Establishing Redecorating Guidelines For Residents

Last modified on January 6th, 2016

Every building or rental property should be certain that they outline redecorating guidelines in their lease so that residents know exactly what they are allowed to do in their new home. Typically, redecorating guidelines refer to a resident’s ability to paint or make holes in the wall to hang home décor. Of course, as a property manager you can’t exactly dictate how a rental property is going to look. But you can prohibit them from making decorative changes that are ultimately going to cost you time or money.

For example, many property managers tell residents that they can’t use any hardware to hang photos and décor that is larger than a small picture hook. This is because it is simple to re-fill the small holes made by the hardware by simply painting over them. In some cases, if use of this hardware is discrete enough, it won’t even be necessary to make any attempts to cover up the holes between residents. If residents use larger devices, then the holes may have to be filled with Spackle, which means that walls will need to be repainted. That repair process is time-consuming and costly for property managers, so it is better to simply avoid it. There is enough property maintenance to worry about in a building to begin with!

Another common task that is often prohibited in redecorating guidelines is painting with dark or bright colors. Neutral colors are appealing to the largest number of prospective residents, which means that bolder colors need to be painted over before the property is leased again. Although this is common practice between residents anyway, painting over vibrant colors takes far more work than painting over a matching neutral color. In order to cover them up, primer and multiple coats of paint may be required, and that also comes with an added cost for property managers. Some leases will not prohibit residents from painting entirely, but when that individual moves out, they do require them to return the property to its original color.

If you choose to set these guidelines (or others) for your property, make sure that they are clearly documented in the lease so the resident can never claim lack of understanding.


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