Tips for Tenants: Renting Dos and Don’ts

If you want to be free from repairs and maintenance, choosing to live in a rental property is the right solution for you. You won’t have to cut the grass, fix the plumbing and other tedious jobs a homeowner has to do. That may be the reason why 111 million Americans have chosen renting over homeownership, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council.

Although renting provides convenience and independence, there are limits to what you can do in a rental property. There are some of the general do’s and don’ts of renting a property we will share with you in this article:

Ask the landlords’ advice before doing big changes

Although most tenants say they left the apartment/house better after moving, the homeowner may disagree. “The best rule of thumb for tenants wanting to change things up during their time in residence is to ask for permission – and get it in writing.”

For example, if you want to paint the walls, make sure you don’t use strong colors such as blood red. However, you can paint your furniture and personal items.

Don’t grow a garden on the terrace

While a tenant might think the conversion of your thoughtfully-laid-out landscape design into a vegetable garden is a much better use of space, the renter would consider it as increased liability, being unsatisfied by the increased insurance costs.

However, you can grow a few plants (of the legal kind) in your unit.

Valin adds: “We want [renters] to feel they can make the property their home, but if they want to customize anything during their tenancy, communicating what they want to do and getting written authorization to do it ahead of time is the key to staying out of trouble in the end.”

Tenants should avoid making major renovations

Changing out your cabinet hardware is one way to customize and improve your kitchen and bathroom. However, be sure to check with your landlord first. If you want to add ceiling fans in all of the bedrooms it will be a big cost for you, you will add value to the apartment, but the landlord may not want to reimburse your investment. If you decide to take the fans with you when you move out, you are responsible for the renovation. Talking in advance with the landlord is always the best solution.

Tenants should avoid using the hammer too much

It’s important to carefully consider any decorating idea that involves the use of a hammer. Most landlords will let you hang a few pictures, and you can hang curtains on decorative rods.  In other words, reconsider your thoughts of mounting cabinets in the bathroom, or some other big projects that require the extensive use of the hammer.

That’s not to say you can’t decorate in other ways. Consider applying stainless steel appliance covers to the dishwasher and refrigerator. These covers come in peel-and-stick or magnetic varieties and can instantly update and transform the space.

In conclusion

As a tenant, you are not responsible for reparations and renovations, but you are expected to keep the place clean, and you are responsible for informing management when there’s something amiss in your unit.

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