Too soon for a paint request?

Too soon for a paint request?

11:00 AM, 11th August 2021, About 2 years ago 17

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A tenant moved in during June after the whole flat was fully and professionally redecorated (white) and re-carpeted (light grey). She now has asked to repaint the walls and put up shelves.

On the one hand, I think yes, but on the other, she hasn’t been there long at all, and I know it will be a DIY job if she does.

Is it right to suggest she lives there a bit longer first (min 6 months at least) before I agree to this?

Many thanks


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Paul B

11:58 AM, 11th August 2021, About 2 years ago

I would be careful. I had a not dissimilar query on these pages a couple of weeks ago about a tenant wanting to carry out improvements. Beware DIY decorations - they can be a disaster, particularly if you have recently had it done professionally. She could do a real bodge job and then you are left carrying the can. As for the shelves - I would put them in for her - then you know it is properly done.


Gunga Din

10:21 AM, 12th August 2021, About 2 years ago

I second everything hpbennet wrote.

Definitely wait at least 6 months to see how things are going. Not unheard of for a tenant to behave for the fixed term then get a bit cavalier with the rules when the "probation period" is over. I doubt the deposit will cover re-doing it at the end of her stay if she bodges it. If she wants to pay your chosen decorator to do it, get a commitment that its your option to have her restore it to current condition when she moves out, again at her cost.
Always consider the worst case scenario.


10:24 AM, 12th August 2021, About 2 years ago

I'd wait until the 12 month ast is at the end and if they wish to stay on then say yes with provisos about colours and shades etc and that it's returned to original colours and standards before they leave. Unless you like it!


10:30 AM, 12th August 2021, About 2 years ago

My own experience is that I have had tenants paint walls bright red, spill paint on carpets and then do an awful job redecorating to put it right.

One of my props where I was asked if they could paint 1 wall in the lounge, they decorated every room and it was a complete mess – and when they left the deposit no where near covered putting it right

If they moved in to a property that’s just been professionally decorated – my answer is always no.

terry sullivan

11:12 AM, 12th August 2021, About 2 years ago



11:21 AM, 12th August 2021, About 2 years ago

Funny how attitudes change over the years. When I started I was keen that everywhere was freshly decorated - now I just smarten it up as many T's decorate to their taste anyway! I agree with other comments- leave it for a while as you may find the novelty will ware off anyway! One thing I haven't mastered though is how to politely decline a tenantcy application- has anyone any ideas?

Gunga Din

11:28 AM, 12th August 2021, About 2 years ago

Decline an application - Tell them its like applying for a job. The first interviewee isn't necessarily going to get it. Other than that I tell it like it is, and the usual convenient reasons are inability to come up with rent + deposit before signing, or inability to provide a guarantor.

Gunga Din

11:34 AM, 12th August 2021, About 2 years ago

Pre-decoration - I agree that many tenants want to paint, so if its good enough, I ensure the agent has told them that's the expectation so its not perfect. Alternatively I might commit to have it decorated if its a deal-breaker and the applicant is otherwise confidence-inspiring.

The other side of the coin - A nicely decorated clean flat is a major draw, and in my market (post-industrial northeast England with few non-benefits-recipients) every little bit helps.


11:42 AM, 12th August 2021, About 2 years ago

I would refuse, as the property was let in a good decorative order in the first place, and she viewed it before renting and agreed to rent it as it was. She has not even been there for at least a year, even that is too soon for asking to re-paint, so she is not entitled to the shelves either, refuse that unless she is willing to pay for them to be supplied and fitted then OK. She might ask you to put on an expensive chandelier.


14:14 PM, 12th August 2021, About 2 years ago

I had a similar and more extensive request.
Our then agent (we now self manage) advised not to the moving of a radiator for the huge TV! We were prepared to consider the replacement of the new bedroom carpet with a wood floor (he had a wheel chair) and repainting the freshly painted white, PROVIDING a) we agreed the actual specifics and b) that we commissioned the work and c) that his Court of Protection solicitor confirmed his assurance of restitution (which would itself be preagreed as to extent).

The wood floor never happened and we never heard anything more until the interim inspection pics showing orange and green walls that took three and more coats to cover up, it was the worst DIY job I 've ever seen, bright green paint in the sockets and light switches and they even gloss painted the laminated firedoors!

It was an absolute EFFING disaster, the sol. moved on, the tenant (very much in funds) went off to sunnier climes and we got stonewalled by the new sol. with a "no instructions" and nobody had any forwarding address. The prosepective legal costs (pre-payment required) equalled the likely claim and cash flow just wasn't there, I have since learned how to self represent and have service made at such as the solicitors office but after so long we just lost momentum, the time limit is just about up so we have just taken the deposit, at least we sold the property at the height of the market after I'd cleaned it up.

If that sounds rather raw, it is, is but what it taught was the absence of strength from an agent, the near uselessness of interims (the report said the usual "looking after well" platitudes while it was me that noticed the elephant in the room.

If you haven't already got comprehensive photographs do so, we take around 300 on an average one-bed.

NEVER delegate work to the tenant, document like crazy, and keep you fingers crossed, is there an easier way to earn a living?

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