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Call for ACT tenants to put up pictures and paint homes without landlord permission

Glynis Quinlan 19 October 2018 118
The ACT Greens want tenants to be able to paint their homes and put up picture hooks without needing landlord permission.

The ACT Greens want tenants to be able to paint their homes and put up picture hooks without needing landlord permission.

The ACT Greens are calling for tenants to be able to ‘make a house a home’ by being permitted to make minor modifications to their rental properties without needing the consent of their landlords.

The proposed minor modifications or alterations include installing picture hooks and furniture anchors, painting and putting up shelving.

Sections 67 and 68 of the Residential Tenancies Act states that the “tenant must make no alterations and must not add any fixtures or fittings without the written consent of the lessor” but the alterations are not defined.

“The vast majority of renters do the right thing by their landlords—they pay rent on time, and they provide a not insubstantial bond as insurance,” said Greens Housing spokesperson Caroline Le Couteur.

“As long as any fixtures and fittings are removed at the end of the tenancy and any damage to the property rectified, then you shouldn’t need to seek out written permission from your landlord.

“This is all part of making a house a home,” Ms Le Couteur said.

“The Greens are committed to ensuring there’s a reasonable balance between the rights of landlords and the rights of tenants, particularly at a time of housing crisis.”

According to Ms Le Couteur, almost one in three Canberrans (31.8 per cent) live in rental properties and recent research from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute has found a national trend towards more private renters with children, more middle-aged renters, and more long-term renters (10+ years).

“There are also safety implications to consider,” Ms Le Couteur said.

“We don’t want renters to avoid implementing key safety actions, like securing furniture that could injure young children.”

Ms Le Couteur said that in France, Sweden, and Italy tenants have the right to make minor alterations and improvements to the property without asking the landlord’s permission.

“The Greens do have a range of concerns with gaps in the Residential Tenancies’ Act, which the community regularly tell us about,” Ms Le Couteur added.

“We know that the Attorney-General is bringing forward legislation very soon, so we will wait and see which issues the Government addresses in their bill. We look forward to drafting amendments to address these community concerns.”


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118 Responses to Call for ACT tenants to put up pictures and paint homes without landlord permission
Wendy Apostoloff Wendy Apostoloff 6:54 pm 20 Oct 18

No ,no ,no !!!! tenants have too many rights over the landlords rights as it is !!

Carmen Elizabeth Carmen Elizabeth 6:14 pm 20 Oct 18

Overall yes. Though I'm interested to know who is responsible if the walls have asbestos etc will tenants have to be informed before? (Would be good to know)

    Carmen Elizabeth Carmen Elizabeth 8:55 pm 20 Oct 18

    Though that sounds reassuring Pierson Blake I'm unsure how you can be sure 🤔 https://youtu.be/SqMf10PJZFY

Warren Wood Warren Wood 5:50 pm 20 Oct 18

I always say: "This is your home. I want you to feel at home. Put as many pictures up as you need".

Reece MacNaught Reece MacNaught 5:06 pm 20 Oct 18

I am ok with this IF the tenants return the wall to how it was prior to moving that. That includes filling in holes from nails they put into the walls. But unfortunately in my experience as a landlord tenants do not like to take responsibility for maintenance of a property end I have never once had a tenant leave the place like they found it. I am always going in afterwards to repair damage, such as picture hooks and other items prior to being able to rent it again. This both costs me a week of rent and labour I am unable to charge for because the tax man are trying to make it harder and harder every year for mum and dad investors who are trying to secure their future to not be on a governemnt pension at retirement.

My investment properties right now cost me over $5000 a year each out of personal pocket which hurts our house holds bottom dollar, yet we are labelled "rich" which we are far from. Our house hold after our deductions brings in just over the average wage.

The government needs to put far more focus on making housing affordable for people to buy rather than putting more pressure on investment property owners.

Things that would work for this are investment exclusion suburbs for a long period, make the only people that live there owner occupiers. This would keep investors out which would long term make the housing in these areas cheaper.

    Bek Clark Bek Clark 5:26 pm 20 Oct 18

    If you’re repairing holes left from picture hooks, perhaps install hooks in obvious places

    Just because we rent, doesn’t mean we don’t like interior design

    Reece MacNaught Reece MacNaught 5:35 pm 20 Oct 18

    I can only suggest that you either don't rent from me or buy your own place to "interior decorate"

    Alan James Alan James 9:33 pm 20 Oct 18

    In which case your Agent is not doing what they are paid for, unfortunately this is all too common.

    Reece MacNaught Reece MacNaught 10:35 pm 20 Oct 18

    Who's agent? We self manage to pass on the agent savings to our tenants, to keep tenants long term and reduce their rent below market to give them a chance. Unfortunately the local government doesn't help keep rents down by giving us a $600/yr rates/landtax increase last year and for the next 2 years. This has to be passed onto the tenants.

Connie Ginger Connie Ginger 4:41 pm 20 Oct 18

As long as tenants can change everything back to normal, I will say yes! Even you painted the wall bright red, I don’t care.

Femke Withag Femke Withag 3:37 pm 20 Oct 18

Yes to picture hooks! I've been renting for over 6 years and have not been allowed to put up my paintings or picture frames. Please change this rule!!!

    Chele Forest Chele Forest 6:07 pm 20 Oct 18

    Bit of filler, lightly sand when you are leaving and no landlord is going to notice.

    Michelle Ayers Michelle Ayers 10:44 am 21 Oct 18

    Toothpaste works well as a filler :)

    Femke Withag Femke Withag 11:16 am 21 Oct 18

    Michelle Ayers interesting solution :)

Margaret Freemantle Margaret Freemantle 3:28 pm 20 Oct 18

Hate the term 'landlord'!

    Jennifer Jones Jennifer Jones 12:27 am 21 Oct 18

    It's archaic. How about lessor?

    Margaret Freemantle Margaret Freemantle 12:01 pm 22 Oct 18

    Landlord reeks of the old feudal system. Lessor is much kinder and more fitting in this day and age. Lord suggests some sort of supremacy, which is just like a class system

Angela Thomas Angela Thomas 3:19 pm 20 Oct 18

On balance no, unless the renter restores the property to its original condition upon leaving. That might mean that they pay a much larger bond up front in case they do a runner without repainting or repairing the holes they've made.

Warwick Alsop Warwick Alsop 3:06 pm 20 Oct 18

Some of it sure. Painting? why would you. If the place needs new paint them the LL should pay for it.

Nic Danaher Nic Danaher 2:53 pm 20 Oct 18

No. Absolutely no.

Chele Forest Chele Forest 2:45 pm 20 Oct 18

As a former landlord and former tenant I would be totally ok with picture hooks, pets that were appropriate to the property (elephant owners need not apply). But I would definitely want a say on the paint. Beiges and whites are fine (easy to cover over), even a feature wall would be ok. But what if they painted every wall a different colour and it looked like a bad acid trip? Future tenants need to be able to live in it without going crazy

    Chele Forest Chele Forest 2:49 pm 20 Oct 18

    For example, this gorgeous fingerpainting inspired number

    Darrin Cox Darrin Cox 9:41 am 21 Oct 18

    Yeah I agree, painting absolutely not, pictures sure.

Bruce Carter Bruce Carter 2:22 pm 20 Oct 18

Who pays for repairs when the lease runs out.

Peter Bee Peter Bee 1:37 pm 20 Oct 18

Yes its a good idea

Gareth Rowlands Gareth Rowlands 1:32 pm 20 Oct 18

Not sure it should be without the consent of the landlord. Its common courtesy to ask first I think. As I Tennant I'd definitely ask first.

Brydie Kelly Brydie Kelly 1:31 pm 20 Oct 18

Minor stuff like picture hooks or anchoring furniture for safety, but major changes like painting should be discussed and agreed on.

Rick Collins Rick Collins 1:04 pm 20 Oct 18

I came here for the comments from landlords talking about tenants as if they're children. I was not disappointed.

    Rob Thomas Rob Thomas 1:32 pm 20 Oct 18

    "I own the property! I have control over these people who pay my debt to the bank!"

    Rick Collins Rick Collins 1:33 pm 20 Oct 18

    I'm keen to rebrand tenant to 'landserf'.

    Carla Rose Carla Rose 2:24 pm 20 Oct 18

    Maybe when you own a property and rent it out, your view may change? And Rick.. rentals exist for a reason... There is a need for them. People rent for all different reasons. You want a service? You have to pay for it.

    Rick Collins Rick Collins 2:28 pm 20 Oct 18

    The service I'm paying for is having a home.

    Ella Factor Ella Factor 8:08 am 22 Oct 18

    Carla Rose Ive been lobbying for tenants rights for years.

    Ive also owned a property, and been a landlord.

    Sorry, but the constant assumptions that tenants are too stupid to understand the business of investment property is ridiculous.

    Id even go so far as to say I understand more, because Ive put the time in to researching and clarifying things.

    Tenants are high paying customers in the only area in Australia where the customers have barely any legal rights and protections. Landlords think they can treat tenants like recalcitrant children, all while the tenants pay for their assets. We pay on average $25000 per year/ Ive paid nearly $100,000 to my current landlords so far. Yet maintenance has been left to me, and my teenager is growing up without the right to put posters up in his bedroom.

Byron Carn Byron Carn 12:59 pm 20 Oct 18

As long as they’re happy to put it back to how it was at their own cost

    Rob Thomas Rob Thomas 1:23 pm 20 Oct 18

    And if they make it better?

    Byron Carn Byron Carn 1:28 pm 20 Oct 18

    That’s on them I spose. They could invoice the owner but unless the owners requested that can’t ask them to pay for it back

Mirabai Rose Mirabai Rose 12:48 pm 20 Oct 18

Yes! Its crazy what we pay and are not allowed to make it a home. It increases pride to so you feel you can live there. Australia is si backward in this

    Helen McIntosh Carpenter Helen McIntosh Carpenter 1:16 pm 20 Oct 18

    Easy, you pay rent, you don’t own it, so don’t change it without consultation with the landlord....it’s not your call. Paint doesn’t make a home, the person who lives in it does.

    Rob Thomas Rob Thomas 1:23 pm 20 Oct 18

    Yeah! You tell that person how to live!

    Mirabai Rose Mirabai Rose 1:35 pm 20 Oct 18

    I repeat: backwards

    Laura Giraldi Laura Giraldi 1:49 pm 20 Oct 18

    Rob Thomas 😂😂

    Amanda Jane Amanda Jane 6:45 am 21 Oct 18

    If my tennant painted a bedroom feature wall in dark purple suede without asking (and doing a very poor job of it) just like the previous owner of my house did (as was their right) when they owned it I would not be happy. HOWEVER if the tennant asked first, consulted on their plans and did a quality job I would be open to it.

Murray Emerton Murray Emerton 12:46 pm 20 Oct 18

What’s next?

    Rob Thomas Rob Thomas 1:25 pm 20 Oct 18

    More renters instead of owners so.... more rights to renters as they become a larger part of society.

Phil Andrews Phil Andrews 12:41 pm 20 Oct 18

As a landlord I’d be open to the idea, but only with my prior knowledge and consent, and the right to say no, how many hooks and what colour paint.

    James Richards James Richards 1:31 pm 20 Oct 18

    Phil Andrews serious question as a landlord, would you prefer to pay for the paint so it would be a tax deduction or that wouldn't worry you?

    Rick Collins Rick Collins 1:31 pm 20 Oct 18

    that is exactly the status quo

    Phil Andrews Phil Andrews 2:29 pm 20 Oct 18

    Hi James happy to pay for the paint so I know the quality and type etc. Would negotiate on the colour. At the end of the day, the property needs to appeal to a broad range of potential tenants and bright green walls may not.

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