Buy-to-let redecoration

How Often Should You Decorate Your Buy-to-Let Property?

6 August 2020 Simon Banks Read time: 2 min
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Simon Banks

Your buy-to-let property will need some extra love and care from time to time. We’re talking about giving it a spruce up, of course. From painting the walls to changing the furniture and just about everything in between, every so often landlords need to freshen up their rental property.

But when is the best time to do it? Between tenancies is the obvious answer, but then you need to think about how often you should carry out a full redecoration so that your property is in tip-top shape to attract brand new professional renters.

In this guide, we’re giving you the lowdown on redecorating your rental property and how often you should get the paintbrush and other tools out. So read on, and find out when is the best time to redecorate, as well as some top tips for modernising your buy-to-let property.

Who is responsible for decorating?

Most often than not, you will be required to redecorate the property. It’s possible to add a clause in the tenancy agreement, stating that the renter must redecorate upon leaving. But this is rare and a surefire way to put renters off taking your buy-to-let.

Paints on a ladder

If the renter causes damages to the interior of the property during their tenancy, you might be able to withhold a portion of their deposit. However, decoration which is the result of fair wear and tear will be your responsibility.

On some occasions, a renter may ask if they can redecorate parts of your property. As the landlord, you can give them the go-ahead or decline, mentioning that the property must be kept in the same decorative order stated in the inventory.

How often should you decorate your buy to let?

There’s no written rule for when you should redecorate, and it’s better to monitor things at the end of each tenancy. That way you can make small changes here and there to the property, keeping things fresh as you go.

However, you should review the overall condition at least once every five years or at the end of a particularly long tenancy. Paint jobs and general wear and tear tend to be more visible after five years, making it the best time to tell if the property needs some fresh decoration. 

Does redecorating your buy-to-let add to its rental value?

There are several benefits for sprucing up your buy-to-let. For starters, renters have high expectations and want to move into a home they can see themselves living in. Making sure that your property is presentable is part and parcel of marketing it.

Value increase

Then there’s the value. A well-presented property that looks modern can increase its rental value – though this shouldn’t be your sole purpose for redecorating. If you make any significant changes, such as refurbishments, it could also increase the overall house-price value. 

Top decorating tips

You will want to ensure that you nail any redecoration in the property, creating an appealing place that renters will want to call home. Here are some tips to consider when it comes to redecorating your buy-to-let.

Keep it neutral

It can be tempting to spice things up a bit with colourful walls and vibrant furniture, but it’s best to keep redecorations neutral. Otherwise, you might put off potential renters who don’t share your desire for a bright and colourful property.

Examine renter redecoration requests

If a renter asks to redecorate your property, think long and hard before giving the go-ahead. Get a detailed plan of what they want to do and see if it aligns with the current decoration. It can be tempting for someone else to undertake decoration duties, but you don’t want a property which needs redecorating again after the tenancy.

Records and receipts

Keep records that prove when you redecorated a property and receipts of purchases like appliances, as they act as proof in case of any disputes with renters. They can also be used to reclaim tax in some circumstances, especially if you’re replacing a like-for-like item.

Painting a pretty picture

From painting the walls to replacing the carpets, there are many ways to make your rental property more appealing. And with our tips, you can ace the redecoration process and style your property in a way that makes renters eager to move in.

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