Those who opt to rent a house as opposed to an apartment may still be held to certain restrictions regarding the type of decorating which can be done on the property. These restrictions may be stricter or more lenient than those typically enforced when a renter is renting an apartment property. This will largely depend on the preferences of the homeowners. Homeowners who do not want to see major modifications done to the property may place strict restrictions, while those who want to see the property improved may allow the renter a great deal of freedom in their decorating options.
How Much is Too Much?
This can be a difficult question to answer when used in reference to how much decorating is permissible in a rental house. Many renters opt for a situation where they are renting a house as opposed to an apartment strictly because they are looking for more freedom in their decorating options. However, the renter may find this desired freedom is not available to them.
Some homeowners may allow the renter to make minor decorating changes such as painting the walls, hanging up pictures or installing decorative shelving. However, more extensive decorating items such as new flooring, knocking down walls, or putting in windows might not be considered acceptable by some homeowners. Conversely, others may allow the renter to perform such actions. There is also the scenario where the homeowners may require this type of work to be done but may place restrictions which specify all improvement work shall be done by a qualified professional.
Check with the Homeowner
When considering doing some decorating in a rental house, the renter should first carefully review all of their contract documents. This is important because the contract may clearly prohibit certain items. In this case the renter would know for sure that they are not allowed to perform these actions. However, the renter should not count on the contract documents to spell out every possible scenario. Therefore, if a renter is considering making modifications to the rental house they should consult the owner before performing any work. They should also ask the homeowner to provide a written statement expressing their approval of the work to be completed.
The homeowner is the renter’s best resource of these types of questions because the homeowner has the best understanding of their intentions when they wrote the rental contract. They might have specified that no renter can alter the appearance of the home without the consent of the homeowner, but they may have meant for this statement to only apply to certain situations. In these cases, seeking clarification and written approval can be very beneficial to the renter.
When in Doubt - Leave it Out
If renters are in doubt about whether or not to perform a specific decorating action and are unable to reach the homeowner for clarification, they should opt not to make the changes. This can save the renter a great deal of time and money in the long run by preventing them from incurring excess charges for the repair of the home and wasting a great deal of time making an improvement which the homeowner may ask to have reversed in a short period of time. This is why renters should assume an action is prohibited unless they have concrete proof otherwise.