Pros and Cons of Allowing a Tenant to Paint Your Rental Property

Picture this: you have a high-quality tenant who pays on time and doesn’t cause issues. However, now, he has one request: he wishes to paint the interior walls of your rental unit.

As a property owner, you typically want to keep your rental unit walls neutral. Choosing shades such as white and beige are ideal as they are liked by most potential renters and aren’t too distracting. That said, you may get renters who want bright and lively wall colors.

So, the question is – should you let these types of renters repaint your rental unit?

This is a typically decision many landlords have to face, but it isn’t an easy one as there are pros and cons.

You want to make your tenant happy by allowing them to choose the color of their walls, but you don’t want to deal with the additional work and mess it can potentially cause.

In this article, Mc Guire Property Management will show you both the advantages and disadvantages of letting your renter change the color of the walls. By the end, you will be able to make a sound decision.

Advantages of Allowing a Tenant to Paint the Unit

1. Happier and More Satisfied Tenants

When a tenant has the freedom to customize the rental space, they will be more satisfied. They will feel as though you care about their preferences, and this will make them happy. A happy tenant rents long-term, has a better landlord-tenant relationship and causes less issues.

2. Retain Tenants Long-Term

Choosing the color of the walls is a small, but effective way for a tenant to customize the space. It will help them feel as though your rental is their home. This will encourage them to continue renewing their lease long-term.


Disadvantages of Allowing a Tenant to Paint the Unit

1. Time-Consuming and Labor Intensive

If turnovers are quick, allowing a tenant to repaint is not worthwhile, for a few reasons.

  • It can be tedious to revert the color scheme to the neutral tones after every tenant moves out.
  • You’ll have to allot days for the repainting of the unit once the tenant moves out which can be time-consuming.
  • It takes a lot of effort to perform this process every few months.

2. Expensive to Maintain

Buying paint means spending more money. Apart from that, there’s labor to arrange.

As a property owner, you seek high-quality paint brands and high-quality paintwork finish. This is all relatively costly, so if you do it every time a tenant moves out, it can become very expensive.

3. Potential for Messy Results

Not all tenants are professional painters. That said, if they paint the unit themselves, the results can end up being messy. Also, paint may end up on the floors and furnishings. This means it’ll be tedious, expensive and unsightly – and you’ll be the one who’ll have to deal with it.

You want to build value by making your rental home more attractive. If a tenant does a horrible painting job, it could result to a downgrade of your unit’s appeal.

Creating Specific Conditions in the Agreement

Now that you’ve been presented with the pros and cons of letting a tenant repaint your rental unit, you want to maximize the benefits and minimize the drawbacks of this situation.

There is another option for you to hit the middle ground: you can include specific conditions in your leasing agreement that will grant permission to a tenant to repaint the unit.

Here are some terms and restrictions you can outline in the lease:

  • Who shoulders the repainting expenses in regards to the materials and labor?
  • Is the tenant responsible for reverting the original paint of the unit when he terminates his lease?
  • How long should the tenant be staying in your unit to be accorded the privilege of repainting the rental space?
  • What are the specific paint colors or color scheme you’ll allow?


Exhibiting clarity in the written lease is the key to avoid conflicts over finances and responsibilities.

Allowing the tenant to paint the rental, but imposing some conditions in the lease shows that you’re a flexible property owner who allows freedom but with certain limits.

Then, it’s up to the tenant if he’s willing to exercise this option.

Bottom Line

There are pros and cons to allowing your tenant to paint your rental unit. Now that you know both sides, it’s up to you to make the decision!

A solid choice is choosing the middle ground where you allow the tenant to paint the rental unit but give them conditions to follow. This makes them happy, but also protects you.

If you’re looking for help in managing your properties and making difficult decisions like these, consider hiring a professional property management company for support. Contact Mc Guire Property Management or visit our website at

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