Landlords could lose more than £850 a year by not letting tenants decorate

Michael Lloyd

September 28, 2018

Landlords are at risk of missing out on more than £850 in rental income a year by not letting their tenants decorate their homes, wallpaper brand Graham & Brown has found.

About one in five renters (20%) would pay extra, an average of £72 per month, if they were able to decorate to their own taste and standards. Some one in five (19%) renters currently aren’t allowed to decorate at all – with strict bans on home improvements within their rental agreements.

And over a fifth (22%) admitted that not being able to decorate is the hardest landlord rule they have to live with.

Alan Kemp, head of brand marketing at Graham & Brown, said “The UK’s rental generation is increasing fast, with young professionals, new families, and over 50s amongst the largest groups opting to rent rather than buy.

“We have found that landlords discourage decoration, leaving Generation Rent lagging behind in the home style stakes. It shouldn’t just be homeowners who are able to put their own stamp on their home – especially as there are so many easy ways to do this which aren’t permanent, including strippable wallpaper, rugs and statement artwork.”

In showing a strong desire for decoration, the poll of 1,000 renters also found that more than four in 10 (43%) would stay in a property for longer if they could make their own mark on it.

Meanwhile, 44% admitted that being able to redecorate would mean they would take extra care of the property, and almost a third (30%) would invest money from their own pockets into making sure it looked its best – even though it would only be temporary.

In terms of what they’d like to be decorate, the vast majority (85%) of renters in the UK would consider wallpapering their homes if their landlords would allow it and the most popular trend for decorating amongst renters is feature walls.

Furthermore not decorating at all has proven to be costly to landlords, as nearly four in ten (38%) have been put off renting a property – and avoided it entirely – because of its poor, or lack of, décor.

A quarter of renters (24%) have been put off by plain walls and too much magnolia and almost a third (32%) by coloured bathroom suites.

Meanwhile, almost eight in 10 (78%) landlords polled said they wouldn’t let their tenants decorate their properties with paint or wallpaper. Not having the time to organise it, or not believing the style would suit all renters were among the top reasons why they openly discourage home improvements.

Despite this, there is some appetite for change. When it comes to what landlords are comfortable with in the future, a third (32%) would consider decoration if tenants paid for it and the same amount would if professionals were hired to complete the work, and 31% if they were able to choose the décor themselves.

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