5 Ways To Reno a Rental Without Upsetting Your Landlord

You can pick your home, but you can’t always pick your landlord. So what are your options as a renter if you want to revive your space? Here are 5 ways you can update your home, without upsetting anyone!

As Julie O’Donohue, Real Estate Expert and Founder of Next Address, points out: Rental rules and regulations can vary state by state in Australia.

"However, the general consensus is the same for each state when it comes to changing the interiors of a property," she adds.

Renters must get permission and written consent from the landlord if they wish to add or remove any fixtures, or conduct any renovations or alterations to a property, including simple updates like painting the walls, Julie explains.

“Usually, landlords are more willing to give permission if your suggestions for alterations will boost property value or if you have established a good relationship with them and there is significant trust,” she advises.

The only exception here is if your tenancy agreement states otherwise. “In some cases, landlords may also allow renovations or additional fixtures if changes are reversible or if renters agree to reinstate the property to the original condition upon end of lease. Either way, get it in writing to be sure.”

So, what are five updates renters can make without facing the fury of a landlord?

1. Don't Overlook The Power of Accessories

You don’t need to conduct large-scale updates to make a difference, says Julie. "Accessories alone can help bring to life a space or revive a tired-looking home, so invest in some good quality rugs for the living room, switch door knobs, install new curtains and blinds and interesting baskets as mobile storage options,” Julie says. If you’re not allowed to hang art, rest your art in clusters against the wall to create a New York loft vibe.

2. Lighting Changes Everything

Julie believes that lighting is often underrated as a component that can dramatically transform a home. “If you don’t want the hassle of going through your agent or landlord to install lights to the ceilings, focus on floor lamps, table lamps and desk lamps instead.” Fairy lights are also a great idea for the bedroom or for balconies, she adds. “Identify the ambience you want to set for different spaces and get creative with your lighting choices accordingly.”

3. Be Clever With Colour

Not allowed to paint the walls? Get creative! Purchase freestanding shelving or large headboards that you can paint over for an instant uplift of colour in a room. Also consider non-permanent and removable decals or feature wallpaper. Just do a test run to ensure they don’t damage the existing walls, Julie advises. 

4. Extend Your Living Outside

If you have a patio or balcony, take full advantage of this outdoors space. Add a small BBQ or some outdoor seating furniture. “Consider artistic pieces that add flair and fun," Julie suggests. "You can also add click-together flooring or timber slats on top of concrete and screening/dividers for privacy.”

5. Introduce Your Outside, Indoors

Introduce some greenery to your rental with indoor and outdoor plants to breathe life into the space and add textures to rooms, Julie suggest. “For something relatively low maintenance and modern, succulents or hanging terrariums are fantastic additions to indoor environments.”

Julie’s Expert Advice:

  • Always take the time to review and read through your rental agreement thoroughly. “This agreement should include guidelines for tenants on renovations and alterations,” she assures. 
  • “If you are keen to make changes to a rental property from the onset, it’s worthwhile having a discussion with your landlord in regards to this to ensure your contract covers anything agreed,” Julie advises. “If you have any questions, always seek advice before signing any forms.”
  • “If you decide to make changes during your tenancy, even if your landlord agrees verbally, always get it in writing so that there’s no potential disputes down the line.”

Browse these products to help update your interiors in seconds:

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