Setting The Rules For Tenant Redecoration

tenant redecoration guidelines

Image by Barnabus via Flickr

Just because a renter lives in a rental property doesn’t mean they need to live out their lease in a unit with sterile walls. Allowing residents to personalize the space and make themselves at home will increase the likelihood of retaining them.

Instead of decorating a space for a future tenants and guessing at what they’d like, set parameters for your tenants to be in charge of their own makeover. By giving them a set of guidelines they can go with to redecorate, you won’t need to hire a contractor or do it yourself, and your tenant will have a personalized apartment. Here are a few things to consider when you set the rules for tenant redecoration:

What will you allow? Giving your tenants the freedom to make minor decorative alterations of their own can save you costs. Decide what kind of changes you’re willing to allow. Would you prefer a renter to paint the walls however they wish, as long as they restore it to the original look when they move out, or would you rather limit them to a few shades so it can be left for the next renter? Holes in the wall over time could cause lots of damage, but you could require tenants to repair them before they move out. Decide how much freedom you’re willing to give to renters when it comes to personalizing your property.

Are the changes safe? You need to ensure that all the changes made to your property aren’t harming the inhabitants or creating safety hazards. Any accidents that occur as the result of an incorrectly installed lighting fixture or too many holes in the wall could result in landlord liability. Make sure you inspect a unit after the changes are made, or give your tenants clear guidelines in a lease outlining exactly what kind of paint, hardware, or nails can be used when redecorating.

Here are some common rules for apartment redecoration:

  • Paint colors must be pre-approved by the management before re-painting.
  • Painting is allowed, but the walls must be returned to their original color at the end of the lease.
  • Only small picture hooks can be used.
  • Holes in the wall must be repaired by the resident upon move-out.

Include the guidelines in the lease. If you are allowing tenants to redecorate as long as they restore the property to its original condition at move-out, you need to make sure it’s clear in the lease. Spelling out your rules and signing a binding legal agreement will protect you in case the tenant moves out and you’re stuck with the cost of restoring the property.