5 Updates Your Landlord Will Approve

by Jennifer McMurrayOctober 18, 2018

If you aren’t renting a home, statistics say you probably know someone that is renting. In the US alone, 37% of the population is choosing to rent rather than buy. There are multiple factors that contribute to that choice, but regardless why someone is renting, there’s been a common theme for decades with most rentals: the landlord doesn’t allow tenants to alter the space. And while that rule still holds true, there have been several design advances that allow renters to personalize the space without violating their landlord’s wishes. The key to these advances is that they don’t permanently alter the space. If you’re looking to turn a bland rental space into a home that reflects your style, these design options will make you & your landlord happy!
An image of a kitchen with a white brick wallpaper back-splash above the counters.

  1. Peel-N-Stick Wallpaper

    You might hear the word wallpaper and instantly think of your grandma’s floral & teddy bear wallpaper from the 1980s- but wallpaper has advanced a lot since then! From style to application, wallpaper can now be a landlord approved design choice! Gone are the days of gluing wallpaper to walls. Instead, wallpaper now comes in a removable, peel-n-stick option. This option allows renters to add fun styles, prints, and colors to a space, and when they move, the wallpaper easily removes from the wall without permanent damage. The wallpaper can be added to an accent wall, a back-splash, a DIY headboard, or a nursery. This DIY project is both easy and affordable and could easily be done in a couple hours for less than $50!

An image of a spacious dining room with an abstract area rug.

  1. Area Rugs

    Your landlord is probably not going to agree to put in new hardwood floors or replacing the carpet. And the carpet may not be the style or color that fits with your decor, but part of renting means making it work. One of the best ways to add some personality is through area rugs. Whether you love bold pops of colors, neutral farmhouse decor, or traditional styles, area rugs come in such a variety of styles that renters can reflect their personality without violating their lease. From online stores to local boutiques, area rugs can vary greatly in price. However, this simple update can be done for less than a couple hundred dollars and give a big impact to a room!

An image of an open door with a small potted plant in the background.

    1. Curb Appeal

      While your landlord may not allow you to rip out shrubs or plant bushes, you can still improve the curb appeal of your rental home while also adding some personality through potted plants. Purchasing some over-sized planters and some seasonal flowers can really add color, style, and charm to a home. The best part about this update is that the cost and time are minimal, and they can be taken with you when you move from the rental.

    2. Peel-And-Stick Tiles

      Much like wallpaper, tile design and application has greatly changed. In fact, tiles no longer have to be a permanent change to a home. With peel-and-stick smart tiles, creating a back-splash in a kitchen or bathroom can be easy and affordable—and landlord approved! Much like 12×12 mesh tile sheets available at big box home stores, peel-and-stick tiles are available in sheets- from mosaic designs, printed design, and even classic subway tile design. No glue is involved, so your landlord is sure to love it! Similar to the wallpaper, choose a design you love, install while you’re the tenant, and prior to moving, you can simply remove the smart tiles. This project can be done in a few hours for less than a few hundred dollars!

    3. Peel-And-Stick Vinyl Flooring

      While you may wish your landlord would install fun, trendy tile in the kitchen, entryway, laundry, or bathroom, it’s not likely that will happen. However, in more landlord approved designs, you no longer have to live with the ugly floors in your rental! With modern, trendy, and fun designs, peel-and-stick flooring has made an appearance, and renters (and landlords!) are loving the options! This affordable option allows you to update a boring or dated space without permanently altering the space. Multiple options are available online, and some options are hitting big box home stores. These vinyl floor options are easy to install and can be done in an afternoon!

Living in a rental home does not mean you have to live in a bland box. Branch out and make the space your own! While these options are approved by many landlords, it’s always important to get prior approval from your landlord before starting the project. It also doesn’t hurt to ask if they’d allow you to paint over the beige walls. As more and more people choose to rent, you can bet more design choices will be available that are renter friendly and landlord approved!

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About The Author
Jennifer McMurray
Jennifer is an accidental house flipper turned Realtor and real estate investor. She is the voice behind the blog, Bachelorette Pad Flip. Over five years, Jennifer paid off $70,000 in student loan debt through real estate investing. She's passionate about the power of real estate. She's also passionate about southern cooking, good architecture, and thrift store treasure hunting. She calls Northwest Arkansas home with her cat Smokey, but she has a deep love affair with South Florida.