How To Ask Your Landlord To Let You Paint Your Rental

I’m Anna.
Newly wed, pup mom to Ozzy, living off the coast of NC. Sharing capsule wardrobe tips, renter safe home projects, recipes & more! Here to share the alternatives for living simply and sustainably
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This one goes out to all the renters out there trying to make their house a home this year. One of the hardest things about renting a place to live is, you don’t OWN it. Meaning you don’t have the freedom that comes with owning property and can’t decorate exactly how you would your own home. Rental properties range from apartments, town homes, add-ons, or single homes and each comes with their own set of unique lease agreements. When I first moved into my first rental I had no idea how to ask my landlord to let me paint. I’ve learned a lot over the years and hopefully this helps you in the process of making your rental feel like home.

Whether you’re working with a management company or an individual landlord, here are a few ways to go about asking your property owner to let you paint your rental.

Before You Move In To Your Rental

If you are in the process of touring apartments or rentals and want to know if you can paint a space, ASK. Ask during the showing or when you meet with the owner next. Ask if they are open to letting you make changes and what changes specifically. You are in control in that situation as good renters are hard to come by. It also costs landlords money when rentals are empty so they are more likely to be more accommodating. Landlords expect to have to paint inbetween renters so if they happen to have JUST paid to have the space repainted, they are most likely not going to jump at the idea of having to pay to paint the home again after you leave. Especially not because you simply want a bathroom in your color preference.

However, if you are lucky enough to tour the space before they refresh the paint for the next tenant, ask if they would be willing to let you choose the color. Make sure to be reasonable with your color choice, you are more likely to get the “thumbs up” if you pick a simple neutral or luxe white vs. bold accent walls and pops of color.

Laying The Ground Work With Your Landlord

If you’re already moved in and already signed a lease, it’s time to lay some ground work. You have to prove to your landlord that you are a “good tenant” which surprisingly, isn’t that hard. Pay your rent on time, Don’t disturb your neighbors, keep your home and yard CLEAN, and be kind and easy going. All of these things add up quickly and allow you to establish some rapport and trust with your landlord or management team.

Put Yourself In Their Shoes:

If you were in your landlord’s position, what would you expect from your new tenant? Would you first want to know that they are good renters? That they pay their rent on time and don’t throw rager parties on the weekends? That they care about your property and don’t abuse things or cause damage? These are all things that you must prove to your management prior to asking to personalize your home.

When I moved into my first apartment, I waited 3 months before I asked my landlord if I could paint. I wanted to give myself the time to prove I was a good tenant that could be trusted.

Adding Value To Your Home

Like I shared earlier, your color choice and paint style impacts the probability of you getting approval to paint your rental home. Landlord’s always want their property to be marketable, meaning the space is easily “rent-able.” They also want to ensure they get more out of the home than they put in. If you can present painting the space as adding value and something that won’t cost extra for your management after you leave, you have a much higher chance of being approved.

Key Points To Mention When You Ask For Permission

When you officially ask permission to paint, these are the key points I would cover:

  • Ask “what are your thoughts on me painting xyz”
  • mention the color and finish you are wanting to paint with(Albaster White in satin finish etc.)
  • mention if you have painted before and have experience
  • Note that you will maintain a clean work environment by taping off trim and protecting the floors with drop cloths.
  • Offer to repaint the walls to the original color before leaving

Lastly, if you get approval, you MUST have it in writing. It can be brief, and it could even be something you write up for them to sign. But verbal agreements are worth nothing in the end especially when a security deposit is on the line.

Clean Up Before You Leave

Is it extra work on your part? Yes, however, to live in a space that feels like you, I say go for it.

“Cleaning up” before you move out not only ensures you get your security deposit back but leaves you in great standing with your landlord. Keep a small amount of paint and spackle to touch up your walls before moving out. Make sure your landlord knows you are willing to do that as well.

Macrame Bedroom Decor
Macrame bedroom decor

Those are my tips for how to ask your landlord to let you paint. I hope this helped you and encourages you to do your best to make your house a home. Be sure to stick around for more renter friendly decor ideas and tips to making the most of your season renting: follow along

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I’ll see you in my next blog post!

xx- Anna

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