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Painting (Internal) Policy

1. Background

NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) does not permit tenants to do major internal painting on their homes nor offer rebates for paint expenditure.

This policy covers all surface preparation, sanding, undercoating or any other activities affecting the internal surface integrity.

Major internal painting should only be undertaken by qualified licensed tradespeople so that work meets the relevant standards. Skilled tradespeople are also trained to deal with associated hazardous building materials and to ensure that Work Health and Safety Guidelines are met. The tradespeople will ensure that any intumescent paint (a special paint that helps prevent the spread of fire) remains intact.

2. Scope

This policy applies to all tenants living in dwellings owned by NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) or the Aboriginal Housing Office (AHO) with tenancies managed by Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ). Tenant painting of Headleased properties is not permitted.

3. Policy statement

Tenants living in LAHC owned properties are not permitted to undertake major internal painting in their home.

Business rules

Major internal painting

Requests for major internal painting will be assessed by LAHC and a decision made whether or not to include the property in future programed maintenance and upgrade work.

The Property Assessment Survey (PAS) records the condition of the property against LAHC’s Asset Performance Standards. LAHC should check the respective PAS information and property file to establish if the scores confirm the property needs painting.

An inspection of the tenant’s property may be required to verify the condition of the existing paint work.

If the PAS and/or inspection determines that the paint is in good condition and meets LAHC’s benchmark, then there is no requirement to include the property on future programmed maintenance and upgrade work.

Minor internal painting (decorative coat)

LAHC understands that some tenants may want to personalise their home.

If the property is not scheduled for maintenance and upgrade work, a tenant may paint internal walls only using pastel or neutral colours. They can only use 100% acrylic (water based) paint.

They are not permitted to:

  1. Use dark colours such as black, brown, red and purple
  2. Paint doors, ceilings or architraves
  3. Hang wallpaper or paint decorative friezes
  4. Sand, apply undercoats or any other activities affecting the condition of the surface.


Before proceeding, the tenant must understand that LAHC does not offer any rental or other rebates for painting. Also, if the property is painted in the future as part of maintenance and upgrade work, the dwelling may be repainted with LAHC’s standard colours and their decorative colour painted over. In such a situation, the tenant will not be eligible for compensation.

If a property inspection finds that the paint does not comply with LAHC standards, the tenant may be charged to make the paint work compliant. See Tenant repair costs for further information.


Tenants should follow the paint manufacturer’s guidelines and also take all necessary precautions to protect the floor covering. Tenants should also clean the affected walls with sugar soap (mild detergent diluted in water) prior to painting and ensure any power outlets and switches are protected.

Work health & safety and painting

When undertaking decorative painting, tenants should be mindful of the risks - and follow the manufacturers advice in regards to handling, disposal and fumes associated with the paint.

4. Legislation and compliance

LAHC properties are managed in accordance with the Housing Act 2001 and the Residential Tenancy Act 2010.

5. Related documentation

6. Further information

Appealing decisions or actions

If a tenant disagrees with a decision concerning painting their home, they can contact their Client Service Officer to seek a resolution and if they still disagree can then seek a formal review of the decision. Tenants can ask their Client Service Officer for Appeals and Reviewing Decisions fact sheet, or read the Appeals Policy online at

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Last updated: 20 Feb 2024