Can I paint a rented house?

A. A simple answer would be no. Painting any part of a private rental property without the landlord’s permission would usually be classified as damage and landlords are within their rights to insist that the house be repainted before you move out or that deductions be made from your deposit. However, like many things property-related, there are levels of nuance and as always, communication between all parties is vital.

Take for instance, some internal door frames that have been rubbed, causing the paint to flake off. As a tenant, it would make perfect sense to paint over the blemishes with the same colour, but it is still wise to contact the landlord, who might have been planning to do some maintenance anyway or might have a certain paint range in mind. Keep the lines of communication open, build trust and prevent those small issues from escalating into major problems.

At the other extreme, it would be disingenuous to think that a landlord will be impressed with a wall mural depicting your favourite movie scene or contemporary art. Even if your tastes are not that left field, your landlord still has to consider renting out the property after you leave and needs the décor to be left the way you found it.

If you really struggle with the colour scheme and feel the need to stamp your personality on your home, ask your landlord to consider some affordable art pieces that are not too big and can be hung with the minimum of wall interference. Also, there are imaginative ways to change the aspect of your rooms using colourful soft furnishing accessories and inventive lighting. The key here is to plan and get permission before you become a D.I.Y hero.

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About the Author

A board director since 2001, Marc oversees the company’s London rentals operation as well as marketing and developing strategies for new business. He has been instrumental in the company’s expansion, working closely with managing director Anita Mehra to develop its core services and frequently co-hosts property seminars for investors in many international locations. Read more about Marc von Grundherr here - Read full profile

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