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Can renters refresh with paint?

From the Resene decorating blog

In 2021 year changes came into place under the residential Tenancies Act 1986 (NZ), affecting both tenants and landlords. Among the legislation reforms were moves towards more security for renters.

A vibrant blue music room

Turn your freestanding furniture into works of art or vibrant showcases of colour. This bookshelf has been painted in Resene Alabaster with black keys in Resene All Black to resemble a piano keyboard. The sideboard painted in Resene Matisse with painted records lends a welcoming pop of bold colour to the room. Walls in Resene Zircon, floor in Resene Bullitt with ‘sound waves’ in Resene Alabaster, record centres in Resene Dust Storm, Resene Lemon Ginger, Resene Half Rivergum, Resene Bullitt, Resene Matisse and Resene Vesuvius, boxes in Resene Matisse and Resene Vesuvius, books in Resene Half Rivergum, Resene Lemon Ginger and Resene Bullitt and vases and plant pots in Resene Dust Storm, Resene Lemon Ginger, Resene Half Rivergum, Resene Bullitt, Resene Matisse and Resene Vesuvius. Guitar hanger from KBB Music. Project by Laura Lynn Johnston, image by Bryce Carleton.

These included amending the law behind what changes a tenant can make to the property they are renting, such as painting a room.

Tenants can now ask for permission to make a change to the property, and landlords can’t decline if the change is minor, such as earthquake-proofing by securing a bookshelf to a wall.

A minor change is defined by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Tenancy Services as a “fixture, renovation, alteration or addition to the property that can be easily reversed to the same condition”, among other criteria.

But there lies a grey area in what defines a minor change, such as painting a wall.

The safest option is to always run past your wishes regarding decorating with your landlord first.

Tenants are responsible for requesting making a minor change in writing to the landlord.

They must receive their landlord’s permission (which needs to be within 21 days) before making the minor change.

Tenants are required to make the installation costs, unless the landlord agrees to pay, and return the house to its original state when they move out, unless the landlord agrees it can stay.

In terms of the landlord’s responsibilities, they must respond in writing to the tenant’s requires within 21 days of receiving it to say whether the change is seen as minor or not.

If the change is minor, permission must be written in response within 21 days.

If it is not seen as minor and more time is needed to consider the request, the landlord must give the tenant 21 days extension. Landlords must not turn down a request to make a minor change.

Although your rental may not be your own property, you still want to make the temporary space feel like your own, stamping your style on it.

It may be more likely that a landlord would agree to a new coat of paint in the home if it is a white or neutral, which to them may seem more versatile in the long term – try popular Resene whites or neutrals such as Resene Spanish White, Resene Thorndon Cream or Resene Pearl Lusta.

Or the landlord may be willing to accept minor paint changes such as a feature instead of a whole room. It’s a relatively quick job and if the landlord requests it be changed back to its original state when you leave, it should require too much time or money.

Or bring character to your kitchen by painting the cupboard doors in an on-trend colour.

A dark blue kid's bedroom

Colourful accents by way of painted shelves, a pendant, a chair and bedside table combine with bright rugs and bed linen to lend personality and character to a child’s bedroom yet can be easily removed. Walls in Resene Bunting, floor in Resene Sea Fog, house boxes on the walls painted in Resene Breathless, Resene Jalapeno and Resene Hammerhead, pendant light in Resene Jalapeno, storage boxes/crates on bookshelf in Resene Breathless, Resene Bunting, Resene Hammerhead and Resene Jalapeno and plant pot (in bookshelf) in Resene Bunting. House bookshelf and hanger from Mocka, bedlinen, throw and sausage dog from Adairs, bunny from Allium. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Bryce Carleton.

This part of the home can date quickly, so a fashionable colour will give it the lift it needs, without you having to paint the walls – a much more intensive job.

In the bedroom, either paint on a headboard shape on the wall behind your bed or a curved shape behind your dressing table, defining the zones on the wall.

There are ways of applying paint to your rental that don’t need to be reversed when you leave. Take furniture makeovers, for instance, the perfect way to bring cheery or pretty hues into a home to instantly elevate it.

If you buy a tallboy, paint it in a favourite Resene colour so it can double as storage and a decorative feature. If you buy a vintage tallboy, swap the old handles out for more modern ones or simply paint them a new colour.

Kitchen stools can be painted in two colours – one on the top half of the legs, one on the bottom, with an accent colour on the seat for a dash of personality. Buy a plywood splashback that can rest against the wall behind your stove and paint it a colour you love. Simply wipe it down as it gets dirty and take it with you when you leave the rental. In the same colour, paint a handy pegboard that you can hang in the kitchen with utensils used for cooking on a daily basis.

Set a stylish statement at your front entrance, just because you don’t own it doesn’t mean you can’t set the tone for the rest of the house.

Do this by placing a rack of peg coat hooks painted in cheery pale yellow or grass green on your entrance wall. Or paint a freestanding coat stand if you have one. Combine either with a vintage bench seat painted in an inviting pale pink or terracotta for colour that those who enter the space can admire.

In the bedroom, apply an-on-trend hue to a freestanding headboard and rest it behind your bed, allowing it to tie in with the colours of your bedlinen or curtains. Or paint plant pots for your living area or outside patio in the same tones of different Resene colours.

Swap out any standard, dated lighting for something more stylish, and add colour. Painting your light shades will bring small pops of colour into your space. As they take up such little room, dive deep and go bold, exploring that shade you’ve always been curious about or always felt strongly for.

Make sure the bulb inside resonates a warm glow, not a cool light. This will make for a cosier setting in the evening within which to unwind.

Painting a canvas using Resene testpots and hanging it will evoke immediate charm and character in your rental; what’s more, it’s your creation. Thus you get to choose the colours you want to take the limelight. Hang your painted canvas in the hallway where guests can admire it, or place it above your bed, letting the colours resonate around the room. You’ll love waking up to your favourite colours in view.

Paint a detachable headboard

Paint home accessories to decorate while renting

Bedroom: A detachable headboard is an effective way of letting colour take prominence in a rented bedroom. Its small surface area welcomes a bold hue if desired, the effect anchoring the room and becoming a focal point. Upper wall in Resene Stone Age, lower batten wall in Resene Wilderness, floor in Resene Green White, side tables in Resene Alabaster with ‘marble effect’ in Resene FX Paint Effects Medium coloured with Resene Rolling Stone, tiny vase in Resene Lime White and curvy vase in Resene Lime White. Cushions, bedlinen, lamp from Citta, rug, mirror and green cushion from Freedom Furniture, armchair from Contempa, bottle from Nood, task lamp from The Design Store. Project by Laura Lynn Johnston, image by Wendy Fenwick.  Lounge: If you aren’t able to paint an entire wall in your rental, paint decorative houses and birds and hang them instead. They’ll allow tones to work throughout the room in complementary colourways. Wall in Resene Travertine, floor in Resene Ravine, bedside table in Resene Blackout, hanging ‘birdhouses’ in Resene Middle Earth with edges in Resene Ravine plant pot in Resene Rock Spray, bird ornaments in Resene Rock Spray and Resene Half Melting Moment, lidded dish in Resene Half Chill Out, fluted bud vase in Resene Quarter Drought, house clock roof in Resene Blackout and tall skinny vase in Resene Half Melting Moment. Tieke artwork by Glenn Jones, duvet, pillowcase from Citta, rug and cushion from Freedom Furniture, brown cushion from Contempa, throw and house clock (with roof painted Resene Blackout) from Nood, bird cushion from H&M Home, shoes from Gorman. Project by Laura Lynn Johnston, image by Bryce Carleton.

With more of us spending more time at home, working and studying, it's important we have enough storage to cater for all of our belongings efficiently. Invest in a large sideboard or multi-shelved cabinet – paint it Resene White or Resene Alabaster with a coloured inside. If it is vintage, with glass doors, paint the internal shelves a beautiful shade that is visible through the glass – let the colour shine through. Or paint the entire item a strong colour and make it a stand-out piece that you keep in the living area or kitchen for computers, notebooks and items used each day by the family.

Small dashes of colour on oversized photo frames will elevate your wall. They don’t have to be placed together closely as on a feature wall; they can be gradually spread throughout the living area and hallway, allowing their pops of colour to make themselves known as you walk through the room.

Rugs, curtains, artwork can also offer glimpses of colour that make a huge difference to a home. Think ahead and invest in high-end furniture that you love and wish to take to the home you eventually buy.

February 21, 2021

For more colour ideas and inspiration, view the latest looks online and visit your local Resene ColorShop.

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