I Don't Care for Upfront Deals with Tenants Prior to Move In

Real Estate Broker/Owner with M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. BK629999

This morning I went out and met a prospective tenant at one of my rental houses. They were are a very nice family and their parents came to look at the house also.  They had a lot of good questions for me.  We have agreed that they are going to rent the home.

The tenant of 7 years moved out of the home a couple of weeks ago.  They left the home in impeccable condition, just normal wear and tear. Since my husband had been out of town on business, he hasn't gotten over to the house to take an inventory of what needs to be done prior to a new tenant move in.  There are a couple of rooms that could use a quick coat of paint. 

The prospective tenant asked if they could paint the home prior to move in.  I know alot of landlords that allow this.  I prefer to give a tenant a property upon move in, in the condition that we expect to get it the property back in. 

We expect tenants of a couple of years to return a property in nearly move in condition.  As time progresses, and they've been with us for an extended period of time, I know there are going to be items that need to be addressed by us, plus there is normal wear and tear on the property.  I like to turn the key over to a new tenant with the house 100% complete upon move in. 

I don't like to make arraangements with new tenants for them to paint or do any type of work before they move in.  I really just don't care for this.  I have seen landlords get their house back a year or two years later, without the paint ever being touched or the agreed upon repair work having been done.  My feeling is that let's make sure we get started on the right foot on day one.

Now, after they've been there for a couple of years and they ask if they can paint, I am more than happy to go ahead and supply the paint to the tenant and let them paint to their heart's content.

This article is authored by

Sandy Shores Realtor, Melbourne FL Real Estate

Brevard County Real Estate & Investing

Palm Bay Florida Real Estate News


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Bob Foster
Century 21 Lanthorn R. E. Ltd. Belleville, Ontario - Belleville, ON

When I was a landlord on a small scale I think I spent much more than the average amount of time making sure that the unit was in near perfect condition before tenants arrived, and I did the work myself.  I think this was worthwhile.  Tenants. like everyone else, pick up on the signals in their environment. If the message is that the landlord doesn't care about the property, they won't either. In my case I can't say that I ever had anyone leave a unit in bad condition. As for tenants doing the upgrade themselves, I would be hesitant. This would put them in a situation where they could feel that "you owe them".

Mar 21, 2009 12:48 PM #1
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

I agree with you completely.  I don't even like the tenant doing the painting after a couple of years.  Would rather just paint it if they've not been a problem.

Mar 21, 2009 01:00 PM #2
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

If this was an apartment unit, run by a large, impartial property management company, I wonder if the same tenants would even ask this question?  Most apartment rental units don't allow tenants to paint, and/or do any fixes or trades.  Why should you?

Mar 21, 2009 01:25 PM #3
James Dray
Fathom Realty AR LLC - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

I'm new in Property Management and am taking all this in.  I believe your right and stick to your guns.  Bob is correct the tenants pick up signals, don't give them the wrong ones.. 

Mar 21, 2009 01:37 PM #4
Heather Chavez
Second Self Virtual Assistance - Caldwell, ID
Real Estate Virtual, Assistant (928) 692-3235

I think it's all a matter of taste.  You have to do what you are comfortable with.  It makes total sense that you want to hand the keys to a tenant to show exactly what you expect the house to look like when they turn it back to you.

Mar 21, 2009 03:20 PM #5
Tony Orefice
Wilkinson and Associates/www.TonyOreficeRealtor.com - Harrisburg, NC
Realtor/Harrisburg NC,Concord NC

Hi SS, makes alot of sense. You really have to be careful when dealing with tenants. Some of them can be from h*ll.

Mar 21, 2009 03:23 PM #6
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC

Hi Sandy

I feel that letting the tenant into the property before that lease start can create a nightmare, I just don't do it.  

Good luck and success

Lou Ludwig

Mar 21, 2009 03:38 PM #7
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Sandy, I would manage a rental exactly as you state here, and have done so with my rental property in the past.

Mar 21, 2009 03:51 PM #8
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,
RE/MAX Professionals. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

As always Sandy, You are the voice of reason in a sometimes insane world...


Mar 21, 2009 03:54 PM #9
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

I don't like to make deals with tenants either.  Many can't do the repairs right and end up getting paint on the carpet and the light switches.  No thanks.

Mar 22, 2009 03:05 AM #10
Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

Bob, I think our tenants do pick up cues from us, you are correct.  Best to give them the house in the condition we expect to get it back in.

Jack, I don't mind having tenants painting in later years, but there too, I have found that I provided the paint and the tenant never got around to using it.

Carla, I think it's easier if and less complicated if we do the work ourselves.

James, Let's set the correct expectations on day one - so true.

Heather, I know that different things work for different landlords.

Tony, There are some bad tenants out there - it comes with the territory.

Lou, I agree with you.

Gary, I think it just makes the situation easier.

Paul, Oh you are oh so kind to me.  Thanks for being here.

Rob, If you want the job done right, it's best to do it yourself.

Mar 22, 2009 03:44 AM #11
Justin Ukaoma
Vizion KC - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate Investments

I'm also not a fan of letting tenants paint or make repairs.  Like you said I think its better we start off with the tenant on the right foot.  Plus who knows how good of a job the tenant is really going to do I would rather risk my painter making a mistake then the tenant.  After all he's painted hundreds of houses how many has the tenant painted.

Mar 22, 2009 02:38 PM #12
Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

Hi Justin, I agree - when business isn't slamming me, I do a large amount of the painting on our rentals.  And a painter's job is only as good as the painter that was ahead of him. Hard to overcome old drips, blotches and a lousy paint job.

Mar 26, 2009 04:24 AM #13
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Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast
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