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Do landlords have to repaint walls? What are YOUR landlord-tenant laws?

Homeowners and property managers have most likely faced this question on multiple occasions… Should I paint, or should I wait?

Being a homeowner is an investment. While you don’t want to “waste money” and paint the property again, you could end up losing more money by skipping the paint job and ending up renting to tenants who won’t care for the property as much.

Painting is something that really can make a property look 10x better! Tenants don’t like seeing the wear and tear from the previous tenants. They will worry more about how they will cover up those holes, then if they feel like the property is a great fit for them.

Let’s also acknowledge how much a new paint job is very pleasing to the eye and a GREAT selling point for a tenant! “NEW PAINT” would definitely stand out of the crowd while prospective tenants are looking at rental properties.

Are you required to paint between each tenant?

This answer varies from state to state, but in Utah, as long as the interior paint meets all conditions for habitability (not lead-based, or chipping or peeling) paint does not have to be new for a tenant to take occupancy. Worn or scuffed paint is not considered a hazard and doesn’t affect the warranty of habitability.

That being said, many qualified tenants may pass on a property that isn’t freshly painted for cosmetic and aesthetic reasons, making it more difficult to attract the best applicants. Which, in the long run, you really want tenants in your property that will care for the home.

How long should the paint last?

A professional paint job should last approximately 7 to 10 years according to experts. Of course, scuffs, chips, and marks are a normal part of wear and tear. As long as the walls are in good condition, you can choose to put off repainting for as long as possible.

It’s always a good idea to repaint if the rooms are looking dated, the walls are scuffed, nicked, or damaged beyond cleaning, or when you want a new color.

If there are holes in the wall or ceiling, many landlords take the opportunity to repair the problem area and repaint it. As long as you are repainting one area, you may as well complete the wall or the room, depending on time and materials. Otherwise, the new paint will be much brighter and cleaner than the older paint and be more unsightly.

Can’t get your property rented?

It’s probably time to really take a look at your property and see what you can do to make it more appealing. If your rental property is in a hard-to-rent area, your city is experiencing some economic downturns or you otherwise have a difficult time attracting quality tenants, new paint may be what you need to make your place stand out above the others.

Love your tenants, and want them to renew?

You might consider arranging new paint as a renewal incentive to keep a good tenant in your property. Even after a few years, walls can dull and look lifeless. A new paint job would keep the rental looking great, and your tenant very happy! When tenants have pride in their home, they take better care of it, so it’s a win-win for you. So, when it comes time that you are getting your property “rent ready” take a moment and see if painting is something that would benefit you in the long run.

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