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Old 09-22-2008, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
8,047 posts, read 26,422,319 times
Reputation: 9396

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What is everyone's opinion on owner's obligation to paint during tenancy?

Here is our situation:

We use high quality paint of a neutral color and make sure the paint job itself is quality as well.
We always repaint between tenants if needed.
Our rentals are houses/duplexes, not big apartment buildings.

We have a tenant who has been in a unit for just under 3 years. The unit needed some paint work when she moved in, and the tenant has done a lot of painting in the past, so she opted (and we agreed) to let her do the necessary painting in exchange for some of her deposit. We supplied the paint.

Fast forward 3 years to today. Tenant asked if she could paint some rooms again because she wanted to "freshen them up" and wanted a new color. We agreed to pay for the paint again, because we want it to be good quality, and of an approved color. There was no discussion of anything further.

Tenant turned in a color we approved of, she did the painting. She turned in her rent this month with a deduction for both materials and labor.

This unit should not have needed painted in my opinion. From my own experience (we've had rentals for almost 20 years) and from what I have found online in various locations, a good quality paint job with good quality paint should last 5-8 years minimum. We have one house (not a rental, and I know that makes a difference, but the paint quality is the same) that has not needed painted for 17 years.

If the tenant wants to paint during their tenancy and it has only been 3 years since the property was last painted, who do you think should foot the bill? Am I totally wrong on this? If it is expected that units will be repainted every 3 years for long term tenants, I'm going to start using cheaper paint.
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Montrose, CA
3,031 posts, read 8,459,544 times
Reputation: 1966
I wouldn't be letting my tenants do the painting, and certainly not give them credit if they volunteered to do it. I wouldn't trust them to do a good job, and apparently if it needed repainting already then she either messed up the walls in only 3 years or she didn't do a good job to start with.
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Old 09-22-2008, 03:15 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 64,694,168 times
Reputation: 26614
If you only agreed to pay for the paint - and not for the labor - then that's what you should pay her. Write her a letter telling her that this is what you agreed to and that her next rent check should include what she deducted for labor. Presume she provided you with receipts for the paint?

Less than three years and a new paint job sounds WAY off. Cheers!
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Old 09-22-2008, 04:34 PM
 
27,750 posts, read 58,073,059 times
Reputation: 22359
Strongly advise against tenants painting... far too many problems...

The Housing compliance in my city has nothing to say regarding paint that is sound. As long as it isn't peeling or old lead based... repainting is entirely at the owner's discretion.

Many times painting is used as an excuse for not washing down the walls and general housekeeping.

I would stick to your agreement and follow-up in writing.

Having tenants do work for you makes them defacto employees and everything that comes along with it.
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Old 09-22-2008, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Long Beach, CA
2,071 posts, read 11,536,416 times
Reputation: 1779
Perfect example .... I recently had a resident move out and they painted the rooms in semi gloss/enamel. Well, we had to get it repainted again ..........

Last edited by Paula Lynn; 09-22-2008 at 06:47 PM..
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Seaford, Delaware
3,489 posts, read 18,664,868 times
Reputation: 2686
I paint apartments and houses when vacated. if a tenant wants to paint, I allow it, but I must approve the color and paint first. it's written in the lease. I did have one long term tenant who at 6 years, asked to paint her apartment. She showed me her color choices and I approved and made sure the paint type was appropriate. No problem. No payment.
I also have other long term tenants(3, 4 or 5) years, who have not requested paint. if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
there is no staute, that I know of, about paint requirments(except lead or peeling paint). I repaint on vacating because it makes it fresh and clean and most of the time, the apartment or house does not really need it.
I would think it's your call. There's all kinds of scenerios you can put up. whatever flies for you is the one to go with.
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:29 PM
 
3,646 posts, read 10,313,654 times
Reputation: 5484
Our LLs allowed us to paint the kid's bedrooms pink and blue, respectively. I gave them an idea of the colors we wanted to use. It was put in writing that we need to paint it back to white or any other color the LL chooses when we move. The cost of the paint is on us, as it was not neccessary, just something the kids wanted.

We have made other improvements/changes. We have not ever charged labor, and sometimes not even materials, depending on the project. For example, the LL bought the new disposal and we installed it, but the awesome shelves in the garage that are needed for work by my dh, we paid for and installed. We submitted a plan for those and photos of the last shelves my dh installed in our last rental for approval. They paid to have a plumber come out and replace the wax ring on the toilet (though I told them I could do it) and fix the hole in the ceiling from the leak, but I recaulked the toilets and paid for and installed the new "flusher" on 2 toilets. They paid for materials to reroute the dryer vent, but my dh did the labor. In that case, the handyman couldn't come out for 3 weeks, and I didn't want to be without a dryer for that long.

As a renter, it is my philosophy that maintenance be paid for by the LL, but anything we can do, we will - goodwill is fostered and hopefully will be remembered by the LL when we need to move, or even if we need to extend the lease.

Last edited by sskkc; 09-22-2008 at 07:32 PM.. Reason: add
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:34 PM
 
203 posts, read 876,835 times
Reputation: 142
If they're good tenants let'em paint..........you know how hard it is to find someone who pays the rent on time and not a born again whiner, right? No biggy, paint your a** off!
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Old 09-23-2008, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Bradenton, Florida
27,236 posts, read 43,903,029 times
Reputation: 11001
I painted my places, but I always paid to do it myself (as a tenant). If I have to live there, it should be to MY liking. If I want the color changed, why should THAT be the landlord's responsibility?
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Old 09-24-2008, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Montrose, CA
3,031 posts, read 8,459,544 times
Reputation: 1966
Quote:
Originally Posted by TKramar View Post
I painted my places, but I always paid to do it myself (as a tenant). If I have to live there, it should be to MY liking. If I want the color changed, why should THAT be the landlord's responsibility?
Spoken like someone who hasn't spent hours trying to remove paint spatter from carpet, wood flooring, and trim. Spoken like someone who hasn't looked at the ceiling of their rental unit and seen where the careless tenant smooshed the roller into the ceiling and left glaring paint marks. Spoken like someone who hasn't had a tenant that painted an entire room black, thus necessitating FOUR coats of primer just to be able to repaint.

No thanks. My tenants are NOT allowed to paint. It's my property and if they are that opposed to nice neutral colors, they don't have to live there.
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