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Ever moved into a place and wanted to make 100 changes on the first inspection. You might really love a particular rental, but if you were the owner, there’s a list as long as your arm of changes you would make. Maybe you can make some difference and make it your own. Here are a few tips and traps for making a rental property feel like home without getting kicked out or ending up in court.
I’m sure you have a favourite colour feature wall you would like, but in most circumstances, a landlord (aka actual owner of the house) isn’t going to like your idea of painting their home and won’t agree to it. However, there is nothing wrong with asking the agent (or owner direct if a private rental) how they feel about the idea.
If you are looking to move into a place which has original 1970s style paint (or wallpaper) on the walls and you want to modernise with a neutral colour your chances of a yes from the owner significantly improve. I would say it’s rare that an owner would be happy for you to make those sorts of changes to their place. It’s almost impossible to get them to agree to chip in some of their own money so don’t get your hopes up.
So short answer unless it’s awful I would learn to live with it.
One of my best tips would be when looking at a place for the first time. Whether it’s renting or your own home is don’t make any big decisions until you have lived in the space for a few weeks. You may find after a couple of weeks you don’t even notice the colour of the walls once all your furniture is in and maybe even some art hanging on the walls (which is a more reasonable request than repainting. Always ask permission to put up hooks to hang paintings)
Which actually leads me nicely into the next point.
If you are in a rental try avoid purchasing artwork which is specific to the property. You may find in 12 months you don’t like the place (or your roommate) anymore and want to move. Now that 10ft painting not only has to be moved, you have to find a place to hang it in a new (possibly smaller with one less housemate) rental property or risk putting into storage which costs money and risks getting damaged.
Highly unlikely. In fact, there is a fair chance those ugly curtains were handmade by the owner, and they think they add value to the property. However again feel free to ask but don’t expect the owner to chip in any money.
Crusty old one colour blinds you may have a better chance of being allowed to replace with something similar. Which you can buy generic sizes from places like Spotlight or Lincraft and often for under $100 so that may modernise the central living area of your rental for less than a night on the drink.
However, it is possible to take down old curtains and blinds, being careful not to damage them and put them away for when you finish your lease. Store them securely, put up the items you like and simply put the old ones back before your final inspection. Make sure you note the original blinds or curtains on the entry report though. If you stay a while, you don’t want any confusion over who owns your new curtains!
Write a list of things you think NEED to be fixed (or updated) and stuff you WANT to be fixed (updated). It may put things into perspective as to where you should spend your hard earned money and what is a waste of it. Keep in mind if it’s a safety concern, bring it up immediately with the agent or owner. The last thing anybody wants is someone getting hurt.
Got any other questions about rental properties. Leave in the messages below or send us an email. Melissa, the boss, used to be a property manager. So, she’ll answer any questions you have or refer you to the right people to answer them.
Dean is the brother of the Blog Boss, husband of Jessica, father of adorable children and sometimes hiker of large mountains. He is an adulty adult in his day job but enjoys spending time with family and friends the most.