“Is it OK if I paint?”

Tenant FAQ Series, #9:  “Is it OK if I paint?”












Tenant FAQ Series, #9:  “Is it OK if I paint?”

It seems like such a simple request, doesn’t it?  Well, maybe it is and maybe it isn’t.  Regardless, it is a frequent request.  If handled properly, this can be a win-win scenario for both the tenant and your owner.  The most important thing is to establish the following- and to do so in writing if at all possible.  This will reduce the risk of any security deposit disputes that may arise if you need to retain any of the tenant’s funds to cover repairs or re-painting.

1)      Exact colors tenant wishes to use

2)      Room(s) tenant wishes to paint

3)      Quality of paint to be used and painters performing the work

4)      Whether tenant must return walls to original color prior to move-out

Color is an important factor- and with so many shades and hues available these days, it’s vital that all parties know the exact colors the tenant anticipates using.  Is “Kool-Aid Blue” a grape Kool-Aid or a blueberry Kool-Aid?  And how dark is “kerosene green?  Paint stores and department stores have cards and samples on hand, so ensure the tenants submit a sample of the exact color they wish to use in order to eliminate any confusion.

Ensure all parties understand which rooms are to be painted, and establish the fact that they are only allowed to paint those rooms.

Quality of paint is important, but quality of the job and workmanship of those doing the job is even more vital.  Inspect if necessary- and ensure the work is done in a professional manner.

Lastly, define whether the tenants may leave what they’ve painted “as-is” upon move-out or whether they must return the walls to their original color.  If they’ve painted neutral colors and they’ve done a great job in doing so, your owner is served well by the walls remaining as they’ve painted them.  If the colors they’ve painted are excessively bright or a color that’s not so neutral, it may be best to have the tenants return the areas they’ve painted to their original color.

Tenant FAQ Series, #9:  “Is it OK if I paint?”


About Dennis Burgess

Dennis B. Burgess Realtor in Orlando, FL ORRA Vice-chairman of Strategic Planning/Secretary ORRA/FR Boards of Directors Empire Network Realty 6000 S. Rio Grande Ave., #104 Orlando, FL 32803 Cell: 205-445-4755 Office: 407-440-3798 bamaburgess@hotmail.com Twitter: @orlrentals Turning vacant into occupied, and "houses" into "homes"
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2 Responses to “Is it OK if I paint?”

  1. Amelia Barney says:

    Yes it can be a winning situation if both parties agree. but can also be a total nightmare when all the facts are not presented. If the property is being managed getting the owners input into it is also important.

    • Hi, Amelia: Thank you for dropping by, and for your comment. If a place is managed by a professional property management company, the ONLY way this scenario can end up being a “nightmare” (as you say) is if that manager fails to do their job in upholding the trust their owners have placed in them. The manager should know (and keep on file) the owner’s directives with regard to whether/how tenants are allowed to paint. It should also be a “given” that lease agreements include a provision that explicitly addresses what repairs/painting/”improvements” tenants may effect- and penalties for times they act outside those parameters. One way to look at it: if tenants know the rules and still choose to color outside the lines (sorry, couldn’t resist!), they’ll simply have to suffer the prescribed consequences upon move-out.

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