There are several advantages to renting as opposed to buying a home and more and more Americans are choosing to rent longer before buying a home. But one thing not on that list of advantages is the freedom to remodel and redecorate as you see fit. If you want to get that security deposit back after moving out, you have to play by your landlord’s rules. The following tips will tell you which projects to avoid and which ones you can probably get away with.
It doesn’t hurt to ask
Before getting into specific projects you should or shouldn’t do, it’s good to remember that it doesn’t hurt to ask your landlord for permission regarding a project you’re considering. Many landlords are happy to let you make certain upgrades to the apartment or home if you’re the one paying for them and doing the work. Some may even be willing to help pay for the materials. On the other hand, the answer might be a no. So unless your contract specifically states that you can or can’t do a given project, don’t be afraid to run the idea by landlord or property manager.
New light bulbs
You will almost certainly need permission to do anything with the electrical wiring in your rented home or apartment but even the strictest landlords won’t complain about upgrading the lighting since you can always swap out the new bulbs for the old ones again before you move out, just be sure to store them in a safe place where they won’t get lost or broken. LED bulbs are a good investment since they use less energy and last a lot longer. Some LED bulbs are even dimmable and can be controlled by an app on your mobile device.
If you paint, paint light
This is one where you’ll definitely want to ask the landlord since many won’t be okay with this but you shouldn’t assume that just because you’re renting it doesn’t mean you can’t repaint the interior. If you’re repainting to match the existing color because it’s become worn looking, there’s a better chance your landlord will say yes and may even pay for all the paint. If you want a different color, your landlord may be willing to allow it if it’s light and neutral and it can be easily painted over when you move out.
New shower head
You don’t have to put up with a cheap shower head for however many years while you’re renting. As long as you take care to remove the existing one without damaging it and you store it away where you won’t lose it, you can install whatever shower head you want and then swap it back out and take it with you when you move.
Baseboard radiator covers
If your rented home or apartment has a baseboard radiator system instead of central heating and you’re not crazy about the look, you don’t have to tear them out. You can purchase baseboard radiator covers and install them by snapping them into place. If your landlord doesn’t want them, you can easily remove them and throw them away when you leave.