Deciding when to paint your rental properties is often a matter of preference rather than necessity. Unless you have had some particularly destructive tenants, paint isn't usually required every time you have turnover. If you're undecided, use this guide to determine whether or not the time is right to paint your rental home.
Is It Required?
Outside the handful of major cities that have passed laws about paint requirements, almost nowhere in the US requires you to paint every time your tenants change or on any annual basis. As long as the property is clean and functional, the cosmetic choices are left up to you.
Is There Significant Damage?
Your definition of significant damage may vary, but for most people, holes in the wall or large stains are a good enough reason to paint. If your tenants were smoking or vaping indoors, painting can help rid you of the smells as well as the yellow discoloration that comes from nicotine. Mold or large spills in the kitchen and bathrooms might also warrant fresh paint (as long as you've treated the source of the mold first).
Is It Affecting the Market Value of Your Home?
As a landlord, it's your job to squeeze profit out of the property any way you can. At first, the cost of painting everything may feel like it's taking money out of your pocket, but if tenants are shying away because of dingy old paint, an update may be just what you need to boost your profit back into the black. Not only does painting improve the chances that your home will rent quickly, but it also gives you the opportunity to raise the monthly rental price to be more competitive. Even if you only increase rent by $50/month, you can quickly make up for the cost of the paint.
Have Your Tenants Been There Long-Term?
Even if you haven't had a lot of tenant turnover, you still need to consider a schedule for painting your rental properties. Loyal long-term tenants are worth keeping happy, and fresh paint every few years ensures that they stay where they are and roll with any rent increases that you announce along the way. Being proactive about keeping your properties looking nice before they move out shows them that you are trustworthy and reliable. As long as they are taking good care of the property in between, you need only paint every 4-5 years to keep things looking nice. Plus, when they eventually move out, there's a good chance your home will still be in good enough condition to rent quickly.
Paint in a rental home takes a lot more abuse than a typical home. It tends to get scratched, worn, and punctured during move-in and move-out days. How long your paint lasts will largely depend on each tenant and how they treat it. Fortunately, you can inspect your paint during the final walkthrough and easily determine whether or not it's time to go ahead and get the job done. In most places with regular turnover every year or two, you can expect to paint every three years. With longer-term tenants, you may be able to extend the time between paint jobs to five years or more. This will also depend on the quality of paint you buy and the color scheme you're working with because some paints simply don't hold up as well as others.
If you're thinking it's time to start painting your rental properties, contact Performance Painting today. We can help you choose the right paint to protect your rental properties and get stellar pictures that will encourage renters to tour your home.