Renting

Home makeovers which don’t require landlord permission

Be warned, this is not a guide to cheating your landlord. No. Yet, as real estate markets continue to soar past expectations and as more and more people turn to renting properties as a long term option, it is worth asking one question. Why just tolerate your home because you think it is just a rental? With some smart home makeovers you can change your relationship to the home you rent.

After living in your rental property for a little while, you should have good idea of the areas of the home you would like to improve. After you have highlighted some of the home’s weaker areas, consider the following ways to improve the space without the risk of breaking your lease agreement.

1. Bring your paintbrush to the table

You may notice that a property has been on the market for longer than others, and after inspecting it, you have highlighted some clear areas that may be putting off tenants. Major renovations may be off the cards, but a landlord who is struggling to fill their property will be more open to hearing some suggestions.

You may offer to repaint the property, or sections of it, if the landlord will cover the cost of paint. This way you get to choose an aspect of the home that will really have an effect on how you enjoy living in it. A smart landlord will see the benefit of having a fresh lick of paint to their investment.

If you can’t repaint walls. Consider alternatives such as fabrics or paintable wallpapers that you can easily take off at the end of your lease.

2. Lighten the mood

Without changing the actual fixtures (which could nullify your landlord’s insurance), you can change the lightbulbs to something warmer or brighter, depending on your needs. 

3. Buy a Picasso, or something close

Art has the incredible power to change the mood of a room and how you experience living in your home each day. Don’t just go out and buy a large print of “Keep Calm and Carry On”. If you don’t love the art you buy, it will quickly lose its value to you and instead just become a part of the home you never look at. Invest in art that you have a connection with. Find out about the artist, find out about the techniques used in its production. If you can’t drill holes in the walls, buy large art that you can simply place on the floor and rest against the wall. Who said art had to be hung? A clever trick is to use tall lamps to either shine down or up onto each piece of art you own. Galleries go to this trouble, and so should you. Don’t let art hang limply on the walls, but show it off.

4. Rug up, its cold outside

A single rug on top of carpet or other surfaces can help add texture to your room, while possibly covering up an ugly or old carpet.

5. The cliché

Yes, it’s probably the most commonly searched term apart from Trump, but indoor plants can do wonders to a space. They are also affordable. However, just like generic art, ill-considered plants can just become objects that are in the way. Find plants you love and consider spending a bit more for something that should last you many years.

6. Storage?

Yes, storage! Nothing can help the aesthetic quality of a home like smart storage. Once you clear space of unnecessary items, you can utilise this new space in new ways.

7. Less is more

A beautiful antique chair is going to have much less impact in your home if it is surrounded by other objects. Choose the items you love and display them on their own or in unison with one another.

8. Get your hands dirty

Nowhere does a tenant have more control than the garden. Apart from chain sawing that Eucalyptus down, consider taking the reins of the garden. Establishing a healthy vegetable garden can be great for your landlord as it is looked highly upon by future tenants.