Landlords: Should you let your tenants decorate?

Landlords: Should you let your tenants decorate?

One of landlords' predominant aims is to generate the best returns possible while minimising void periods. In the quest to become a successful landlord, it's also crucial to manage your tenants' needs and expectations.

When the home ownership versus renting debate is discussed, one thing that continually crops up about renting is that tenants are not always given the freedom to personalise their property.

In a recent survey carried out by tenant insurance provider Endsleigh, tenants' desire to decorate was analysed, and it was revealed that 43% of those taking part would be willing to pay a higher rent if they were permitted to decorate their rental property.

Currently, just 29% of landlords allow their tenants to flex their creative muscles. Tenants revealed that they would be willing to pay an average of £150 extra a year to be able to decorate.

If every landlord obliged in the UK obliged, Endsleigh calculates an extra £530m of revenue could be generated.

It seems that it’s just the little things which tenants would like to alter in their property. The top decorating desire was to be able to paint the walls a different colour in order to personalise each room, with hanging pictures and mirrors on the wall being another popular choice.

Something as simple as blu-tacking pictures to the wall was also something which tenants would like to do but are often not allowed. The potentially more damaging 'hanging a TV to a wall' also made an appearance in the top five decorative wishes.

As a landlord, if you’re willing to give way and be a little more lenient you could reap the benefits of happy tenants – who are likely to remain in situ for longer if their rental property feels like home.

That said, it’s vital that you create boundaries, and don’t let tenants think that you have given them decorative license to change everything about the property. Painting every room jet black or making dozens of holes in the walls could be quite problematic for you, so a clear line must be drawn.

With it being notoriously difficult to get onto the property ladder as supply continues to diminish, tenants are staying in their rental homes for longer. The findings revealed that 25% of renters said that they had been living in the same rental property for three years or more.

Long-term, happy tenants are of course every landlord's dream, so retaining your tenants should always be a priority.

Allowing them to add a respectful amount of character and personality to the property may also benefit you in the long-term. As when you are on the lookout for new tenants, a more homely, tenant-friendly décor could seem more attractive to potential suitors.