What to do if your tenant wants to DIY property improvements

Painter Painting Wall

It may not be an everyday occurrence, but there are some tenants who are prepared to put their time and money into improving a rental property.
 
While your first instinct might be to shout “hooray”, it is worth taking a deep breath and thinking the matter through before agreeing.
 
For a start, your tenant might not have much going for them in the “good taste” stakes – if they want to paint or re-carpet, make sure the landlord has final say on colour choices.
 
DIY jobs gone wrong can also damage the property. If you’re considering allowing a tenant to make a change, it’s worth asking them about what similar projects they’ve undertaken previously and how they plan to prevent accidental damage such as getting paint on the carpet. Unless they’re super-handy, it may be wisest to insist the tenant use a professional to get the work done.
 
If your tenant wants to install a dishwasher, air conditioner or other appliance, make it a condition that the appliance has to be professionally installed and must stay with the property when they leave.
 
When it comes to the garden, it is important to ensure any major changes can be easily reversed or maintained if necessary – if your veggie gardening tenant moves out, a weed patch may well move in!
 
It is not worth letting tenants take safety risks – any plumbing or electrical work must be undertaken by a fully qualified and insured professional.