What Modifications Can I Make to My Rental Home?
You’ve found your perfect rental home, but a little garden in the backyard or a room painted your favorite color would make it even more perfect. Are you allowed to make modifications or not?
Your lease may or may not address what you’re allowed to do, and if it doesn’t address your situation specifically, you’ll likely want to check with your landlord or property manager. A few common requests and what landlords consider before approving are listed here.
Whether or not you’re allowed to paint may depend on several factors. What color is the room currently, and how long ago or recently was it last painted? What color do you want to paint it? If the room has been recently painted a neutral color, then the landlord may be less likely to agree to you painting the room a less neutral color. On the other hand, if the paint is older and a non-neutral color to start, the landlord may welcome a fresh coat of neutral paint.
Can you plant a garden, a few flowers, or trees in the yard? It depends. If the property is in a community governed by a homeowner’s association, there may be rules about what is allowed. If not, the landlord may not want to continue with any additional upkeep required to maintain your garden when you move.
As part of your lease, the landlord is providing the appliances, but you have your refrigerator or washer and dryer that you want to use instead. Can you replace the landlord’s appliances with your own? There are a few issues here. Where will the landlords go if the landlord allows you to use your appliances? They must be stored somewhere since the next tenant may not have their appliances and need to use them. Is there somewhere at the property that’s good for storing appliances? Garages usually do not work since the weather fluctuates, and bugs and dirt can get in them. If the landlord allows you to use your appliances, you may be required to have them professionally installed since improper installation can damage the property. For example, a water line from the fridge might leak, damaging the kitchen floor, or gas can leak if a dryer is not connected correctly.
What are you going to do when you move? Are you going to leave it, return it to its previous condition, or make other modifications or repairs? How long have you been a tenant, and how much time is left on the lease? Landlords are typically more agreeable to making modifications or allowing tenants to if they’re tenants who are staying long-term.
The landlord may have these questions and may factor in whether they will accept or deny your request to modify the rental property. The more details you have about what you’d like to do and how the work will be done will help the landlord feel more comfortable about the modifications.
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