Tenants often ask if their landlord will allow them to redecorate the property. On the surface, this is a reasonable question and should generally not send alarm bells ringing in the landlord’s ear.
Firstly, if the tenant wishes to redecorate, this suggests that they possibly have a long-term outlook. As rentals become a mainstream form of long term tenure, increasing numbers of tenants are taking pride in their home, which is surely good for landlords.
The tenancy agreement will usually have a provision in it that requires the tenant to look after the property and return it to its original condition at the end of the tenancy. But what if the tenant has actually improved it? It could be that they decorate the property in a way that especially appeals to other people like them – which could be the demographic profile of your next tenant!
Allowing a tenant to redecorate could also clinch a deal with the right tenant who likes the property, but would prefer an alternative décor. It also suggests that you’re a reasonable and flexible landlord, which goes down well with any tenant. Nobody likes to be restricted – within reason.
But what is reasonable? Clearly you’ll need to take a view on this and ask the tenant what they have in mind. One thing you need to establish is whether they intend to do the work themselves – you don’t want shoddy workmanship putting off future tenants, so you may wish to insist that the tenant employs a professional painter.
At the end of the tenancy it’s your call. Take a look at what the tenant has done, and in conjunction with your managing agent, decide whether the property is more, or less, attractive than it was when you let it initially. If less, then the tenant must reinstate as per contract. If they don’t, then you would be within your rights to pay for your freshly decorated investment from their deposit.
If you’d like any advice on current trends in how to present your investment property for maximum yield – you know who to call!
Neil Newstead FARLA MNAEA MIRPM
Chief Executive Officer