As a tenant, you usually have limited options for making modifications to a rented property, as you generally need to return the property to its original state when you move out. The specific rules and restrictions can vary depending on the rental agreement and local laws. Therefore, be sure to refer to your own rental agreement.
However, in general, the following guidelines apply:
- Minor cosmetic changes: You can usually make minor cosmetic changes, such as painting walls a different color, as long as you can restore the property to its original state before you leave. This means you need to remove the paint and return the walls to the original color, unless the landlord agrees to the painted color.
- Temporary modifications: You can typically make temporary modifications, such as hanging paintings, mirrors, or shelves, as long as you don’t cause permanent damage to the property. It’s important to avoid drilling holes in walls, tiles, or structural elements of the property. You should also expertly repair this when you leave the rental property. Ensure, for example, that holes are filled and the wall is repainted neatly.
- Prior permission: For larger modifications, such as installing new appliances, changing flooring, altering plumbing, or remodeling a room, you need to obtain prior written consent from the landlord. Make sure you obtain this permission before making changes. Failure to do so may put you in violation of the rental agreement and potentially make you responsible for the costs of restoring the property to its original state.
- Accessibility changes: In some cases, a landlord may be obligated to allow modifications necessary for the accessibility of disabled tenants. This may include installing ramps, handrails, or other accommodations. However, the specific rules and requirements vary depending on the jurisdiction.
Prevention is better than cure. It’s always advisable to carefully read the rental agreement and discuss any questions or modification requests directly with the landlord. This way, you’ll have clarity on what is and isn’t allowed in the specific property and situation, and you may avoid unpleasant situations and unnecessary costs.