Being a renter can be great. It gives you the freedom to try out different properties to see what kind of space and area best suits your lifestyle. Even if you have a typical one-year lease, you can always leave after that year is up, and the rental is not a good fit. It’s total autonomy in deciding what works and what doesn’t work for you.
That said, being a renter also has its limitations. The most obvious one being the fact that you don’t own the space. If you’re lucky enough to have an awesome landlord or property manager, it makes things easier. Some may even be so kind as to allow you to carry out your own home renovation project in the space you’re renting from them.
Hold your horses. We know what you’re thinking. Why would you ever want to do a home renovation project in a rental? On paper, you’re merely investing money into someone else’s space — but there’s actually a little more to it. To help enhance your rental experience, we’re digging into why making renovations as a renter can be worth it.
But First, Run It By Your Landlord / Property Manager
So there’s this little thing called a tenancy agreement that can make home renovation projects as a renter very difficult. Most landlords and property managers are generally okay with things like putting up art or wall-mounting a TV. They may, however, take exception to a full-scale Extreme Makeover: Home Edition renovation.
Unfortunately, none of us can read minds. We don’t really know how much we may have the potential to do if we just ask our landlord or property manager. Even if the tenancy agreement clearly states you cannot change certain aspects of the rental, talking about it directly with the landlord or property manager can change that.
Better yet, if you already have a strong relationship with your landlord or property manager, they’ll know that you’re serious about staying in the rental long-term. Unless they’re planning to sell or move in themselves in the near future, that long-term commitment is excellent leverage in this type of unique scenario.
Think about it in these terms as well: it actually helps the landlord or property manager. If you’re moving into somewhat of a fixer-upper rental and you put $10,000 worth of improvements into the space, that’s actually a huge benefit to them as well for potential future tenants. The actual sale value of the space goes up, too.
Create Your Dream Space
For some people, owning a home is simply not in the cards. Whether it’s due to escalating market prices or simply enjoying that rental freedom, some people will never own a home in their lifetime. That doesn’t mean you can’t have your dream space, though. If a landlord or property manager gives you their blessing to carry out a home renovation project — there’s a lot you can do.
One of the biggest gripes of renters is always going to be wall colour. With the right space, white walls can be gorgeous, but in the wrong space, they can come off super bland. The great thing about selling your landlord or property manager on a rental paint job is that you can go back to the original colour later. No harm done.
If you’re feeling particularly bold, another big home renovation project is changing the flooring. Have you ever been in a space that you like, but the carpeted floors are too yellow, or the hardwood is scratched beyond belief? Yes, it’s an expensive undertaking, but new flooring can go a long way in making the space feel completely renewed.
The home renovation project doesn’t even have to be that big either. You can do little things, like change the showerhead or add different light fixtures. The choice is yours. The vital thing to remember is that you need to feel comfortable in the space you’re renting. If that means some renovation action, get your landlord or property manager on the line ASAP to see what works within your tenancy agreement.