Renovations in a rented property – Should you or shouldn’t you?


Your living space should reflect your personality. Whether you own the property or are just renting it, there are things you can do to give the place your own touch. In addition, it’s always better to live in a place that doesn’t have a bunch of things that need fixing all the time. If you are a renter, you might have considered upgrading, or at least improving some of things in the place you live in. if you’re going to be spending a large amount of time in an apartment, you need to make sure everything works correctly.
So, how do you go about improving your place? What are the things that you’re allowed to change, and more importantly – what are the things that you should change? Let’s look at a few common areas where you, as a renter, might want to make a few improvements, and then discuss whether they’re worth it or not.

1. The bathroom.

The place where you go to freshen yourself up needs to be clean. This goes without saying. But should you take upon the entire cost of getting the bathroom sparkling clean? No, you shouldn’t.

Even the most routine bathroom renovation can cost you a lot of money if you’re making changes to the plumbing. You can scrub the tiles, change the position of the mirror, add a couple of soap holders if you want to, but don’t go overboard. If you have legitimate problems with the plumbing, hygiene or security situation in your bathroom, contact your landlord. You don’t want a faulty electrical socket or mold in there. It is their job to make sure everything works as it should.

2. Painting.

This is one expense that you should consider investing in, especially if you have very specific tastes. A fresh coat of paint can make the room look much cleaner and spacious, and recharge the energy of the space. Your landlord should already have the place looking decently clean before you move in, but you might want to make changes.

Find out if the landlord is OK with you doing some paint work before you proceed. If painting the entire apartment is too expensive, you could just start with a single room or a single wall. Talk to your landlords and find out if they want you to repaint the walls to a certain color before you move out.

3. Adding lights.

The right light fixtures can really bring a room together. It’s absolutely worth it if you want to add some good lighting to your room. Make sure you find a good electrician to help you install them. You don’t need to worry your landlord about the expenses as long as you let them know what you’ll be doing. As a bonus, if you purchase some great lights, you can take them to the next place you might move into.

4. Floors and tiling.

Flooring jobs are expensive and disruptive. Your place will be filled with dust and probably even fumes for days, which will make life difficult. If you’re renting the apartment, it’s not worth the trouble.

If you don’t like the way your floor looks, you can use a little creativity. Find a couple of good rugs to place at strategic places. Rugs are a great way to complement the patterns on your floor and they absorb noise. There are plenty of websites online where you can find good quality rugs for a very reasonable price.

The only time your landlord needs to get involved is if there’s a major problem or a flooring issue which is causing leakage.

5. Miscellaneous hardware.

This is an upgrade that you can make easily and for a very cheap amount. Doorknobs, light switches, wall plates and other hardware in your apartment can be replaced very easily. Even so, if you’re not confident about being able to do it yourself, you can call in some professional help.

Unless there’s a major problem or a missing piece of hardware, your landlord won’t be footing the bill for this.

6. The kitchen.

Kitchen renovations and repairs are extremely expensive. As someone who’s living in a rented property, you shouldn’t attempt to make any major changes here. You can make little changes with hardware as we’ve mentioned above, but otherwise, you’re better off leaving it alone.

You should get your landlord involved only if there is some equipment or plumbing that should be working, but isn’t.

7. Windows and ventilation.

The only responsibility your landlord has when he hands over the keys to you, is that the windows aren’t broken and have working locks. For everything else, you will have to fend for yourself. This means adding blinds or drapes, and any curtains.

If you have a specific preference for the color of the drapes or the amount of light you want seeping in through your window, you should look for options. Branded merchandise and window fittings can be quite expensive at times, so if there are any cheaper options available, look for those instead.
Your house, even if it is a rented apartment, should be taken care of. But you don’t need to go overboard. Your finances are limited and you aren’t going to stay in this apartment forever, so consult the above list before you decide to spend too much money.