Should I decorate tenants portion of the house?

laydeebug72December 2, 2012

We have a home where we have converted a portion to 2 studio apartments. There are tenants in living in both apartments. This is my first year with tenants and I'm wondering if I should or should not decorate that portion of the house and leave it to them to make their own decision since it is their space? Or, do I unify the whole house on the outside with my Christmas decor?

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I would leave it to them, or at the very least, ask if they would like it. Perhaps they don't celebrate Christmas or perhaps the twinkling lights would give someone a migraine. You never know.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 10:35PM
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I agree, ask. They may welcome it, or as lolauren said have reasons for not wanting your decor.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 10:48PM
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Technically you own the exterior of the building and can decorate as you see fit, but I would not do anything that would cast a lot of light inside their units.

I would not decorate your part of the house and leave the tenant part bare if it makes your house look lopsided. You will have to achieve a balance, which may mean decorating your exterior a bit less than you usually do.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 10:56PM
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I agree with Pal that it would look odd to see part of the house decorated and the rest completely bare.

My brother lives in half a duplex. The owner of the other side of the duplex likes to decorate for the holiday. Since they share a small front porch, she asked my brother about the decorating. He now gives her a small sum for the year, and she decorates the entire porch for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. My brother doesn't mind the decorations; he's just never going to decorate himself. So they are both happy.

Ask your tenants. Or, if you want to outline the whole roof line in lights, tell them that is what you usually do and ask if it will pose a problem for them.

But if you usually put candles in every window, I would not expect them to do the same, for example.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 6:28AM
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I would ask them first if they mind, and come up with a mutual plan if needed. I have a friend who has very specific, classy taste and decorates the outside of her house with real New England charm, wreath on each window, old colonial traditional, etc. Imagine her dismay when her tenant had tacked up blinky colored lights around her door! Lucky for my friend, that Spring she was having vinyl siding installed and explained that, unfortunately, the next year she had to say no to anything on the vinyl, that she would take care of the exterior decorations. She didn't want to embarrass her new tenant that first year so she lived with it. I do think it's the owner's call on what goes outside the house. It's nice if they can talk it over first to come to a mutual agreement, but I think the owner's taste trumps the tenant's.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 7:44AM
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I would ask and be prepared to explain what you intend to do decoration-wise. As others mentioned, some may not like holiday decorations or celebrate a different (or no) religious holiday. Others may simply have different taste in decorations. And others still might be looking forward to decorating their spaces themselves. Ultimately it is your property, so I suppose you can do as you like, but I think the kind thing to do is at least make the effort to ask.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 11:11AM
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We put tacky colored blinky lights on our victorian mansion and it's quite pretty. :p We also do giant wreaths and bows of fir...but NEVER vinyl siding! (I'm sorry but that post went against the grain a bit...maybe because I'm winding tacky colored blinky lights into a fir bow today....)

Our tenant however is left alone. I would NEVER think to decorate someone else's home...even if it's in my own. Even asking is somewhat imply's a need to answer yes so that you won't make your landlord angry about it. I wouldn't even consider it.

What I would do is change my decorating scheme so that it looks balanced and lovely. In doing that you allow your tenant to make their own choices about going along with your look or doing their own thing...which might be doing nothing, or having tacky colored blinky lights :p If that's the case...I suggest you learn to love them and understand that this is part of having others live in your home if they're paying rent. It's also their home now :)

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 12:30PM
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Thanks everyone for all of the great responses, I hadn't thought about it from all of these different angles. I think I will put up my decorations on my side of the house and give it a couple of days to see if they say something or put up something of their own. Then I will ask (nicely of course) if they have any objection to me decorating the whole house. Thankfully they live in the side of the house with 2 levels and my side is single level (will post pics later) so really from a distance it could look like 2 houses. Thanks all of the SUPER input, you guys are AWESOME!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 12:51PM
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I really hate when a conversation is a possible insult! ASK assuming their answer is RUDE. "Excuse me in past years we have decorated the outside of the house thusly, would you mind if I repeat it or would you prefer me to not?, I want to respect your right to your part of our building. Being a landlord is new and I do not want to infringe on your rights. I am not sure how you feel about it?". If someone is insulted by the conversation or does not have the male parts to tell you their preference then that is their issue. Not giving them the opportunity to decide for themselves is ridiculous!!! Don't ask here ask your tenants!!!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 6:29AM
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Was that a possible insult? :p Sure sounded like it!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 5:59PM
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Please accept my apology, igloochic. I didn't mean to say they are tacky. I have colored lights as well. My friend puts up white lights and very simple wreaths. Her tenant "tacked up" - as in with push pins or nails - multi colored lights. (And to her dismay they blinked as well!) I never meant to insult anyone here and glad I came back to read it again. Sometimes the meaning doesn't come across as intended in the written word! I personally love to see the big colored lights on a house at night. It looks like gingerbread. Peace.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 7:16PM
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LOL No problem :) Actually I did chuckle because I prefer white but DH has some freaking happy memories from childhood of colored lights so I give in on this one thing and provide them outside the house LOL

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 12:20AM
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