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Painting and decorating by tenant: legal responsibility

Godfrey K.

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The tenant in my one bedroom flat would like to redecorate the living room at her own expense. I have agreed in principle, on condition that her father whom she says is a professional painter and decorator provides adequate liability insurance. What is the legal implications of this? Is the liability insurance required? Should I expect her to sign an agreement to state she will do this at her own risk and expense?

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You could get your tenant to sign a document of risk and expense but also important is to know what colours they are proposing to use.   Also ensure you carry out a post painting viewing of the flat.

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Make it clear it writing IN ADVANCE that any works done have to be done to a workman like standard otherwise they (tenant) will incur the cost of rectifying.

You agree in writing what rooms to be painted, the specific colours and the scope of what to be done ie: woodwork, wall, ceilings and what isnt to be painted ie: stained doors etc.

You could also agree to inspect at certain stages such as agreeing to a small room painted first to inspect the standard of decorating before agreeing to further areas.


 Tenants decorating has the potential to go horribly wrong as I found out a few years ago after agreeing for a lovey tenant to paint the bedroom on similar conditions as above and we even inspected the decorating afterwards and found it decorated to a good standard and reported that back to the landlord.

However after the tenant vacated it was very apparent the tenant painted around every bit of furniture in the room to leave perfect silhouettes of the bed, cupboards, and sofa.  


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I agree with previous posts. It clearly has the potential to go horribly wrong but......it also has a very good chance of keeping both tenant & landlord very happy indeed.

The tenant may be inclined to stay longer if given the opportunity to decorate.

The landlord is saved the cost, effort and admin involved with decorating.

You being very involved in the planning, details and inspection afterwards is going to reduce the risk of it going wrong.

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