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Repainting: Whose Responsibility Is It? Tenant Or Landlord?

Who should repaint a rented home

There’s nothing like having freshly painted rooms in your home. Not only does it give the place a brighter and more upbeat feel, but it also gives the impression that the property is well taken care of and a great place to want to live in and enjoy. A freshly painted room can also improve the overall look of the house and exudes a welcoming vibe.

Newly painted properties also always look better next to dingy old places. That and it’s not as costly as a full renovation. This is why lessors usually find this as a go-to when they want to catch the attention of renters. Doing so not only hides cracks, smudges, and dings, it is also more pleasing to the eye.

When it comes to painting leased properties, whose responsibility is it? Should the tenant or the landlord be in charge of painting the property? Since paint jobs may not be something that’s explicitly stated in tenancy agreements, it can cause a lot of confusion for both parties.

When’s it a landlord’s job?

Homeowners are obligated to make a place habitable for it to be put onto the market. This means that they are required to make a residence sanitary and safe to live in for the tenant. When it comes to painting, though, more often than not, jobs are done primarily for aesthetic purposes and not to comply with the law.

When’s it a tenant’s job?

Tenants are usually not obligated to paint the property. This often falls under the lessor’s responsibility and their personal preference. Tenants are only expected to keep the property in a similar condition to when it was first turned over to them.

They are not required to have the walls repainted just as long as it went through normal wear and tear. Unless stipulated in the agreement, renters are not obligated to pay for a new paint job.

Painting tips

Whether you are a renter or a lessor, here are some tips to get you started.

Have a colour scheme in mind

This comes in handy, especially when you see countless colours at the hardware shop and become overwhelmed. Experiment with different shades and compare them side by side before coming to the store. The website Color Hunt also helps in planning palettes.

Invest in good rollers

It might be tempting to buy the cheapest rollers, but it pays to spend a little more. Bad quality rollers can leave a lot of fuzz and will make the surfaces uneven and messy.

Use drop cloths

Things can get messy. Protect flooring, carpeting, and furniture by placing drop cloths over them. Poly paper drop sheets are better than plastic ones because it is skid-resistant and is very affordable.

Use the tools in uniformed strokes

The “W” method distributes the paint more evenly than straight-line strokes. For large surface areas, use rollers with extension poles for hard-to-reach areas and paintbrushes for corners. What painting terms do I need to be familiar with?


Also known as flat paint, this has the most pigment amongst other types and is also the most affordable. Since it’s not reflective, it’s best used on walls that have stains.


The shiniest amongst all types, glossy paint is reflective and resistant to moisture and oils. This is usually best for areas in the kitchen as well as surfaces that are touched often, like doors, wardrobes, and drawers. It is also traditionally used in outdoor areas.


This type is very versatile and is usually used in rooms where there is a lot of moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms. It is also effortless to clean and is not too flashy in comparison to the glossy variant.


This has a good sheen but is not as flat as matte paint. It’s very durable and can be used in rooms where humidity is high. It is also easy to clean and is a popular choice for children’s bedrooms.

Confused? If you’re not sure, it’s best to call the experts instead to get assured quality results. With an eye for detail, professional painters can help in ensuring that you get the most out of your property.

Paint jobs do not usually involve the renter

Often, people might ask ‘Do landlords have to paint the place once new tenants move in?’ and ‘Do tenants have to have the residence painted upon departure?’ Generally, property owners are the ones that are in charge of painting the residence and are only legally required to do it over a stipulated number of years. Unless the damage caused is mentioned in the agreement, paint jobs do not usually involve the renter.

Remember, agreements can differ depending on the country, state, and the homeowner’s preferences. When in doubt, always read the contract before signing and still refer to it when it comes to landlord-renter responsibilities.

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Recommended reading

If you enjoyed this post and have time to spare, why not check out these related posts and dive deeper down the rabbit hole that is decor and interior design.

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