It is not something new that a new coat of paint can boost the aesthetics and value of a rental property – thus increase perceived value to either sell it for more, or justify increasing the rent.
This explains why painting the external and internal of the property is such an important part when it comes to rental property maintenance and management. However, there are many misconceptions and myths relating to painting rental units and there are certain things you should avoid. So we’ve put together a guide here dedicated to rental/investment property owners.
Repainting Versus Normal Wear And Tear
Sometimes it is difficult to tell when dirty walls and scuffs have exceeded the normal wear and tear so that you can request the tenant to pay the repainting costs. Mostly, the answer to this question will depend on how long the tenant has stayed in that property. The property is likely to have more cases of wear and tear if the tenant has occupied the house for five years compared to the one who has been there for only one year.
In most cases, you cannot not charge the tenant if they have been careful – no careless or intending damage/marks. Some landlords are a bit stricter and only want to retain the same perfect condition, hence why they will charge the tenant for even the most minor issue. It is important to find a middle ground between retaining a good tenant and having a fair agreement between landlord and tenant. Our recommendation is to make clear of all expectations prior to entering into an agreement so there aren’t misunderstandings once they move in.
In most cases, washing the walls (As part of a maintenance plan for the tenant) will help maintain the appearance and avoid repainting the walls regularly.
Tenants Not Willing To Pay For The Painting Project
If something gets damaged in a rental property, or needs repairing, it’s important to know who’s responsible for fixing and paying for the problem. (tenancy.govt.nz)
There is possibility of finding tenants who value your rental the same way you do with your own home. However, you must be prepared to search. Make a scoring system that will help you in determining whether the tenant will look after the property or not is difficult. But before you enter in an agreement with the tenants, you can stipulate who is responsible for certain maintenance works if mutually agreed. But if nothing is agreed, then tenants are not responsible for the cost of the painting project unless it’s intention/careless damage – wear and tear is generally at the cost of the landlord.
Giving Tenants Permission To Paint
Giving tenants permission to paint is not something new for landlords. It’s generally common request by tenants who are intending to stay in the property for the long term and they’re generally wanting to look after the property. In some cases, landlords will agree, but expectations need to be made very clear up front (Eg color, quality and finish) otherwise it does end up becoming a problem.
Worse case is you end up having your property painted to the color you weren’t expecting, or the quality of finish is sub-standard. Legally you are not allowed to deduct money from the tenant’s rent because you gave them permission to do so. So unless you know the tenant is a professional or have done it before – I would say stick to a professional – the cost savings of getting the tenant to do it may not be worth the return you get from the result.
The Appeal That A Fresh Paint Gives
Fresh paint and bright new walls give a highly “new” look for the property for buyers and tenants. Most tenants will always choose a newly painted property (or willing to pay more in rent) and avoid a dingy and worn out rental property. They do this because a freshly painted property features a more appealing look compared to a dirty and worn property – it also gives an impression of the property being more clean.
In addition to this, new paint is something every landlord needs to consider before re-renting the property. With a new coat of paint, you can quickly repair the holes, dings, dents, and nicks in your property’s wall at the same time – it will be a lot more difficult to coordinate this once tenants move in.
As per the experts, a well-done paint job needs to last between seven and ten years. However, you need to note that marks, scuffs, and chips go hand-in-hand with wear and tear. Consider repainting only in the case of dated rooms, scuffed rooms, nicked rooms, or damaged rooms that are impossible to repair. Also, repainting is the best option only if you’re after a new color.
In the case of ceiling or walls with holes, most landlords will repair only these areas and then repaint them. However, you can take this opportunity and repaint the entire room or wall if you have enough and all the required materials. Through this, you will end up having new paint that is cleaner and much brighter.
Most paints also come with a 10 year guarantee (Dulux and Resene) in case if there is any issues with the paint itself, paint fading or the color changing.
Consider knowing the basics to different paints so you can make an informed decision. The quality of the house paint you use will determine how long the interior paint job of your property will last. Also, different finishes have a significant impact on durability. For example, if you’re painting the home to sell, you may get away with cheaper paints and less coats of paint to save costs. Below are some of the most popular paint finishes and their area of application.
· High gloss finish
This paint finish is hassle-free to clean and durable. It dries, leaving behind a shiny finish. Another exciting feature is that this polished finish gives a reflection of light. Also, this paint finish repels sticky oils or fingers, meaning you can use it for cabinets, trim, and doors.
· Semi-gloss finish
Use this one in areas with moisture, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Also, it is the perfect option for trimming and cleaning up quickly.
· Satin finish
Use this one in high-traffic areas such as family rooms, hallways, and playrooms and bedrooms for children.
· Eggshell finish
Eggshell is the perfect option for areas that receive less traffic. Use this one on walls with imperfections and bumps. Also, it works perfectly in study rooms, offices, living rooms, or dining rooms.
· Matte finish
With this paint finish, it will give your walls a flat look – commonly used as feature walls. It is the perfect option to use in low traffic rooms such as adult bedrooms/ not recommended for children’s rooms as it leave marks.
When Is The Right Time To Paint Property?
Create a schedule to paint your investment properties and the number of times to do that – and align this with your budget so you incorporate this cost when calculated ROI.
Come up with a program that allows you to keep your rental property fresh, attractive, and new without cutting into your budget too much. Here are a few things to consider if you’re trying to decide when to paint your property:
You need to evaluate your property after the tenant moves out. In this time, you will be able to locate any damages and check if the rooms require painting or not. If repainting it doesn’t increase the aesthetics too much or add any perceived value to renters – then it’s probably not worthwhile.
· Clean The Walls Instead
There are cases where oils, scuffs, dirt, and smudges build up on your property’s wall. In this case, you can refresh the paint quickly by cleaning the walls with water and mild soap. For the scuffs, you can use spot scrubbers and magic erasers. Focus mostly on the window trim, door frames, and several other areas that experience high traffic.
· Painting Only The High Traffic Rooms
In this case, you need to paint only the rooms that require it most. For example, you can focus on the areas such as the lounge, halls ways and bedrooms – where it is also most noticeable.
· Competitive Edge
If you’re trying to attract tenants, be creative with painting such as having feature walls, using contrasting colors (from the neighbours), choosing trending colors, or simply painting to the house to highlight features.
· Season to paint
Summer tends to be the ideal time for painting, since it’s typically dry and warm. Since not every homeowner can paint over the summer, though, some opt to paint in early spring or into the late fall. While some contractors stretch the painting season as long as possible, quality painting contractors know that it’s important to paint at a time when weather conditions are consistent and temperatures don’t vary significantly overnight or from day to day.
However in saying that, typically a lot of painting companies/contractors will be offering discounts during the winter season because it’s generally their quieter months in terms of work volume.
Is It A Must For Tenants To Paint?
No, tenants don’t need to paint the property unless they receive written permission from the landlord. A tenant must be ready to get their damage deposit deducted if they paint the rental property without consent from the landlord.
Painting Agreement Between The Landlord And Tenant
The tenant can only paint the rental property if they receive written permission from the landlord. This agreement needs to include the signature of the landlord and tenant, their names, and date. Also, there must be a brief document explaining that the landlord has allowed the tenant to paint some rooms within the rental property. Also, the landlord and tenant need to agree on colors and feature them on the agreement. A one-page sheet containing all these details can work well, and all the parties need to have a copy.
Things to Know When Painting Your Investment Property
Choose The Best Colors
Choosing the best color is not as easy as you think. It is crucial to select a paint color that can attract all individuals. Some of the paint colors to avoid include bright colors, pink, colors resembling national flags and camouflage, or any other pattern.
On the other hand, the best paint colors include Tan, Grey, Beige, and off-white (neutral colors). With these colors, you will attract a wider range of tenants to your rental property.
Choosing the right paint
As a goal-oriented landlord in Auckland, you know very well the wear and tear that tenants are likely to cause to your investment property. An excellent example is scuff marks, which will force you to repaint your property.
However, if you choose the sheen, you will always find an easy time cleaning the walls when the renters move out and this may avoid having to paint the whole property. Never go for matte or flat paints. Instead, you should consider semi-gloss paints.
Be Well Prepared Before Painting Your Property
You will need floor coverings, mask walls, mask trim, and mask windows before you start painting a room. Here are some critical things to note if you’re doing it yourself:
- Mask the wall using 2″ painter’s tape. Place this tape directly at the trim’s edge so that the paint cannot get in contact with the wall.
- Protect the carpet using drop cloths. Also, use masking tape for holding these cloths in place.
- Cover door hardware and window with masking tape
- Mask the light fixture by covering it using a large-sized garbage bag and then tap this bag using masking tape – or removal it all together.
Also, you can ensure that the paint runs smoothly by:
- Taking out all the nails in the room’s wall
- Removing curtains
- Removing switches and plates on the electrical outlets to paint on these areas easily
- Filling all holes in the room’s wall by using filler
- Using dishwashing liquid and water to clean the room’s walls thoroughly
Some crucial preparations are needed, especially in painting places featuring smoke residue or mold.
Choosing the right painting tools
A home improvement store such as Bunnings or Mitre10 will have a range of painting tools available. However, with many options also caused confusion on what the right tool to use is.
A roller is a crucial tool if you plan to paint a broad but flat area. With this painting tool, you will complete your job with less hassle. However, consider also choosing a tray if you purchase a roller. This tray will help you a lot in holding the paint.
Going for an angled paintbrush is also the step to follow if you plan to paint or touch up tight areas. Consider going for a smaller brush since it will enhance a more detailed work.
These painting tools cost higher compared to brushes and rollers. However, with these tools, you can complete your painting job quickly compared to the case of a roller. Other than this, sprayers are comfortable to use compared to rollers, and they enhance a more even finish.
Other crucial painting tools to check include:
· Protective Eyewear
You will find it easier to paint the ceiling with your eyes protected.
· A Bench
With a sturdy, aluminum bench, you will access high places with less hassle. It’s common for some to choose use a three step ladder – but there is a risk of falling.
· A Painting Stick
You need to attach this stick to a roller so that you can easily paint the places that are hard to reach.
Following the right procedure
Finally, you need to follow the appropriate procedure so that your painting job can run smoothly and as expected. The process to follow in this case include:
- Priming the walls first if the paint does not feature primer and you need to carry out this using a roller
- Paint the trim before painting your room’s walls. Also, consider masking room correctly before doing anything
- Paint the walls after the trim has been sealed off, and the trim paint has dried. Use an angled paintbrush to paint the edges first and then use a roller for coating the wall using an endless M or W movement
- Going for a second paint coat is also the best option so that you can get the best results
- If you removal wallpaper to paint, you’ll also need to sand down the walls and apply a undercoat.
Is it worth painting a house to sell?
If you’re thinking of selling the house and it’s looking a little bit tired or worn out – there are several ways to spruce it up. Tired, old homes can be given a makeover with a simple fresh coat of paint. This can not only make your property look more modern and appealing, but it can also potentially increase its property value.
The importance of a good first impression on buyers (and renters) cannot be emphasized enough. It’s vital to make sure that the house is being represented in the best light so you can maximise your return on investment by increasing it’s perceived value.
It is also a good idea to talk to the real estate agents in your area (demands of different target audiences may differ) and see what the buyer trends are in the area, perhaps even get advice on colors and styles buyers/renters are looking for.
We hope this article has helped you make some decisions about painting your rental property, we will continue to update this article as things change in the market, feel free to reach out to us if you feel there is anything we should mention or add.
For more information about our services as well as a free quote over the phone, contact us today!
Get In Touch, Free Color Consultation
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- Professional advice on color selection and design for your home
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- Plan of action/ proposal for your project
- And get all your questions answered with no obligations