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Should Landlords Paint Between Tenants? A Guide for Owners

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

Should landlords paint between tenants? This question often leaves landlords wondering what to do. The truth is, it's not just about keeping the place looking fresh and appealing. A well-timed coat of paint can also increase your rental property’s value, potentially attracting higher-paying tenants.

Should Landlords Paint Between Tenants

But here comes the twist...

If you think painting is an unnecessary expense or hassle every time a tenant moves out, then hold on tight!

You might be surprised to learn how crucial this seemingly minor detail can be in maintaining your rental property. The reality is, paint is one of the most cost-effective ways to boost the appeal of your property.

Home painting is an investment that can transform your property. Painting invigorates curb appeal, increases property values, and improves the appearance of property given its ability to dramatically alter how the home looks from even just one coat!

The Cost-Effectiveness of Painting

Pondering over whether painting rental properties is cost-effective? Painting not only keeps a property looking fresh but also ensures it remains attractive to renters--and it's extremely cost-effective in relation to otherwise major upgrades.

Covering Imperfections with Paint Jobs

Painting is a great way to cover up imperfections, especially when minor imperfections like scuffed paint or small dents that mar the current interior look.

Fresh Paint: A Value Booster.

A well-executed painting job does more than just beautify; it increases the overall worth of your investment. It's an effective strategy in maintaining high occupancy rates and ensuring steady income from your rental home.

Deciding When to Repaint Rental Units

Landlords often grapple with the question of when is the right time for a fresh coat on their rental properties.Your property manager should be your guide on this because they are your eyes on the property.

A good suggestion is to budget for repainting every three to five years in order to keep the property looking great and in top shape. This frequency ensures your property maintains its appeal and stays in top condition. However, if you notice no significant wear or damage, waiting up to five years (or longer) might be feasible too.

Should Landlords Paint Between Tenants

Evaluating Need Based On Condition

Beyond set timelines, landlords should also consider factors like scuffed paint or discoloration. Scuffs and discoloration are signs that the walls require repainting sooner than later.

If tenant moves have been frequent within those periods causing considerable wall damages then repainting becomes inevitable even before hitting the two-year mark.

Cleaning Vs Painting: A Cost Analysis

  • An alternative option could be deep cleaning walls instead of painting them immediately after each turnover.

  • This approach may save costs while still giving rooms an aesthetic lift.

  • In fact, a well-done cleaning can sometimes make painted walls look almost brand new.

Choosing the Right Paint for Rental Properties

As a landlord, selecting the right paint is critical.

This decision not only impacts your property's aesthetics but also its longevity and appeal to prospective tenants.

Making Sense of Grades in Paint

A common misconception among landlords is that all paints are created equal. That's definitely not the case. In general, a mid-grade paint offers a balance between cost-effectiveness and durability - perfect for rental properties.

The Case For Higher Grade Paint

For areas subject to heavy use or frequent wear-and-tear, opting for a higher grade paint may be the wiser choice.

It typically lasts longer without peeling or cracking.

Picking Out The Perfect Colors And Finishes

Light colors like beige or gray can help spaces appear larger while satin finishes offer ease of cleaning.

Should Landlords Paint Between Tenants

Landlord Painting Responsibilities & Tenant Rights

In terms of painting rental properties Virginia law is pretty clear. In the state of Virginia, there is no requirement to paint (or replace carpet) between tenancies.

Should Landlords Let Tenants Paint?

Often, landlords do not allow tenants to paint the rooms unless they agree to repaint the walls to an approved color before leaving. If a tenant painted the walls, they'll need to repaint the original color.

Deducting Paint Costs from Security Deposit

In some cases, landlords may deduct painting costs from a tenant's security deposit if there is clear damage or if the tenant painted without approval.

This typically occurs when damage beyond normal wear and tear is evident on painted walls. Normal wear and tear in Virginia is defined as a deterioration that occurs naturally as a result of the tenant using the property as it's designed to be used without fault or negligence from the tenant.

The Benefits of Hiring Professional Painters

A fresh coat of paint can transform your property. But not only does it improve the look of your property, there are practical advantages too. Let's explore some:

  • Saves Time: Hiring professionals frees up time that landlords could use elsewhere in their business operations or personal lives.

  • Quality Workmanship: A pro painting job ensures uniformity with minimal paint spills - an aspect DIY projects often lack. Plus, they handle large-scale projects efficiently.

  • Paint Selection Expertise: The pros know which colors appeal most to prospective tenants and understand the best finishes (like satin or semi-gloss) that wear well over time while being easy-to-clean.

In case your property has lead-based painted walls - something common in older buildings - these experts also have the necessary training to deal with such issues safely.

In essence? A professional touch can elevate your rental space significantly and save you time and money.


Repainting rental properties is an important consideration for landlords, when appropriate. It's not just about looks; it can also help boost the worth of your rental property.

Deciding when to repaint can be tricky, but typically every two to five years does the trick.

Picking the right paint and color matters too. Neutral shades are usually preferred by tenants and mid-grade paints offer durability without breaking the bank.

At Property Management Advisors (PMA), we understand that managing a rental property comes with many responsibilities including maintaining an appealing look for prospective renters. We provide reliable services tailored to meet your needs as a landlord, ensuring that tasks such as repainting are handled professionally and efficiently.

Are you a landlord looking for reliable and trustworthy property management services? Look no further than Property Management Advisors! Our team of experts is here to help you understand the ins-and-outs of managing your rental properties. Let us take the hassle out of being a landlord so that you can rest assured knowing your investments are in good hands. Contact us today to learn more about our residential management solutions and get started with PMA!

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