Making changes to your rental property
The property you are renting is unlikely to be perfect so it’s very possible that you may want to make some changes during the course of your tenancy.
Common requests from tenants include installing air conditioning, adding window locks and security screens, replacing carpets, painting or landscaping.
It’s important for renters to remember that even if you are willing to pay for everything yourself, you cannot make any alternations without the owner’s permission.
If you do want to make some improvements to the property the first step is to contact your property manager and discuss your ideas. Make sure you give good reasons for your request.
The owner does not have to agree to every request you make. However they may look more favourably at requests that have future benefits and add value to the property.
For example, adding air conditioning will make the property appealing to future tenants, as will addressing any security issues. Painting, re-carpeting or landscaping may improve the appeal and worth of the house to some degree.
If you intend to stay in the property for several years you may be willing to pay for, or contribute to, the improvement costs.
Offering to pay, however, does not mean that the owner has to approve your request - they can still say no. If they do agree, make sure you get the details in writing, noting what changes are to be made, who is to pay, what portion each person will pay, and what will happen when you leave.
Generally, at the end of a tenancy, any changes that are made to the property by the tenant must remain. You can remove fixtures that you have affixed, with the owner’s consent, unless the removal of the fixture would cause irreparable damage. If you do cause damage you may need to repair it, or compensate the owner for any reasonable expenses.
Remember: Always talk to your Property Manager before considering any changes to the property.