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Who Is Responsible for Painting: Landlord or Tenant?

Posted by on June 26, 2024 in Landlords

When it comes to maintaining a rental property, the responsibilities of landlords and tenants can sometimes be unclear, especially when it involves tasks like painting. Understanding who is responsible for painting can help avoid disputes and ensure that the property remains in good condition. This guide will clarify the typical responsibilities regarding painting in a rental property.

General Responsibilities

Landlord’s Responsibilities

Landlords are generally responsible for ensuring that the property is in a habitable and presentable condition at the start of a tenancy. This includes tasks such as:

  • Initial Painting: Providing a freshly painted property or ensuring that the existing paintwork is in good condition at the beginning of a new lease.
  • Routine Maintenance: Addressing wear and tear that occurs naturally over time, which may include repainting common areas or the entire unit if necessary.
  • Repairs and Safety: Repainting as part of repairs after damages caused by issues such as leaks, mold, or structural damage.

Tenant’s Responsibilities

Tenants are expected to keep the property in good condition and report any issues promptly. Their responsibilities regarding painting usually include:

  • Minor Touch-Ups: Performing minor touch-ups to cover small scuffs or marks that occur during normal use.
  • Preventing Damage: Taking care not to cause significant damage to the paintwork, such as avoiding scratches, stains, or deliberate alterations.
  • Repainting with Permission: If a tenant wishes to repaint the property or a specific room, they must usually obtain written permission from the landlord. Any unauthorized painting may need to be reverted to the original color or condition at the tenant’s expense.

Lease Agreement Provisions

The specific responsibilities regarding painting can often be found in the lease agreement. It’s essential to review this document as it can outline:

  • Repainting Frequency: Some lease agreements may specify how often the property should be repainted and who bears the cost.
  • Alterations: Clauses regarding whether tenants can make cosmetic changes, including painting, and any conditions attached to such changes.
  • End of Tenancy Requirements: Provisions about the property’s condition at the end of the tenancy, including whether the tenant must repaint to the original color or leave the current paintwork intact.

Common Scenarios

Here are some common scenarios and who typically holds the responsibility:

Routine Repainting

Landlord: Responsible for repainting the property at reasonable intervals, often every 3-5 years, or between tenancies to ensure the property remains attractive and habitable.

Wear and Tear

Landlord: Responsible for repainting due to normal wear and tear. This includes repainting areas that have faded or become marked over time through normal use.

Tenant Damage

Tenant: Responsible for repainting or covering the costs if the damage to the paintwork is beyond normal wear and tear, such as from excessive wall hangings, smoke damage, or unauthorized painting.

End of Tenancy

Tenant: If the lease agreement specifies that the tenant must restore the paintwork to its original condition, the tenant must either repaint or cover the cost of repainting.

Custom Painting by Tenant

Tenant: If a tenant repaints a room or the entire property without permission, they are typically responsible for repainting it back to the original color before moving out, unless the landlord agrees to keep the new color.

Best Practices for Both Parties

For Landlords
  • Clear Communication: Outline painting responsibilities clearly in the lease agreement.
  • Regular Inspections: Conduct regular inspections to ensure the property is maintained well.
  • Professional Painting: Hire professional painters to ensure high-quality results and consistency in paintwork.
For Tenants
  • Seek Permission: Always seek written permission before making any changes to the paintwork.
  • Document Condition: Take photos of the property’s condition, including paintwork, at the start of the tenancy.
  • Regular Maintenance: Clean walls regularly and address minor issues promptly to avoid larger problems later.

Why Choose Go Cleaners London?

For both landlords and tenants looking to maintain a well-kept property, Go Cleaners London offers a range of professional cleaning services, including end of tenancy cleaning to ensure the property is in top condition.

  • Experienced Professionals: Our team provides meticulous and thorough cleaning services.
  • Comprehensive Services: From deep cleaning to routine maintenance, we cover all your cleaning needs.
  • Affordable Rates: High-quality services at budget-friendly prices.

For more information and bookings, visit Go Cleaners London or call 020 3746 2411.


Understanding who is responsible for painting in a rental property can help maintain a harmonious landlord-tenant relationship and ensure the property remains in excellent condition. Always refer to your lease agreement and communicate openly to avoid misunderstandings.

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