Anyone who has ever rented their own property before knows that it’s not really yours. Unfortunately, you’re simply borrowing the space until you decide to leave, and then someone else lives in it instead. That means that all those improvements you wish you could do to the space, you can’t. And that, can be very frustrating for a long-term renter.
While of course, tearing down a wall here or pulling up carpet there might not be something you can do to your rental, there are home improvements that you can do as a renter that are totally reversible. And there are even some big improvements that you might be able to do, especially as a long-term tenant. When it does come time to move, you can still revert back to original by choosing a home improvement project that is easily switched back. This way, you can still feel like you have some ownership of your home, even without owning it! We’ll list a few of our favourite home improvements that you can do as a tenant and not get in trouble with the property manager, and not violate any terms on your tenancy agreement.
By far one of the best ways to brighten up your space, while also being totally reversible, is a lick of paint. To choose a paint colour, review what you already have in the space. It’s tempting to choose a colour based on what you like, but it’s more important that the colour will look good with the furniture and decorations you already have. Be sure to double check with the landlord that you have the go-ahead to paint, as many landlords will let you as long as the walls are painted back to the original colour upon move out.
Another option for your walls is temporary wallpaper. Lots of wallpaper these days is easily removable because of the type of adhesive. While a bit expensive, you can keep this improvement cheap by choosing to wallpaper a single wall as an accent wall, and leaving your other walls their original white. This way you can get an excellent pop of colour and pattern without having to do much when you move out.
You can also use wallpaper or even use stick on decals to add a backsplash in your kitchen. This way you aren’t wallpapering a whole wall, just the small backsplash space, which will be much more cost effective and easier.
Have an utterly hideous vinyl floor in the kitchen? Or perhaps you have a nasty colour of tile in your bathroom? Just because you’re renting doesn’t mean you have to deal with bad floors. Temporary flooring is available in multiple options, including stick on decals, carpet squares and even wood flooring. Many wood laminate boards are a lay and click installation, which makes it super easy to pull back up when you move.
For less work and easier floor coverings, try layering rugs across a floor to make a patchwork quilt style of flooring. You can also simply cover a bathroom or kitchen floor with a good, non slip rug that’s easy to clean, such as one of these.
Despite being tiny, doing things like changing out your cupboard knobs or your door handles will really upgrade your space. New knobs or handles are usually cheap and easy to install, so it won’t break the bank or your back to complete. Consider replacing your switch plates as well to something that pops in colour or patterns. Even adding in some adhesive and removable hooks for extra storage will make a difference as well.
While not necessarily a big project, and not necessarily reversible once completed, professional cleaning will make a huge improvement to your rental, and also look good on you as tenant. Simply bringing in a carpet cleaner will make a vast difference to your floors, as well as keeping you healthier in the home.
There are also a few more improvements that, while not necessarily reversible, might be approved by the rental management company as they significantly improve the space. Of course, you’ll want to run the idea by the landlord and/or property manager before you even think about starting a big project.
Here’s a few of the best ones:
- Permanent flooring changes: One of the best ways to get a dramatic change in your rental is to change the flooring. Many, if not most, landlords or property owners will not have a problem if you are upgrading the flooring, such as pulling up carpet to reveal beautiful wood floors. If you want to change a laminate or tile floor, again as long as the finished product improves the value of the home, you should be fine with approval.
- Shelving units: Most rental units can benefit form additional storage. If your current abode is seriously lacking in space for storage, try and obtain approval for adding in some stylish shelving, as storage is usually a selling point for future renters. Use one of these ideas for inspiration.
- New fixtures: From a new shower head to a new light fixture, these small improvements can make a huge difference in your home, and again are likely to be approved by a landlord. How many times have you moved into a new place, only to find out the shower is terrible? Upgrading a showerhead is fairly simple and will upgrade your mornings as well.
Ranging from semipermanent to totally temporary, we hope these little home improvements improve your rental dramatically, and without too much work! Please remember as mentioned above that running any big changes by your landlord is vital, especially if you want that whole rental bond back. Once you have any necessary approval, we hope you go wild and enjoy every minute of your upgraded space!