, but they can’t rip down any walls. Or they can put up shelves and units as long as they fill in the holes afterwards.

Setting boundaries around letting your tenants decorate means you can retain a level of control over what happens with the property. This puts you in a better position if you need to re-market it in the future.

4.   Discuss Plans Before Moving In

If you have a new tenant moving into your property, it doesn’t do any harm to ask them if they have plans to decorate.

Getting a feel for their style and what your tenant wants to do to the property can help reassure you that you’re not going to end up with a bad paint job or something you’d consider distasteful. It can also help you make up your mind about whether you want to let them decorate or not.

5.   Take Pictures

Taking pictures of the property and undertaking an inventory before a new tenant moves in is an essential part of the onboarding process – whether you plan on letting tenants decorate or not.

If you’re allowing tenants to decorate, taking pictures is especially important. Not only will you have a record of how the property used to look (in case you want to change it back to how it was afterwards), but you can also check during inspections that the tenants haven’t renovated outside of the boundaries you set.

Need More Landlord Advice?

Scoffield Stone are your local property experts in the South Derbyshire area. If you want more advice on how to manage your property, give our friendly team of letting agents a call today on 01283 777100 or send us an email at info@scoffieldstone.co.uk