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Own it Even When You Don't! How to Rock Your Rental Without Offending Your Landlord.

Own it Even When You Don't! How to Rock Your Rental Without Offending Your Landlord.

OK, renters… if you just signed a lease this fall, you’re likely unpacked by now and are probably already tiring of the often-drab, neutral surroundings that many renters find in their temporary homes. With good reason, many landlords aim to keep their rental properties basically attractive, but minimally appointed.  

So, if you’re a renter, how can you make the most of your surroundings without angering your landlord? Here are a few non-invasive ways to make your rental property feel like home in no time at all:

1. Add Color! A palette of neutral walls or carpeting is no problem to customize and get creative with. You don’t have to paint in order to personalize a place, either. Adding colorful area rugs, throw pillows and curtains can work wonders on otherwise drab décor. And, for those of us who change our minds on a regular basis, this trio of colorful treatments is fairly inexpensive to replace when fashions and personal tastes shift. What’s even better is that your landlord won’t be impacted at all!

2. Let in the Light. Maximizing natural light in your rental unit is a quick and inexpensive way to make an immediate impact without upsetting your landlord. The place will look brighter and cleaner. Plus, we’re willing to bet that a brighter space will enhance your overall mood as well. What natural lighting can’t do, decorative lamps and candle holders can!  Even if your rental has great overhead lighting, don’t be afraid to set the mood by adding some decorative lighting fixtures.

3.  Make it Personal. Some people are reluctant to add their own personal artwork or photos of family and friends to a rental unit. Since it is a temporary home, they may not see a point in making holes in the walls that they’ll have to turn around and patch. Or worse, perhaps your landlord doesn’t allow holes in the walls. If that’s the case, there are other options, like self-adhesive hooks, decorative tape or yarn that can assist with hanging some photos or art. Nothing will speak to you more than being surrounded by images of the people and things you love most.

4. Enlist Some Natural Help. What can be more naturally uplifting than adding your favorite potted plants or fresh flowers to your rental unit? They can be changed or updated as the seasons turn or you can select long-lasting plants. Either way, they have no long-term effects on your rental façade, but plants will go a long way in adding to the freshness of your rental facility. 

5. Be a Little Crafty (with Permission). When you feel like you’ve exhausted every option that does not directly impact your rental unit, don’t be afraid to make some temporary upgrades to your place. Switch out the showerhead and bathroom hardware or fixtures to make the place feel more “you.” But, before you do, make your landlord aware of your plans and check to make sure that your upgrades are allowed - even if the “enhancement” is something you plan to take with you when you leave. Often times, if something is mounted with screws, it is easy to remove and replace – but only if it is OK with your landlord. 

Remember, your rental property is your temporary home; so, while it may not be the place of your dreams, the reality is that there are many ways to make it your own without making an enemy out of your landlord. If you’re ever in doubt about a possible change you would like to make to your rental, keep the lines of communication open with your landlord. You never know; he or she may even pitch in with your enhancement plans!