Renting an apartment can be a bummer for someone who loves upgrading their living space and making major interior changes. Your customizing and updating options will be limited. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t make the space your own. Luckily for you, there are ways to improve your apartment and even convince your landlord to let you renovate.
In most cases, landlords will happily approve upgrades that can keep the property competitive or low-cost cosmetic fixes. As long as you’re not doing projects that will harm their chances of getting future tenants, you’re good to go. Still, don’t forget to review your rental contract to have a better idea of what sort of improvements you can make. Here are some landlord-friendly ideas that you can consider.
1. Check the HVAC first
In most cases, landlords are responsible for providing a sound HVAC system to their rental property, and the tenants will take care of the air filters’ replacement. However, some landlords would want to do this themselves to avoid damage to the system. The HVAC system is the first thing you should check if you want to have a more comfortable and inviting space. You’re lucky if the equipment in your apartment is in perfect working order.
However, if it doesn’t, you’ll need to do something. Even if the landlord permits you, replacing an old HVAC system would be expensive. Plus, landlords are less likely to get a new one if the old equipment is still working. If comfort and good room temperature and ventilation are a big deal to you, you can consider renting an HVAC system.
Many providers of residential and commercial heating systems offer affordable and portable rentals. They can even recommend the best system to go for depending on the type and size of your space.
2. Cover the ugly flooring
Aside from inefficient heating and cooling systems, many rental property owners use cheap floor materials. They also rarely invest in replacing outdated flooring. Fortunately for you, there are several ways to disguise that ugly floor space. The simplest option is covering it with beautiful area rugs. If you’re also placing one on your bathroom or kitchen, buy those with rubber backing to prevent slips or falls.
You can also use removable vinyl decals to give your floor a better look. You can easily peel them if you need to move to another apartment. If you want to achieve hardwood flooring for better aesthetics, you can use vinyl planks. They might be more expensive but more visually appealing. They’re completely removable, too.
3. Bring life to those walls
Ugly or worn-out-looking walls are everyday things to see in a poorly maintained apartment building. The best way to improve that is to paint them. You typically don’t need your landlord’s permission when painting interior walls. In fact, it’s highly recommended. Still, it’s best to consult your landlord for this as some will gladly pay for the supplies, especially if the paint color is in their favor.
If your choice of shades is too wacky or wild, you might want to ask your landlord too. An excellent alternative to painting is using removable wallpapers. Temporary wallpapers offer a wide variety of patterns, which is great if you’re a fan of artistic and creative designs. It could take you about an hour or two to install the wallpaper. Be sure to buy extra sheets for possible reapplication or misalignment.
4. Invest in window treatment
Most rental apartments use vinyl blinds for the windows. Sure, they don’t look bad, but they don’t look great either. Adding better window treatment can indeed transform your space. Ideally, they must be installed above the window casing and go all the way down your flooring.
Replace those ugly plastic blinds with beautiful curtains or drapery. Such options can make your space more inviting and cozy. If you’re not a fan of simple drapes, you can be creative and make your own Roman shades. You can do this using your favorite fabric and measuring the windows’ height and width for fitting. You can use safety pins to secure the folds.
Living in a rental apartment does have limitations as to what you can change or upgrade. But if you’re planning for major cosmetic or structural upgrades that aren’t listed here, you can always try making a deal with your landlord. You can offer to pay for the upgrades and get fair discounts on your monthly rent. Or show them apartments with similar profitable upgrades. If you’re lucky enough to have a considerate and friendly landlord, convincing them won’t be too hard.