Should you let your tenants hang pictures?

By 11th February 2021 Landlords

It is very common for landlords to ask tenants not to hang pictures on the walls of their rental property, because the fixtures used to hang them (from Blu-tack to nails) can cause damage to the paintwork and plaster. However, it’s also common for tenants to want to make their house their home, and hanging up pictures and photos can be an important part of this. So is there a way to care for your property and allow tenants to hang pictures on the walls? If you’re a landlord grappling with the picture conundrum, here are a few options to consider.

No more nails

The first option is an outright ban on picture hanging – this is what many landlords opt for. It is quite straightforward to add a clause to the rental contract banning all forms of picture hanging, and telling the tenants that they take responsibility for any damage caused if they do it. For some tenants this may not be a problem, but others may prefer a little flexibility because they want to feel at home in the place where they live.

Banning picture hanging altogether may be the right option for you if your property has quite old or easily damaged walls, or if you have a high turnover of tenants and don’t want to repair and repaint after every short-term tenancy.

Think outside the box

Alternatively, you may allow your tenants to use methods for hanging pictures that cause little or no damage to walls. Adhesive picture hanging strips are designed to stick picture frames to walls without damaging the paint (although this should be tested on an out-of-the-way corner to ensure the paint can handle it). Another great alternative is picture hooks – if your property has picture rails, these hooks can be used to hang pictures from the rails without attaching anything to the walls.

If you do allow your tenants to use alternative methods to hang their pictures, communication will be key. It’s a good idea to discuss what options you’d be happy for them to use and how many pictures you’d like them to hang.

Free the walls

A third option is to allow your tenants to hang pictures using any method they choose, provided that they take responsibility for repairing any damage at the end of the tenancy. This may mean that they fill in the holes and repaint the walls themselves (in which case, you should decide whether to repaint the whole wall or just patch the damaged part), or they may agree to have the cost of repairing the damage taken from their deposit at the end of the tenancy. Whatever agreement you come to, add it to the contract so that everybody is clear on their responsibilities.

Allowing tenants to hang pictures can work well for longer tenancies, where a long-term relationship built on trust and mutual respect matters more than a few holes in the walls. Tenants wanting to hang pictures is a good sign – it means that they want to make the place their home. Letting them do this can be a great way to encourage them to care about, and care for, your property.


Do you have a property to let in Bristol? Gough Quarters can help you find tenants and manage your portfolio. Contact us today to find out more.

Cover photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash

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