Do your tenants pay for their own home improvements?

The word on the street is that grey is the new magnolia when it comes to rental property décor, but what if your tenant isn’t a fan and wants to redecorate? After all, you can’t expect to tick everyone’s box when it comes to home décor.

Once upon a time, most rental agreements would have been strict in their ‘no decoration’ code, with tenants not allowed to put up pictures, paint walls, or make any changes to the property. Whilst you might not expect to enter your property and find a new kitchen in situ, it’s worth considering that if you have a tenant in place for the long term, they are likely to want to make the property feel like home, and aesthetic changes is a way to make this possible.

According to home improvements company Plentific, 73% of private renters are prepared to carry out DIY, maintenance and home improvements in their rented property, at their own expense. The research revealed that 23% of tenants will spend over £500 on making their rental property suit their needs. 25% of the tenants surveyed were willing to spend between £100 and £500 on sprucing up their rental property, and 26% were happy to shell out up to £100.

The research also highlighted that the age of your tenants may have an impact on the changes you could expect to see in your property. 27% of tenants aged over 55 spent more than £500 on making their rented property feel like home, whereas only 15% of younger tenants (aged 18-34) did the same.

Do I have any legal requirements to pay for things?

If amendments to the property are simply aesthetic, and there is no maintenance requirement – your tenant wants magnolia walls instead of grey for example – you do not have any obligation to pay for these changes.

Avoid disputes as to what you are and aren’t willing to pay for by including a clause in your tenancy agreement clearly setting out your guidelines. Also, consider noting that you should be notified and give written permission for your tenant to make any changes before they are made.


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