Improving a Lease: Great Suggestions for Your Long and Short Haul

Living in a rental apartment is a temporary matter for some, and if you have a tendency to move every couple of years, you might not see the worth in doing much more than hanging curtains and putting up images. But renting has its own advantages, and lots of do wind up living in the same apartment for 10 decades, 20 decades or even more — that begs the question, isn’t it worth it to put a bit more to the house? And because the home crash, owning a house also looks less of a sure, permanent thing than it did. A long-term lease on a flat you adore, having an understanding landlord, will allow you to personalize your space in greater ways than you believed possible.

Here are far more- and less-permanent options to think about for your rental — also tips on talking to your landlord regarding updates and DIY projects.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

Strategies for starting the dialogue:
Be courteous when requesting your landlord to get a favor, and respect the response even if it’s not exactly what you wanted to hear. Don’t say judgmental things concerning the device. Use words like “worn out” or “damaged,” not “ugly.”
Be an Superb tenant. Pay your rent on time every month, sign a long lease and take care of the property. Familiarize yourself with the legislation as best you can. Most regions require landlords to replace or update flooring, paint, fixtures and more, based on a set schedule.
Research added value. Some modifications will mean your landlord can ask for more lease or can make the apartment more appealing to renters in the long run; additional modifications that are according to your individual preferences might not. It is important to understand the difference before asking your landlord to approve or assist finance your project.If you are asking for permission to do DIY work, show examples of apartment updates you have done in the past. Proof of good taste can go a long way!

Terracotta Design Build


Longer-term changes: Placing in overhead lights where none existed or installing fresh sconces can make a major difference in how you experience your distance. If you are a “eternally renter” you may be able to a) convince your landlord to pay for an electrician to put in new lighting fixtures and sconces, or b) decide it’s worth it to spend your money to hire an electrician.

Shorter-term changes: Get consent to swap out the existing lighting fixtures for your own, then exchange them back when you leave. You might also avoid calling an electrician by putting up plug sconces with cable covers.

Brian Watford Interiors


Longer-term changes: You only need to imagine a set of flexed and ill-fitting miniblinds to understand that crummy window treatments really can drag a room down. New window treatments (at a neutral colour) are a cost a landlord may be willing to spring for. But even if not, covering the price yourself might be well worth it if you would like to stay in the same apartment for the foreseeable future. Try Roman shades or simple roller blinds for a crisp, tailored look.

Shorter-term affects: If your landlord won’t cover new window treatments, and you don’t want to foot the bill for something that you can not take with you whenever you move, consider using adjustable curtain rods and curtains hemmed with (removable) iron-on tape rather than

Cynthia Lynn Photography


Longer-term changes: In my novel paint is well worth doing in a rental, whether or not your landlord will cover it. Landlords are likely to cover painting if you want a fresh coat of white or anything neutral colour is already on the walls. But you may also have the ability to get permission to choose your own colors or perhaps put up wallpaper or decorative molding — especially if you are eager to do the work yourself and cover it up (if asked to) when you move out.

Shorter-term affects: Removable wallpaper might be an alternative, although some landlords might not permit it. Try hanging cloth on your own walls as faux wallpaper, put lengths of wallpaper in large frames or fill your walls with framed artwork.

Jenn Hannotte / Hannotte Interiors


Longer-term affects: If your flooring is wall-to-wall carpets or linoleum, your landlord may be asked to have it replaced after a specific number of years. Whether there are hardwood flooring, you may be able to have them refinished.

Shorter-term affects: Big area rugs and carpet tiles are a tenant’s best friends.

Sarah Phipps Design


Longer-term changes: At a worn rental kitchen, painting the walls and cabinets can do wonders — and will add value to the unit, so do your best to convince the landlord to, at minimum, allow you deduct materials costs from your rent. If you’ve been living in the same lease for years and intend to stay, but your landlord refuses to update appliances, see if you can buy your nicer appliances and take them with you or sell them when you move.

Shorter-term changes: Replace cabinet hardware (you can swap back before moving) and cover awful linoleum using a rug.


Longer-term changes: Consider removing an outdated and filthy vanity and including a simple wall mirror. Current your idea by pricing a couple of decent mirrors to share with your landlord and display images (like the one here) of how it may look installed.

Shorter-term changes: Upgrade bathroom hardware and fit the window using a pretty shade. Also see if you can repaint.

Josephine Design LLC


Longer-term affects: If the hookups are not there, but there is no washer or dryer (and your landlord won’t buy them), think about buying your own. Doing laundry without leaving the house is just one of these small things that makes life so much easier — and, you can always choose the appliances along with you when you depart, or even sell them.

If there are no hookups, and you’ve got your heart set on a washer and dryer, think about offering to split the costs with your landlord to have the hookups put in. There is in factn’t an in-between choice here, so if you’ve got your heart set on laundry, do everything you could to have it installed, or look for a rental that already has it.

Shorter-term affects: In case your place has an outdated washer and dryer, you can wash the hoses out to help them operate more efficiently, and perhaps even use appliance paint to touch up worn surfaces.

Harry Braswell Inc..

Closets and Built-ins

Longer-term changes: Adequate storage space is a major selling point, so it might be on your landlord’s attention to heed your call for extra closet room or built-in storage features. Or you might have the ability to work out a compromise in which you pitch on your labor to put in a closet organizing system that will stay together with the apartment.

Shorter-term changes: Search for modular closet systems that can be fitted to your space and removed when the time comes to depart.

Chicago Specialty Gardens, Inc..

Outdoor Space

Longer-term affects: Love your place and want to stay forever? It may be well worth it to provide your own labor, and even some of your own money, to fix the outside areas. If you wind up living in your apartment for 10-plus decades, wouldn’t it be better using an great roof terrace garden instead of bland concrete and a couple of sad potted plants? Fixing the outside space can definitely add value to a house, so run your plans by your landlord — and attempt to get reimbursed for materials and labor.

Shorter-term changes: Believe larger — larger plant pots, large planters with large trellises and sturdy furniture. You can still move it all together with you, but it will seem more durable and finished than dinky chairs and small pots.

Lori Smyth Design

Bigger Remodeling Jobs

Wish you can get rid of a wall, add French doors or build a deck? Obviously it’s a long shot, but don’t assume it’s out of the question. You never know; it might be something that your landlord has been contemplating doing anyhow, and hearing you bring it up might be what convinces him or her to go for it. If you are in your place for the long haul and have signed up a long-term lease, you may even think about offering to put in a little bit of your money to help cover costs.

Tell us How do you really feel about putting your money or labor in to fixing a rental? Have you ever made alterations to past flats that you feel were worth it?

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