One of our big ‘life’ plans under discussion currently, is whether or not we’re going to invest in a small property for long-term rental potential. It’s been on our minds for some time, for various reasons, but mainly for a secondary income stream when we’re retired, or for the girls if they need a lump sum for their first home. My very good friend is a successful property developer and has years of landlord experience under her belt so we’ve chatted, and I’ve done some research on what it means to be a landlord.
So many people now rent a home. There’s no shame in it; I’ve lived in many myself but it is hard to put your own stamp on it, to really make it your own. You’ll need to follow certain rules and guidelines set out by your landlord and lettings agency, but it is possible to give your rented home a slice of your style, and keep everyone happy.
Before me move onto the tenant rules, it’s important for landlords to ensure they’re properly insured, just in case things do go wrong, so check out a company like Homelet who can ensure you’re fully covered.
The 5 Renting Rules that Keep Your Landlord Happy:
#1 Get Permission
Removable Wall Mural from DaWanda
Ok so before you start any kind of decorating or even changing anything in the property, talk to your lettings agent or landlord and explain what you’d like to do. It’s quite likely that if you want to repaint the walls, they’ll be quite happy to let you do it (after all it’s free property upkeep for them) but communicate your ideas first and get permission.
#2 Be Prepared to Change it Back
Beautiful dark-walled bedroom from H&M Home
It’s quite likely that you’ll need to undo any updates you’ve made. Not always, but often. If you’ve added splashes of colour to the walls, or updated the flooring, or even jazzed up the shower curtain, you’ll probably have to remove it all before you leave and restore it to its original colour scheme. Don’t despair though, if you’ve kept the lines of communication open, and the landlord likes what you’ve done, you may be able to leave it. Remember, landlords prefer a neutral interior design to help keep their property in demand so make it too bright and colourful (or dark and moody) and you’ll be getting out the paintbrush before you leave.
#3 Minimise Damage
It’s a straight forward one really but don’t cause any damage to the property. If you do, you’ll need to pay to have it repaired, you can’t expect your landlord to cough up for re-plastering the walls when you’ve pulled off all the plaster whilst decorating. There are certain products that will help you make the most of your rented home, without damaging thinks like walls. Command 3M strips are your friend! They’re perfect for hanging pictures and mirrors, hooks and more without drilling holes or damaging walls. And when you’re done you can remove them easily and you’ll never know they’ve been there.
#4 Be Creative
You’ll need to think a little harder about how to make a rented house your home, and add a little imagination and creativity into the mix. Don’t worry though, there’s plenty of help on hand, particularly from bloggers and DIYers like Grillo Designs. Her blog and Instagram feed are treasure troves filled with hacks, tips and inspiration on how to style up your rental, do it yourself projects and general interior gorgeousness for a rented property. My favourite right now has to be her cute porch makeover, and guide on how to wallpaper a floor with contact paper (Fablon to us UK dwellers), but her whole home is testament to how to add your own style to a rented home.
Get to know what products work well and where, and what can be removed before you leave. Stick on wallpaper, particularly from companies in the US is very popular now, and easy to put up. Do you research and you’ll find plenty of ways to put your stamp on your space.
#5 Know Your Limitations
H&M Mirrors – Hang with Command Strips
Do know what you’re capable of. It’s ok trying out projects from blogs like the one above, but if you’ve never done anything like this before, start small. Build your knowledge and expertise before tackling a whole room. It’s the same with any DIY, but messing up the decor or fixtures in a rented property could land you in hot water with your landlord and prove to be very costly. If you’re not sure get some advice, or call in an expert.
I’d love to know if you’ve updated your rental property with the blessing of your landlord. Comment below or tag me @lovechicliving on social with #RentingRules and let me know.