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How To Ask Your Landlord for Permission To Make Home Improvements

By: Eric Huesca, SEO Content Writer

Aug 2 2022

If you’re like many Americans, you may be considering making some home improvements. After all, a record number of Americans are renting, and home renovations can offer many benefits, including increased property values and greater comfort.

But if you’re renting, there’s one important step you need to take before beginning any type of home improvement project: asking your landlord for permission.

Happy relationship with landlord

Washington State resident showing off her new solar panel installation

Of course, every landlord is different. Some may be more flexible when making changes to their rental properties, while others may be more strict. But regardless of your landlord’s individual policies, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and get permission before making any type of change to your rental unit.

Here are a few tips to help you navigate this conversation with your landlord!

Re-reading Your Rental Agreement

Before discussing any home improvements with your landlord, it is important that you re-read your rental agreement. Many rental agreements have sections concerning acceptable home renovations.

By re-reading your rental agreement, you can avoid any potential conflict with your landlord about what improvements are allowed.

Choosing the Right Project

As a renter, choosing your home improvement projects carefully is important. You want to make sure that you are making improvements that will benefit you in the short term and those that will be attractive to future landlords. 

Here are some factors to consider when choosing a project:

  • Short completion time: Landlords generally don’t want to deal with long-term projects. They want to see quick, tangible results.
  • High ROI: Landlords are always looking for ways to improve their bottom line. Choose projects that will provide a good return on investment.
  • Appeal to future tenants: It’s important to keep in mind that your landlord’s ultimate goal is to attract and retain tenants. Choose projects that will make the property more attractive to future renters.

Home Improvement Projects With High ROI

High-ROI home improvements like the ones below can benefit both you and your landlord!

Bathroom Renovations

Bathroom renovations can be a great way to add value to your property. New or upgraded bathrooms can make your home more attractive to potential buyers and renters and help you save money on utility bills.

Renters can propose less-invasive bathroom renovations to their landlords, including replacing plumbing, light fixtures, or appliances. These upgrades can make your bathroom more functional and attractive without needing a major overhaul.

When considering any type of renovation, it’s important to weigh the cost against the potential return on investment (ROI). Bathroom renovations can be costly, but they can offer a good ROI if done correctly.

Kitchen Renovations

There is no doubt that a kitchen renovation can be a costly and time-consuming endeavor. However, the return on investment (ROI) associated with a kitchen upgrade is often well worth the effort – especially if you plan on selling your home soon.

Home Advisor says the expected ROI on a minor kitchen upgrade is roughly 78% of the cost, while the average ROI for a major kitchen remodel is about 59%.

Of course, not all kitchen renovations are created equal. Some upgrades will offer a better ROI than others. For example: 

  • Installing new energy-efficient appliances is a great way to save money on utility bills and make your home more appealing to eco-conscious buyers.
  • Adding storage space – whether in the form of new cabinets or shelving – is always a good idea, as it will make your kitchen more functional and organized.

If you’re a renter, you may think a kitchen renovation is out of the question. After all, most landlords are unlikely to approve any major changes to their rental property.

Switch to Energy-efficient Appliances

As we’ve mentioned, your thermostat is one of the appliances you can upgrade for sustainability. You can take this one step further by getting a thermostat that has both n energy-efficient and programmable capabilities. A programmable thermostat lets you decide how long it stays on, and what time it comes on. This means you can keep it off for long periods, such as if you’re going to be out of the house, and reduce the amount of unnecessary heating and cooling in your home.

Programmable thermostats may also be able to connect to your phone, allowing you to remotely control them. This gives you even more ability to moderate your heating and cooling use.  

However, there are a few less-invasive kitchen upgrades that you can propose to your landlord. Painting the cabinets or walls, replacing the hardware, or installing a new backsplash are all relatively inexpensive and easy projects.

These changes can freshen up the look of your kitchen without breaking the bank – or your lease agreement.

Attic Bedroom Conversion

An attic bedroom conversion can add value to a property by increasing its living space and making it more attractive to potential buyers. The ROI associated with attic bedroom conversions can be significant, as the extra space can be used for various purposes such as an extra bedroom, office, playroom, or storage space.

In addition, the conversion can also improve the home’s overall energy efficiency by sealing off the attic and preventing heat loss.

Solar Panel Installation

Solar panel installation is a great way to increase the value of your property while making it more sustainable. Solar panels can help both landlords and tenants save money on energy costs over time, making them a worthwhile investment for any property owner.

If you’re interested in getting your landlord on board with solar panel installation, you can do a few things to make the process easier.

First, work with your landlord to pick out a trustworthy solar company. There are many options out there, so it’s important to research and find a company that you can trust and afford. Once you’ve found a few potential companies, ask each one for quotes and compare the prices.

Now that you’ve found a company you’re both happy with, the next step is to get the permission of your local government. Sometimes, you’ll need to get a permit before installing solar panels.

By following these simple steps, you can increase the chances that your landlord will approve your home improvement request.

Remember that every situation is different, so be prepared for possible negotiations. If you have all the facts in hand, chances are you’ll be able to reach a mutually beneficial agreement!

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