Should you Renovate a Rental Property?

Should you Renovate a Rental Property?

Have you ever wanted to replace a shelf, change the floors, or even add an extension to your property, but you can’t because it’s a rented space? 

Renting somewhere can be frustrating. You want to put your own touch on a place, but you’re really restricted. You love your home, and couldn’t imagine moving out over a bit of redecoration.

Most people wouldn’t bother to renovate a rental property, especially if they’re held down by a restrictive landlord that just loves to question every little decision they make. Unfortunately, it’s more probable that you’ll have no say in what you can do to your home.  

Renovating a rental property isn’t a great idea unless you’re willing to part with these renovations in the future. So to help you out, we’ve put together some tips to help you out should you decide that you really want to renovate a rental property.


Speak to your landlord about your plans

Don’t just assume that every landlord is going to reject your proposals. Instead, speak to your landlord and show them your plans for the property. In some cases, they might decide to help you because a positive renovation is an investment in their property. It could mean they get a higher return in the future when you leave. Some landlords are more than willing to chip a little into the renovation fee, but otherwise will likely start charging you more rent, especially if you’re adding more floor space to the property.

Negotiating is important because every landlord is different. You may find that your landlord doesn’t really care what you do to the property as long as you don’t break anything. Some landlords are going to be very restrictive and demand that you pay for the majority of the renovation or even all of it. There’s no one rule to follow here and it all depends on how well you can negotiate with your landlord.

To help increase your chances of getting your landlord to chip in a bit of money, it’s a good idea to have a plan ready that details the costs, the materials you’ll be using, diagrams and so on. However, if it’s just a simple renovation like adding a shelf or two, then your landlord likely won’t care much about it and, as long as you’re trustworthy, you should be fine.


Smart rental property renovations

You might not be able to add an extension to your home without the landlord raising some concerns, but there are plenty of smart renovations that are well worth your money, even in a rental property.

All landlords will agree to repairs of some kind. There might be plenty of issues with your home that need to be fixed, rather than temporarily replaced. A temporary fix might mean it becomes faulty again in the future. As a result, the costs to repeatedly temporarily fix something will be more than fixing it properly just once. Because of this, you can easily perform simple renovations that your landlord will likely agree to.

A heating or electricity efficiency improvement should be generally accepted. This includes double-glazed windows, an upgraded boiler, improved plumbing and so on.

However, if the renovation is purely for yourself, such as adding extra storage space via shelves or replacing your kitchen, then it’s going to be a little more difficult to convince your landlord that you need those renovations. This is perhaps the main issue with trying to renovate a rental property. You need to convince the landlord that it’s a necessary renovation that’ll be in their best interests, not just yours.

Make sure you prepare negotiations with your landlord. Provide them a good reason to renovate the property and they’ll likely accept and agree to pay for most, if not all, of the cost. However, if the renovation is only for your personal interests and doesn’t help the landlord in any way, then you might find yourself struggling to make a good case.


Should you move out if you’re not happy?

It all comes down to if you’re willing to move out. If the area you live in is close enough to work, convenient for all of your needs and overall a good experience, then you could probably live without renovating your home. However, if you’re unhappy with your general location then it might be best to look for spacious houses for rent.

This way, you can actually invest in the home of your dreams instead of settling for less. Whether it’s having a larger garden, more bedrooms, more storage or even just a different type of floor without having to perform an expensive renovation, this might be the better option depending on your circumstances.

It’s entirely normal to be unhappy with where you’re currently living. After all, buying or even renting a home is a huge investment and nobody wants to live somewhere they don’t enjoy for an extended period of time. That’s why many people decide to renovate their homes in order to have a better place to live–a place they can truly call home and be happy with their property.

Sadly, renovating a rented place is often seen as a waste of money and the complications involved can get frustrating to deal with. While getting repairs done is simple because your landlord is obligated to do so, any improvements will typically need permission and your landlord doesn’t have to agree with you even if you provide them with an extensive plan to explain everything.


Some final words

Getting simple renovations done is a matter of convincing your landlord. However, do keep in mind that any money you spend renovating a rented property will end up being wasted once you leave. It can be difficult to convince stubborn landlords that you need a renovation in the first place. It’s a smart decision if you plan to stay in your rented place for a while, but in most cases, you’re probably better off just looking for a new home that fits your needs so that less money needs to be spent on renovations.

1 Comment

  1. November 8, 2018 / 11:38 am

    It’s completely dependent on the landlord and what they want from their property, but it is frustrating when you want to make changes to your living space that you know will only add value to the property. You make a very good point though – coming up with some specific plans and prospective costs are the best way to convince even the most frugal or disinterested landlord.

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