How often should a landlord paint a house?

As a landlord, one of the most important aspects of running a successful rental business is to maintain a balance between property upkeep and cost management. Ensuring that your property is in good condition and your tenants are satisfied is key to keeping your business thriving. One crucial aspect of property maintenance is the regular painting of the property. So, how often should a landlord paint a house?

When it comes to determining how often should a landlord paint a house, it can be a challenging task. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the frequency of painting depends on various factors such as the climate, the type of paint used, and the quality of the previous paint job. However, it is generally recommended that landlords paint their properties every five to seven years.


How environmental factors can affect the painting condition?

The exterior paint of a building faces various environmental challenges that can greatly affect its quality and durability. Climate plays a crucial role, especially. Extreme temperatures, high humidity, and heavy rainfall can lead to rapid deterioration.

How often should a landlord paint a house?

Sun exposure is another significant factor, as UV rays break down the paint’s chemical bonds, causing fading and loss of protection. Additionally, wind carries dirt and debris that can discolor and harm the paint’s surface. On the other side, pollution, including acid rain, corrodes and peels the paint, detracting from its appearance.

To maintain exterior paint quality, it’s essential to choose high-quality paint products suited to the local climate. Regular cleaning through methods like power washing and timely repainting are also vital steps to safeguard the paint and prolong its lifespan.

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Legal requirements on how often should a landlord paint a house

In the U.S., federal laws do not prescribe specific painting schedules for landlords. However, landlords must comply with federal regulations concerning housing quality and safety standards, which indirectly affect painting frequency and the overall upkeep of rental properties. So, how often should a landlord paint a house?

For instance, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) oversees the Housing Quality Standards (HQS) for Section 8 housing. While HQS does not outline painting frequency, it emphasizes the significance of maintaining rental properties in a clean, sanitary, and well-maintained condition, including ensuring that paint indoors and outdoors is free from peeling, flaking, or blistering.

State and local laws also determine landlord painting requirements. In some areas, landlords might be required to repaint rental properties at specified intervals, such as every three to seven years. These guidelines aim to ensure that rental properties remain safe, clean, and appealing to tenants.

How often should a landlord paint a house?

While there is no universal rule for how often a landlord should paint a house, a general guideline is to repaint the interior every three to five years and the exterior every five to seven years. However, as we said, factors such as local climate conditions, the quality of the paint used, and the level of wear and tear on the property can influence the painting frequency.

How often should a landlord paint a house?

What paint-related issues must landlords address?

Properties constructed before 1978 might require compliance with federal regulations regarding lead-based paint, like the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act. This could involve testing for lead-based paint, disclosing findings to tenants, and addressing any hazards.

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Also local health and safety codes may also influence landlords’ painting requirements. For example, landlords might need to maintain a certain standard of cleanliness and upkeep in rental properties, indirectly affecting painting frequency.

Tenant’s rights regarding painting

As a tenant, you hold particular rights regarding the maintenance and upkeep of the property you rent. One crucial right is to reside in a safe and habitable living space. This entails the landlord’s responsibility to promptly make repairs and sustain the property’s safety and livability.

Let’s put aside for a moment the question “how often should a landlord paint a house?” and talk about tenants’ rights to paint the property. Tenants may request that the landlord repaint the property’s interior or exterior if necessary for upkeep or safety. For instance, if peeling or chipping paint poses a safety risk, the landlord must address it. However, if the tenant desires a color change or aesthetic update, they may be responsible for paint and labor costs.

Landlords aren’t legally obligated to repaint on a schedule. Yet, if the paint’s poor condition affects the property’s habitability, the landlord must take action.

DIY vs Professional painting: What to choose?

Consider several factors when deciding between hiring professional painters or painting yourself as a landlord.

Professional Painting


  • High-quality work: Professionals provide top-notch work with their expertise and tools.
  • Time-saving: They finish quickly, freeing your time for other tasks.
  • Liability protection: They’re insured, relieving you of responsibility for mishaps.
  • Warranty: Many offer warranties for peace of mind.


  • Higher cost: It’s pricier than DIY.
  • Less control: You might have less say in colors and finishes.
  • Scheduling: Coordinating schedules can be tricky.
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How often should a landlord paint a house?

DIY Painting


  • Cost-effective: Saves money on labor.
  • More control: You decide colors and finishes.
  • Flexible scheduling: Work at your own pace.


  • Time-consuming: Especially if you lack experience.
  • Quality concerns: Your work may not match professional standards.
  • Liability: You’re responsible for any mishaps.

Ultimately, your choice depends on budget, timeline, and personal preference.