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To Paint or Not to Paint: Should You Allow it?

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Marina Shlomov - Tuesday, August 27, 2019

To Paint or Not to Paint: Should You Allow it?

When you rent out your investment rental property, you are allowing tenants to call your place home for as long as the lease agreement allows. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are giving them the authority to make changes to your rental home. 

Many landlords have mixed opinions on whether painting the interior walls of an investment rental property should be allowed. In fact, the responses usually fall into one of three categories: 

1. Painting is ok without any restrictions. 

2. Painting is not at all allowed. 

3. Painting is allowed, but with some conditions. 

As a landlord, how do you feel about your tenants painting?

Ultimately, the choice is yours, as it is your rental property. But, you should keep in mind that the more comfortable the tenants can feel living at the property, the more likely they are to stay. If you like your tenants and you’d like to keep them long term, then you may want to consider allowing them to add a bit of personalization to the place with a little paint.

If this sounds fair to you, be sure that your tenants are clear on a few conditions. 

  • Discuss with them if you want to have any walls that are painted to be returned to their original color upon move-out. And, further, if the tenant does not re-paint the walls, then you may want to advise that you will charge a re-painting fee. 
  • Consider allowing your tenant to paint, but perhaps put restrictions on the colors of paint that can be used. For instance, discourage the use of dark paint colors or textured-painting techniques, as these may cause more hassle in returning the rental property to its original state upon move-out.
  • Decide if you feel that the tenant should sign a sort of painting contract (unless this is pre-listed in your initial lease agreement). This contract would state what is allowed, what is not, and who is responsible for returning the rental property back to its originally painted color. 

Remember, if you give your tenants total freedom, you never know what the walls of your rental property may look like upon move-out. At the same time, you want your tenants to feel welcome and comfortable in their new home. Every situation is different – and every rental property is as well. 

Choose what is right for you when it comes to painting – and make sure to go over all the details of your painting policy with your tenants before they decide to paint. 

 Marina Shlomov, a managing partner at ALH|Podland Realty & Rental Homes Property Management is the author of many articles on Landlording, Atlanta Property Management, and Real Estate Investing. A residential builder in the state of Georgia since 1999, Marina is an investor herself. Her Atlanta property management company is intended “For Investors” and “By Investors” for a simple reason – she knows what investors’ goals are and she works hard to reach their goals. In her spare time, Marina likes to spend time with her family, friends, garden, read and travel. Check her out at You can find Marina’s articles and comments at @rentalhomesatl on Twitter, on FacebookGoogle+, Blogger. and YouTube,Bigger Pockets and REI Club and LinkedIn.

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