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Renovating a rental



Sometimes when you rent a property you want to make adjustments. Do you have a plan to stay in the property long term and want to make it feel like home instead of a stop gap? While you can carry out small adjustments such as adding coloured throws and your own furniture, you may be thinking about a renovation. If you are currently toying with the idea then here are a few things to think about.

Consult the landlord

He/she owns the property so it’s obvious that you can’t go ahead and make changes to anything without consulting with them first – this includes painting the walls.

Check the fine print

Go through your lease. Remember this is a legally binding document so you want to read carefully and take note of what this says about any renovation/adjustment work.

Look in to permits

So, your landlord has given you the go ahead, now make sure that it is legal in your city. Check the building codes and regulations and look closely in to any permits that you may need.

Who’s paying?

Financially it may not make sense for you to pay for the renovations. Ask yourself, are you planning on leaving in a few years’ time? Will you gain anything financially from this renovation? Discuss the finances with your landlord. See if they will be willing to pay for major renovations – they will be gaining from something like a newly refurbished kitchen. There are examples of landlords giving a discount on rent to cover the cost of the renovation. Remember to keep all the receipts.

Who’s liable?

If something goes wrong after the renovation then who is liable for it? Talk to your landlord to confirm, in writing, the liability. They may have a lawyer that they can consult.

You might have to undo your work

Some landlords will ask you to leave the rental in its original state when you decide to move out. This is unlikely to happen when you have ripped out and replaced a bathroom, but if you decide to add your style with paint then consider that you might have to paint it back.

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