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Author: Rent Guarantor


As the proportion of Britons renting a home in the Private Rental Sector (PRS) continues to rise, it seems the desire for DIY remains strong. Recent research shows that over three-quarters of PRS tenants want to decorate and carry out some DIY on their rental homes, in a bid to make the property more homely.

A survey conducted by Shelter and B&Q shows that even though many people don’t own their home, they still want to put their own stamp on it and make it their own. However, many tenants must seek specific permission from their landlords before they go ahead an make any changes to their rental home. It’s likely this puts some tenants off from acting, although in most cases the decorative touches and DIY jobs tenants undertake will probably benefit the property and its value.

Most PRS tenants keen on DIY and decoration

Shelter’s research shows that some 77% of UK tenants in the PRS told them that they would like to decorate and/or do some DIY jobs in their rental homes. Looking into these desires further, 72% of those surveyed, which equates to 6 million people, said they would feel happier if they could decorate their rental home in the way they want to and not keep the style imposed by their landlords.

The top four tasks tenants are keen to take on in their rental homes are:

  •  Hanging personal items on the walls, such as photos and mirrors.
  • Changing or putting up curtains or blinds.
  • Doing some work in the garden.

This research also highlights that even though renting isn’t considered to be a permanent home, the survey results suggest that many tenants do want to put down roots if they’re renting for the long-term.

“Every day our team of specialist DIY skills advisers see the difference that even modest home improvements can have on people’s happiness levels. So, it’s not surprising to us that so many private tenants want to make their rental feel more homely,” said Polly Neate, Shelter’s chief executive.

“It might not seem like a big deal, but something as small as a fresh lick of paint really does go a long way towards helping families who’ve experienced bad housing or homelessness to feel settled in a new place,” she added.

How tenants’ decorative touches benefit landlords

While some tenants do require specific permission before they can decorate or make changes to their rental home, the survey results also show that 41% of tenants said they are already aware that their landlord will allow them to make small improvements. In addition, other tenants said they thought their landlord would let them make changes once they spoke with them about it.

While we’ve already mentioned that the ability to decorate and do small DIY projects to a rental home can help make tenants happier, which is positive for their mental health. However, there are also benefits for the owners and landlords of the properties.

Where DIY work is done well, it can help ensure the rental home is in a state of good repair and could require less improvement or maintenance work in-between tenants. Another potential positive is if a landlord is happy for tenants to make some decorative changes, then it could encourage those tenants to remain at the property for longer and for many portfolio landlords, that’s exactly what they want.

If PRS landlords and their tenants can come to a suitable agreement over what types of decoration and DIY changes are permitted, it could work out well for both parties, which would be good news all round.