Keep These Points in Mind When Renting a Home

Keep These Points in Mind When Renting a Home
  • Opening Intro -

    For tens of millions of Americans, renting a home is what they do, either by choice or by necessity.

    For some, renting is a stepping stone to home buying while for others it is a way of life.

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When renting your home, there are some points to keep in mind especially if you desire to make improvements. You’re still the tenant and your landlord may have something to say about any renovation project you want to personally undertake.

You Don’t Own It

Yes, you know that you do not own your rented home. That’s obvious, especially if you signed a lease and are making monthly rental payments.

Your not owning your home means that your lease agreement spells out certain things about what you can and cannot do with that home. This means that even simple things such as painting the walls another color or installing a back splash or putting down tile flooring in the kitchen may not happen apart from your landlord’s permission.

Pull out your rental (lease) agreement and familiarize yourself with the many clauses and restrictions present. If you want to make a renovation that isn’t typically allowed, you will need your landlord’s permission first. Get that permission in writing to preserve your rights.

Return on Investment

When you make improvements to a leased property, those improvements almost always stay with the home once you move. That means your landlord’s blessing on replacing on installing a corner bookshelf unit ends right there — the improvement stays put.

If you make an improvement with the idea that you can take it with you, then that is something your landlord will decide. If he or she agrees, get that in writing too.

Living Like You Own It

Of course, if you envision yourself living in your rented home for many years, you want to make it as comfortable and usable as possible. Regardless of your personal investment in an approved for renovation, you stand to benefit in enjoying your residence more. Who can put a price on that enjoyment?

Tenants that have a very good working relationship with a landlord may find that they have much leverage when it comes to making improvements. Indeed, if you make these renovations yourself, your landlord may kick in the money to get the work done and/or she may abate your rent. So, make a case for your home improvement project by showing how that renovation will increase the value of the home.

Renovation Considerations

If your landlord agrees to your renovation proposal, put everything in writing. Work done without permission can lead to an eviction notice, an unexpected turn of event that can be avoided. Ultimately, you should have your landlord pay for your updates or at least compensate you through a rent abatement.

See AlsoRental Property Renovation Ideas

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Categories: Home Interior

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".