Haas Properties painting rental unit

Landlords tend to prefer neutral colors for a myriad of reasons. For one, they are easy to touch up when a tenant moves out and appeal to a broad range of prospective tenants.

Some tenants, however, may want to add their flair when they move into your rental property. Allowing them to do so can help them add some personality into their space and this may help you land a long-term tenant.

But allowing your tenants to paint your rental property also does come with some downsides. So, should you or should you not allow your tenants to paint their rental properties? Here’s everything you need to consider before making that decision!

Your Rights as a Landlord

Whether to allow or not to allow your tenants to paint their units is solely your decision to make. That notwithstanding, there are two things you’ll need to keep in mind:

  • Does your rental have considerable paint damage? If so, this can impact your unit’s habitability. It’s your responsibility to ensure your property adheres to all safety and health codes.
  • Does your property have lead-based paint? Back before 1978, the use of lead-based paint was commonplace. But lead-based paint was found to be a health hazard and was consequently banned. Today, in all the states, landlords must make full disclosure to their tenants in regards to the use of lead-based paint.

tenants painting their rental unit

Pros of Allowing Tenants to Paint Your Rental Property

Longer Tenancies

Allowing your tenant to personalize their homes can give them a feeling of ownership. The tenant, in other words, may feel more comfortable in the unit and that may make them want to stay in your Georgia rental long-term.

You may also allow your tenant to paint as an incentive. If that tenant pays their rent without issues and abides by all terms of the lease, this can incentivize them to stay longer.

Unit Can Become More Attractive to Prospects

A vacant unit is every landlord’s worst nightmare. So, if you’re struggling to find new tenants, consider allowing them the freedom to paint their units. This could entice more people to want to rent from you.

Can Save You Money

If you allow your tenant to paint the unit, it means they are the ones who may end up bearing the costs. The tenant can also handle the job on their own. At the end of it all, this can help you save both time and money.

Can Help You Maximize Your Income

Allowing your tenant to paint their unit can be a big win for both you and your tenant. As you may have correctly guessed, only a handful of landlords allow their tenants to paint their units. This means that allowing your tenants to do so can make your rental unit more desirable in your neighborhood.

risks of DIY painting unit

Cons of Allowing Tenants to Paint Your Rental Property

Risk of Sloppy Work Being Done

On the surface, painting seems like a task anyone can do. But while it doesn’t require any specialized training, it does require a certain level of skill and attention to detail. So, if your tenant has never touched a paintbrush before, it’s best to ask them to hire a professional.

May Result in More Work for You

Once the tenant leaves, it will be your responsibility to repaint the unit. This can cost you valuable time and money.

May Lead to Property Damage

If your tenant doesn’t have the skills to paint their unit, they could end up doing more harm than good. Accidental spills can end up causing damage to the hardwood, carpets, and cabinets.

Conditions for Allowing Your Tenants to Paint Your Rental Unit

Fortunately, the aforementioned pitfalls can easily be managed. You’ll just have to have put some rules in place. The following rules can protect you and your property:

  • Agree on who is going to pay for the costs of painting the unit. Ask yourself these two questions: does your property need a paint job? Is the approved color going to match your style? If you answered “yes” to both questions, then consider splitting the costs with your tenant.
  • Specify the areas where the tenant can paint. Some renters can get ambitious with the painting. You could, for example, state that they’re only allowed to paint the wall or specific rooms.

protect your rental unit when painting

  • Agree on the type of paint color. Don’t leave it to guesswork. Come up with some colors that they can choose from. Also, make it clear that they risk losing their security deposit should they paint a different color other than the ones specified.
  • Put everything in writing to help minimize future issues. This is important, especially if you have reached an agreement on the choice of colors.
  • Ensure you have done a move-in inspection before allowing a tenant to move in. This will help document any changes to the unit once the tenant has moved out.
  • Only consider giving this option to tenants who have proven to be trustworthy. That is, tenants who pay rent on time, care for the unit, and have rented long-term.
  • Insist that the paint job must be high quality. A sub-standard paint job will be both time-consuming and costly to fix.


There you have it, everything you need to know about allowing your tenants to paint your rental property. Always ensure that you have communicated clearly with your tenants before allowing them to make any changes to the unit. This will protect you, your unit, and the tenant’s security deposit.

If you still have questions or need expert help, please consider hiring an experienced property management company like Haas Properties. Their team of experts will be able to assist you in all aspects of property management!