10 Rental Upgrades You Can Do Without Asking Your Landlord for Permission

July 18, 2017

Do you live in a rental property that you want to upgrade, but are too afraid to ask your landlord? A rental property might not feel like home with bare walls that don’t add any colour or personal style. The condo or home you’re renting is still your home and should be decorated to feel as such. As a renter, there are a number rental property upgrades you can incorporate into your space that doesn’t require a renovation or permission from your landlord. 

With some time and creativity, these rental property upgrades will transform your living spaces into home sweet home.

Add furniture to create division

Depending on the rental property you’re living in, you might be living in a big, open-concept space. Creating some division between rooms can not only make your space feel bigger but will also offer some privacy when you have guests over. To divide one space into two separate rooms, buy a tall piece of furniture, like a bookshelf, and situate it in between the space you want to separate as a divider. This division will make it feel like your rental space has additional rooms, and the extra shelving will double as a display case.

Use big furniture pieces like bookcases to divide two rooms.

Create a gallery wall

Displaying photos of family, friends or sights from most recent travels can instantly transform your rental property into a home. Instead of adding framed art to an end table or nightstand, create a gallery wall. Hang your favourite photos in colourful frames and use Velcro backings to avoid drilling holes into the wall.

Velcro is a necessity when doing rental property upgrades in any living space.
Use Velcro to mount your favourite frames or pictures to create a gallery wall.

Upgrade the bathroom and kitchen cabinetry hardware

Add some creative flair to your bathroom and kitchen rental by replacing the vanity hardware. This is an easy DIY upgrade that will instantly change the look and feel of the bathroom and kitchen. Opt for crystal or gold knobs for a luxurious look, or colourful ones to add a pop of colour. Don’t forget to keep the old knobs and screws to put back on the cabinetry when you move.

Add temporary wallpaper

Some landlords or building managers have a no paint policy. A temporary rental property upgrade solution is to add colour to bare walls using temporary wallpaper. Pick out a bright or bold pattern to create an accent wall in your living space. This peel-and-stick wallpaper is easy to remove as long as it’s installed properly; all you have to do is pick your favourite colour or pattern to showcase on the wall.

Replace closet doors with drapery

This DIY requires a little extra work, as you’ll be unscrewing the hinges off the door, but it’s well worth it. Store the door and hinges in a safe space so they can be put up again. Removing the door will give you an opportunity to create visual interest with a colourful sliding drape.

Rental property upgrades like this drastically improve the look of your home.

Add rugs in common areas

Do you have the urge to rip out the old, tired flooring in your rental? Unless the landlord gives you the go-ahead, this is a home renovation you might not be able to fix. However, you can cover it up with an accent or area rug. Runners are perfect if you have a narrow kitchen, and opt for a big colourful accent rug for living spaces. Put a rug pad underneath to prevent the rugs from sliding. This also increases the longevity of the rug, so you can take it to your next home.

Install mounted Roman shades

Most rental properties will come with plain, outdated white blinds that are a sight for sore eyes. Although not replaceable, you can definitely hide them by purchasing Roman shades. Simply move the white blinds up and install the Roman shades over top the old blinds. Roman shades are inexpensive and come in a variety of materials and finishes. This is an easy way to improve the look of any room.

Replace ceiling shades on lights

This is a simple rental property upgrade that will make a huge difference: replacing the ceiling shades on the overhead lights. Ceiling shades are often old and grimy and don’t provide enough adequate lighting. Buying new ones brings a more personal touch to the room, and will offer much better lighting in your living space.

Improved bathroom and shower fixtures

If you’re staying in a rental property long-term, you might have the urge to replace certain bathroom and kitchen fixtures. Improve your bathroom and kitchen by installing a new showerhead and kitchen faucet. Standard kitchen faucets aren’t costly, and if you choose one that swivels, it might actually make a difference. This is a huge upgrade to consider if you don’t have a dishwasher.

A handheld showerhead is another item that can be easily replaced. Bring the original hardware to the store with you to find a faucet that will be the perfect fit.

Add temporary backsplash

Peel and stick tiles can be purchased at your local hardware store. They can be installed on top of the backsplash and when you’re ready to move out, come off with a little bit of heat thanks to a blow dryer. Temporary backsplash comes in a wide variety of colours and styles; pick your favourite and customize your kitchen with this easy DIY install.

These 10 rental property upgrades are temporary ways to improve the look and feel of your rental property when you’re living there.