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Tenants Dos & Don’ts for Rental Remodeling

Tenants Dos & Don’ts for Rental Remodeling

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Paint, Workspace, Remodel, Design

More than 100 million Americans rent, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council. And there are good reasons for that. One, you get a lot of freedom from repairs and maintenance. You won’t be responsible for fixing plumbing issues and cutting the grass, typically. Or fixing any major structural issues, like foundation, says Jim Oursler of Granite Foundation Repair.
Renting also provides you a lot of independence and convenience. That said, there are limits as to what you can actually do in your rental home to remodel. The exact specifics vary from one landlord to the other.
If you are looking to learn what you can and can’t do in a rental property, this post is especially for you.

1.   Paint your walls.

Brush, Color, Canvas, Art, Craft, Empty

Paint can help customize the look of a space. Most landlords are usually okay with their tenants doing this – as long as you paint it back to its original color. But just to be safe, make sure that you let your landlord know of your intentions first.
When painting, avoid going crazy with treatments. This is because paint treatments can prove difficult to repaint. And if you choose to paint a dark color, make sure to use a primer when repainting. This will make sure that the paint is covered entirely.

2.   Change light fixtures.

Changing light fixtures is also a reno that most landlords won’t have a problem with. Just make sure to keep the original fixture safe and put it back when you eventually vacate the home.
Now, changing light fixtures is easy to do. You don’t need any expert skills. Make sure the electricity is off during the installation. And, no matter how simple it may seem, if you aren’t comfortable doing it, just play it safe and hire a professional.

3.   Replace dated linoleum

.Building, Glazurkarz, Ceramic, Tiles

Does the linoleum seem like it has seen better days? If so, it may be time to replace it. Old linoleum is actually very common in rental properties, due to the frequent turnover of tenants.
Luckily for you, replacing dated linoleum doesn’t cost a fortune. Having $150 in your pocket can actually get you enough tiles to replace your entire kitchen floor. This, of course, is dependent on where you buy it.
The expense and effort are especially worthwhile if the floors are particularly heinous. In such a case, your landlord will be more than pleased if you take on the responsibility of replacing them with something more modern. A good one may even be willing to reimburse you.

4.   Install new shelves.

Want more space in your kitchen? If so, consider installing some new shelves. This is just the same as installing picture frames, only that shelves may need additional screws.
Most landlords will be pleased with this, as this will provide additional storage space for future tenants. But if they are not, make sure to remove them and leave the wall looking clean by spackling and repainting it.

1.   Avoid major renovations.

Renovate, Painter Working, Painting

Before doing any major renovation, make sure to check in with your landlord first. Adding ceiling fans in all of the bedrooms may certainly help improve the home. However, you should not expect your landlord to reimburse you for the purchasing and installation costs.
And, should you want to take them out when moving out, you will be responsible for texturizing/patching and re-painting the ceilings.
Another major renovation is changing the cabinet hardware. While changing it may help personalize and improve your bathroom and kitchen, your landlord may not be particularly happy to share the costs with you.
Other renovations to avoid include:

  • Installing a security system
  • Swapping out appliances
  • Replacing the flooring in bathrooms or kitchens
  • Replacing carpet in a room or rooms

2.   Go slow on the landscape.

Gardening, Pots, Soil, Scoop, Trowel

An attractive landscape is aesthetically pleasing. But while small changes may not be a problem, letting your green thumb go wild can land you in trouble.
Avoid doing things like:

  • Putting in a garden space
  • Cutting down trees
  • Installing a fence
  • Putting in flower beds
  • Building a tree fort in the backyard

Building a structure, in particular, may present the landlord with increased liability and insurance costs.

3.   Avoid replacing door locks.

Just like any other property alterations, make sure to check what your lease says about changing locks. If it is silent, then that probably means you can. But just to be safe, make sure to inform your landlord first.
If it is against it, then avoid it at all costs. The only exception to this is if the existing locks compromise your safety.
There you have it. 7 dos and don’ts for rental remodeling. Remember, always keep the landlord in the loop regarding any project you wish to undertake in your rented home. Doing this is the only guaranteed way to avoid conflicts with your landlord as well as guarantee the return of your security deposit.


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