Binh Thanh District
Home improvements that won’t break your lease
Binh Thanh District
Location : 47 Nguyen Huu Canh street, ward 22, Binh Thanh Dist, HCMC

Home improvements that won’t break your lease

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As a renter, your options sometimes seem limited when it comes to renovating. And that can be frustrating. 

Many renters are in long-term rental properties, or at least have plans to stay in the same place for a long time. As a result, making some basic renovations and changes at home can be a high priority: and why shouldn’t it be? It’s not just property owners who like to have beautiful interiors and a spruced up garden.

Know the boundaries

Of course, a complete new kitchen or bathroom may be stretching your personal budget, and a large project may not be worth your time and investment. So where to start?

Contact your agent. A standard tenancy agreement usually prevents any renovations, alterations or additions to the premises without the landlord’s written consent. Start by contacting your agent/landlord to find out what your options there. This will also help manage your expectations.

Top tip: Searching for a new rental? If there’s a place you love that could do with a lick of paint, ask the agent up front what the landlord’s thoughts are on you adding a few touches to the place. That way you’ll know what’s allowed before you move in. Don’t base your hopes on the renovations you want to make, just in case your landlord says no.

Consider some simple options

Your landlord may not be keen on you tackling a new coat of paint or polishing up the floors, and that’s a decision you’ll need to respect. But, don’t feel downhearted. Instead, consider some temporary fixes.

Hiding cracks? Consider art work and plants. Removable, self-adhesive hooks are now readily available and can hold various weights (just check the packet).

They’re the perfect solution for hanging artwork, or plants, that can be the perfect distraction from ugly walls. If there’s a large crack on the wall when you move in, you may have no grounds to ask for it to be fixed – as you’ve already accepted the house as it is. But that doesn’t mean you need to live with it. Pop a wall hanging over it, or put a chest of drawers against that wall to cover it up.

Hate your floors? If you’re not a fan of the floor you’ve been left with, then consider a large rug. While it may not be the polished floors you want, a natural neutral colour can evoke a similar look and feel to the floorboards you’re dreaming of.

If your kitchen lino is getting you down, it could be an affordable replacement your landlord approves of, but re-tiling the floor could be a step too far. Sometimes it’s about making the most of what you’ve got.

Is it worth the investment?

Consider the cost of the renovations you’re looking to make. Is it worth the money and time you’re about to invest?

If the problem can be fixed with some new furniture, side tables or a new rug, then consider splashing out and treating yourself. These are things you can take with you when you move and are, therefore, a better investment.

Don’t underestimate interior decorating

If your living or bedroom needs a little colour, don’t underestimate the effect of some colourful bedding and new curtains. Consider some interiors tips from home stagers – these tips aren’t just for people who are selling their property.

It’s possible to replace fixtures like light fittings and shower heads with ones that are more to your taste, but remember – if you take something off you need to put it back before you move out. This means storing anything you remove and keeping it safe, and in one piece.

These sorts of enhancements are generally not a big deal provided you agree to “make good” and return the property to its former state when you move out. It’s a good idea to make sure that anything agreed to is recorded in writing. If there’s any dispute later down the track you’ll want a clear, written statement as proof.

Remember – it’s still the landlord’s home

Most people see the updates they have planned as something that will benefit the property overall, but often this is not the case. Landlords are typically careful to deck out their property with simple, durable and fully functioning furnishings. Often a neutral palette has been chosen so it doesn’t offend future tenants or buyers. It’s best to be sure your changes can be reversed if you want to get your deposit back – unless otherwise agreed, in writing, with your landlord.

Plead your case

If you do think the property is in need of some bigger overhaul and is crying out for new kitchen appliances or benchtops then you’ll definitely need put forward a convincing case to your landlord. If everything is working, the landlord doesn’t necessarily have to make improvements. Check your rental agreement carefully before it’s signed to ensure you understand responsibilities.

If you’re happy to foot the bill for a new coat of paint, then consider providing quotes and proof of research to your landlord. Your landlord could be more on board if they know a professional will be carrying out the work.

Will my rent increase?

You’ll need to check with your rental agent about any rent increases post renos. If the property is deemed to be worth more on the rental market because of the renovations you’ve done, you could be doing yourself a disservice. If the owner is footing the renovation bill, they could be keen to recoup the costs somehow – and this could mean an increase. Don’t forget to check if your lease agreement is standard, and always sanity check your plans with your landlord and any other relevant professionals.

If you’re looking at knocking down walls and installing a new deck, repainting the whole house and popping in a new wardrobe, it could be worth considering whether this is the right rental property for you. Search for rental properties.

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