For Landlords

Successful Tenancy Tips: How Often Should You Redecorate Your Buy-to-Let Property?

So, you have a property that you are renting out – it is freshly decorated and ready to host new tenants. But as time goes by, the freshly painted walls become stained, the kitchen countertops get burned and the carpets lose their shine because of constant foot traffic.

Even though there is no clearly stated timeframe in which you should redecorate your property, the “veterans of letting” know that it is quite reasonable to decorate your buy-to-let property once every five years

Table of Contents:

So, if you:

  • Are wondering how often a landlord should paint;
  • Are thinking about whether it is time to replace the kitchen;
  • Want to know if it is reasonable to change carpets,

Then this post is just right for you. Read on!

Who is responsible for decorating a rental property?

Tenants are rarely asked to redecorate the rental property, although this can be mentioned in the rental agreement. Apart from that, the decoration responsibility lies with the landlord.

It might seem reasonable for the tenants to redecorate the property to their tastes. And it’s no wonder why some landlords give their permission, after all, they hope to keep them as long-term renters. However, the main struggle arises when the tastes of both parties don’t align. 

Once the landlord realises that the bedroom was painted neon-green and the living room now has magenta wallpapers, they immediately regret the decision. After all, the landlord needs to redesign the property so it will be suitable for further re-letting.

In situations like that, the landlord should think carefully before allowing the tenants to change the décor. Have a constructive conversation with your tenants and clearly state what colour schemes are allowed and what are the consequences if the redecoration was done against the agreement. That way you will be able to maintain good relationships with your tenants and protect yourself from further decoration troubles.

Moreover, to avoid disputes between both parties, it is recommended to have recorded evidence of the property decoration conditions before the start of the tenancy. In case of any misunderstandings, the adjudicator can, later on, use this evidence to assess the damage of the décor.

How often should a landlord change carpets?

Unlike walls, carpets are relatively easy to take care of. As long as you clean the carpet regularly, you shouldn’t bother yourself with replacing it for at least ten years.

Once the tenants occupy your property, the care for the items provided by the owner – including the carpets – falls on the tenants. To avoid unnecessary disputes, both parties should discuss what is expected of them and agree on a reasonable approach.

Depending on the area where the carpet is located, it might need different cleaning intervals. Meaning that a carpet that is located in the living room and exposed to kids and pets might need vacuuming two or even three times a week, and a small decorative rug can be vacuumed only once a week. 

Moreover, it is advisable to deep clean the carpet at least once a year. That way you are not only creating a pleasant environment to live in but prolonging the life of the item, too.

The main disputes arise when it is hard to tell whether the carpet was a subject to wear and tear or got damaged by the tenants. If the rugs got stains or burn marks, or were used excessively, then the landlord can withhold the price for the damage from the deposit.

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How often should a landlord paint?

Landlords are not legally obliged to re-paint the walls regularly. However, it will be wise to redecorate at least every five to six years. That will be beneficial not only for your current tenants’ comfortable residence but also add value to your property if you wish to re-let it.

If you have long-term tenants and the time of redecoration is approaching, communicate with them. Remember, they have their right to privacy, therefore you should negotiate the redecoration time respectfully and sympathetically. 

What colours should you paint your walls?

If you open any landlord-dedicated forum or blog, you might notice that the majority of social housing landlords choose a well-known magnolia. And they won’t be wrong. Neutral colours are well-accepted as it is easy to combine it with any design and style. Any paint in the white, soft white, grey and peach colour ranges will create a perfect neutral look and make your property look brighter. 

Moreover, with neutral colours, you significantly cut the costs. In case your property needs a repaint or small touchups, you already know the specific colour that you need to go with and can easily find it in a store, rather than buying a custom made shade for every separate room. Even if you have some left-over paint, it will never go to waste.

The only drawback of bright colours is that they get easily stained, requiring more frequent care. In this case, you might want to go with paints that are washable. The cost is usually higher than that of regular wall paint, however, it can be easily cleaned from common domestic stains. 

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How often should a landlord replace a kitchen?

Out of all the items that we have discussed today, the kitchen furniture is the most durable one and should last you the minimum of 15 years with proper care. 

Don’t go over the top with kitchen decoration, as the majority of renters search for a simple and well-equipped kitchen. Get a budget kitchen set from your local trade supplier or a DIY store, like B&Q or IKEA. 

The countertop is the area that gets damaged the most. Have you ever had a moment when you didn’t use a cutting board to cut a piece of something because you just did the dishes? We’ve all been there, and your tenants aren’t an exception. So, it is quite common for the countertop to have cuts and even burns sometimes. That is why you should choose this piece of furniture wisely. You don’t want to buy an exclusive counter surface that will be hard to replace just because your previous company doesn’t produce it anymore. Always go with something that doesn’t easily show marks and can be replaced without any troubles. 

The only thing that you might want to invest in is the paint, as the kitchen is one of the most used and exposed to stains and humidity rooms in the house. Mould-resistant paints are formulated so that they fight and prevent mould from growing on the walls.

Need professional help with property redecoration?

Fantastic Services is here to help you! The expert tradesmen we work with have extensive knowledge of the craftsmanship and are ready to help you with any odd job. Whether you need a painter, furniture assembler or kitchen worktop repairman, we’ve got you covered. So don’t wait for too long and arrange your service now!

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Takeaways

  • The landlord is responsible for the decoration of the property unless the damage was caused by the tenants or the tenancy agreement states otherwise;
  • Prepare an inventory record before the beginning of the tenancy to avoid deposit disputes;
  • With proper care, the carpet can be replaced around every 15 years;
  • Deep clean your carpets to prolong their life;
  • Wall redecoration is needed every five to six years;
  • Invest in durable and mould-resistant paint to have fewer troubles in the future;
  • The kitchen furniture might need replacement after approximately 15 years.

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Are you a landlord? Have you ever had decoration disputes with your tenants? Share your valuable experience in the comment section down below!

Image source: Shutterstock/Evan Lorne

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