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25th August 2018

Q:  Would lowering the rent, in exchange for tenants decorating, be a good idea?

A:  A while ago, I let a property which was in need of a lick of paint.  The prospective tenant’s offered to paint the apartment for a reduced rent. The landlord agreed, and purchased a neutral coloured paint, according to the tenant’s choice, and the tenants did the labour.  In return, the landlord lowered the rent by £30 per month.

Advantages for the landlord

  • No need to get decorators in to do the work, which would cost a lot more than reducing rent by £30 per month.
  • Also, getting decorators in would mean having to keep the property empty for at least another week, which would cost even more money. By doing it this way, tenants move in straight away, and decorating can begin when they’re ready.

Advantages for the tenant

  • They’ll save money
  • They’ll live in a freshly decorated property
  • They’ll get to provide input on the decoration style, so they’ll live in a property they’ll get to enjoy more


There were a few rules that needed to be agreed:

  • Work had to be completed to a high standard. If not, the work would need to be redone at the tenant’s expense (within reason)
  • We provided a strict definition of “high quality” and would be inspecting at every step, so there’s no confusion
  • There was a set budget

On inspection, it was found that the works had been done to a very high standard.  Both landlord and tenant were happy.

Richard Bond

Suresh Vagjiani
Suresh Vagjiani
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