Landlords are constantly working to balance the cost of maintaining their rental homes with the necessities of maintenance to keeping their tenants happy. One of the most common tasks that landlords face is deciding when and how to paint a rental home between leases. This decision is crucial to maximizing profits and keeping the property rented most of the time. Here are a few things to consider when you set out to paint your rental home.
When to Paint
In most places, landlords are not required to paint every time a tenant moves out, and in general, paint will last several years before it needs to be redone anyways. As a general rule, you should consider painting when a tenant has been smoking inside, had pets inside, or let the walls get stained. Smoke and pets can leave behind smells in the walls that are impossible to scrub away, so painting with primer is the only way to fix the problem. As for stains, you will find that a Magic Eraser works to remove most marker, crayon and other marks left behind by kids and adults alike. Nevertheless, grease stains in the kitchen and some dyes can permanently discolor your walls. This might justify repainting before you put the house back into the rental pool.
If you're on the fence about whether or not to paint, it is probably best to just get it done. Why? Because paint is one of the least expensive repairs you can make to your property, but it can instantly increase the amount of rent you are able to charge and will increase the number of renters who are interested in your property. Once the painting is done, you can expect it to last for the next few years so you won't have to worry about it again anytime soon.
What Type of Paint to Use?
As with anything you do in your rental house, you have to decide whether you're going to spring for the expensive stuff or choose a low-cost option that will simply cover the walls. In reality, you probably don't need to spend a lot on fancy paint for your rental home because you can't predict what kind of damage a tenant will do. At the minimum, you should plan on priming your walls to cover up any bad smells from previous tenants along with any stains. Then choose a reasonably priced paint in a lighter neutral shade with a semi-gloss finish. This is important because bold colors put many people off, while plain white is too dull to really show the personality of your home, especially if you don't want tenants painting themselves. The semi-gloss finish is the most durable option for a rental home because it is easier to clean and resists stains and scuffs.
Focus On the Important Stuff
When tenants are looking for a potential home, the first things they notice are the kitchens and bathrooms. These are the critical function areas of any home, and they deserve the bulk of your attention. If you are deciding which rooms need fresh paint, it is always best to highlight these rooms over the bedrooms. Most people hang pictures, wall tapestries or other decorations in bedrooms, hallways and main living spaces, so unpainted walls are less noticeable in those areas. By contrast, stains in the kitchen and bathrooms are more common and these rooms need to be painted more often.
As moving season draws closer, now is the time to start planning projects for your rental property. Performance Painting is here to help you decide on the right paints and colors to bring your home up to market. Contact us to learn more about prepping before you paint.