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Who Is Responsible for Decorating Rented Property?

May 18, 2020

When you rent out a property or live in one, you deal with certain requirements.

The law establishes the main responsibilities of both landlords and tenants. However, questions about decoration, change of the general look of the place, or repair start to pop up soon after a tenant moves in. And such issues need clarification.

How far can renters go with alterations? What problems in the property should the owner take care of? Here we’ll look into the responsibilities of both landlords and tenants when it comes to property decoration.

Responsibilities of Landlords

As the property owner, it is in your best interest to keep your tenants happy and content with the property. To meet their expectations and ensure a long-term tenancy, be aware of your responsibilities.

Law requires that landlords:

  • Repair exterior damages to the property. This includes peeled paint, clogged drains and gutters, roof leaks, etc.
  • Take care of the interior. This applies to any household problems that aren’t under the tenant’s control according to your tenancy agreement.
  • Regularly inspect and repair installations for the supply of water, electricity, and gas. If there are water or gas pipe defects, like clogging, or electrical problems, it’s the duty of the landlord to repair them.
  • Fix installations for rooms and water heating. No tenant should handle a broken boiler or space heaters around the house.
  • Repair furniture. This goes only for furniture items that the owner provided.
  • Maintain common areas and areas for access.The owner takes care of all breakdowns in these places, for example, no lighting.
  • Beside these obligations, a thoughtful owner ensures a safe property.

    Are you familiar with The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)? It is an evaluation of potential hazards in your home. It shows a list of numerous risks in a property.

    Read more: Policy and Regulatory Round-up For Landlords 2019-2020

    So, here’s how to guarantee the tenant’s wellbeing:

    • Place anti-theft and fire alarms
    • Secure the locks of all doors and windows
    • Repair broken constructions that bring a risk of injury
    • Get rid of potential causes for falling - fit carpets in a proper way, make sure all tiles on the floor are even, etc

    A well-decorated, maintained and safe property always attracts  good tenants and never stays empty for too long. Are you searching for other ways to reach potential tenants? With Portico Direct you can advertise your property on Rightmove and Zoopla for just £1.

    Decoration Options for Tenants

    When it comes to the decoration of the property you as a tenant have no right of alternations. But don’t get frustrated yet!We understand a rented flat or house is difficult to truly feel like home, especially with the restrictions of changes. But there’s a way to transform the place to your preference with no violation of the rental agreement. Take a look at our simple tips and tricks on how to do it.


    Paint the Walls

    Don’t like the colour of the walls? Then paint them in your favourite shade. Isn’t this a rule-breaker? It’s not if you let your landlord know and then repaint the walls in their original colour as you leave the property. Avoid crazy shades like bright red or pink because they will shine through the initial colour if it’s fair.

    Use Wallpaper

    Another option for a fresh look that matches your taste is wallpaper. There are certain types that are easy to stick and peel off for when you move out. Consider creating feature walls in the rooms for a more vivid look. That’s also less work for you.

    Related: How to create the illusion of light and space

    Stick on Tiles

    Tiles are perfect for statement details. Stick tiles with a unique design in one row on the walls to add a pop of colour and freshen up the room.

    Place Rugs

    Fuzzy rugs add a warm and soft texture to cold and regular floors. There are various fabrics and designs to help you make any room cosy and homey.

    Change Handles

    Tiny details are essential to the overall look. So, why not ask your landlord if you can replace the handles of cupboards in the kitchen with eye-catching ones? Think of metal, wood, gold, or silver. This small change adds a modern touch to the rented property. Keep the original handles to place them back when you move out.

    Decorate with Plants

    There’s no easier way to bring life to the rented place than greenery. Decorate empty corners with big leafy plants to bring life and comfort to the property, affordably. Indoor plants have many benefits, plus they add a calm and peaceful atmosphere that makes you feel at home.

    Related: 8 Space Saving Tips for Small Homes

    Throw Cushions

    Many rental properties will come furnished - and that will often mean accepting furniture that's not exactly to your taste. Instead, “Throw some crazy big and fluffy cushions on the sofa, bed, and armchair to bring charm and hide flaws”, comments mattress bedding & linen manufacturer Jonathan Prichard. “The soft cushions provide comfort, cosiness and distract from the plain furniture.”“Also, the landlord is not bound to buy a new mattress but in case you, make you dispose of an old mattress in a responsible manner”, he adds.


    Use Bookcases

    It’s unacceptable to make holes in the walls if you're a tenant. This means shelves are usually not an option. Instead, use a bookcase to put away your belongings. Opt for a second-hand or DIY one as a cheap and practical solution. Buy or make a big bookcase to cover an entire wall so you have enough storage space.

    Now, you know what decoration changes you’re allowed to make in the rented property to achieve the comfort and cosiness of a real home during your tenancy. Stick to our tips to transform the place into your personal abode without issues with your landlord.

    Need even more inspiration? Check out: 10 ways to make your rented property feel like home

    Final Words

    In conclusion, both the landlord and the tenant can take part in decorating the property. It’s best to have a decent talk and establish a reasonable approach before you sign the lease. Afterwards, include the well-defined responsibilities in the tenancy agreement. If you're a private landlord, we offer a customisable tenancy agreement template for just £20. 

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