How Often Should a Landlord Decorate a Rental Property?

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 sets out the rights, responsibilities, and duties of both landlords and tenants. Section 11 of the Act sets out who is responsible for repairing a property during a tenancy. What are the landlord’s responsibilities?

The landlord

In accordance with the Act, the landlord is responsible for the following:

  1. to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling, including drains, gutters and external pipes,
  2. to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling for the supply of water, gas, electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences) but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity, and
  3. to keep in repair and proper working order the installation in the dwelling for space heating and heating water.

(Section 11, Landlord and Tenant Act, 1985)

The Tenant

Tenants also are responsible for maintaining a property they rent. Usually, this is set out in a tenancy agreement. The most common obligations are:

  • cleaning interiors
  • cleaning accessible windows
  • not damaging any fixtures or fittings or letting any fixtures or fittings be damaged by visitors
  • performing general maintenance, such as changing fuses, light bulbs and unblocking sinks if required
  • using heating system in a responsible way
  • not smoking
  • not bringing in pets


However, the Act does not require landlords to carry out any extra decorating. If the property needs decoration because of normal use and wear and tear, then the landlord is responsible for re-decorating. Usually, landlords choose to paint once in 5 years or at the end of a long tenancy. There is no legal requirement for this, though. As long as the property is in good order, the landlord is not required to carry out any works.

If a tenant feels their rental property needs a new lick of paint, they should contact their landlord and explain what needs doing and why.

Nevertheless, in the event that the tenant damages the interior decoration of the property, it is the tenant’s responsibility to re-decorate and bring the property to its original state. In this case, the landlord may withhold part of the deposit.


Again, the law does not regulate how long a carpet in a rental property should last. However, good quality carpet should last about 10 years. Low quality carpets are not recommended for rental properties as they last about three to five years. Worn out carpets should normally be replaced by the landlord. Nonetheless, if the carpet has been damaged by the tenant the landlord is entitled to charge for it. Alternatively, the landlord can withhold part of the deposit.

It is the tenant’s responsibility to look after carpets. They must ensure regular vacuum cleaning and annual deep cleaning.

Novum Property Solutions specialise in maintaining rental properties. We work with landlords and agents to ensure rental homes are safe and beautiful. If you are looking for reliable and friendly contractors, please contact us or call us on 01992 830068.

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