Can You Make Home Improvements On a Rental Yourself - Or Should You Use a Pro?
Can You Make Home Improvements On a Rental Yourself - Or Should You Use a Pro?
Home Improvement

Can You Make Home Improvements On a Rental Yourself – Or Should You Use a Pro?

Thinking of making some home improvements to your rental in 2024? With so many YouTube DIY and interior design videos out there, getting stuck into a project seems easier than ever before. However, put down the paintbrush for a second. Before going any further, there are a few vital considerations to think about – keep reading for everything you need to know to ensure your project doesn’t land you in hot (or cold) water.

The main purpose of this article is to provide guidance and essential considerations for renters interested in making home improvements to their rental properties. It aims to help renters navigate the process of undertaking home improvement projects while adhering to necessary regulations, landlord permissions, and safety protocols.

People should read this article if they:

  1. Are renters considering home improvements such as repainting walls, installing new fixtures, or renovating spaces within their rental property?
  2. We need to understand the importance of obtaining landlord approval and determining whether certain repairs or improvements are the responsibility of the landlord or the tenant.
  3. Want to learn about the significance of personal liability renters insurance and how it can protect them in case of accidents or damage during home improvement projects?
  4. Seek guidance on whether to undertake home improvement projects or hire professional contractors based on the complexity and potential risks involved.
  5. Desire real-life examples and scenarios to better understand the practical application of the article’s advice.

Improvement or Repair: Check with Your Landlord

Before even considering undertaking home improvements on your rental, there are two key things to determine. Firstly, is the home improvement actually the responsibility of your landlord to fund and arrange? For example, if your windows are leaking, your front door doesn’t lock properly, or your property is suffering from dampness, these are all things that are up to your landlord to put right at their own expense –  unless, of course, you are responsible for the damage as a result of direct action or omission. In other words, if the windows are leaking because you caused damage to the frame, the cost of the repair is likely to be on you.

Secondly, for home improvements such as changing the paint scheme, installing new kitchen cupboards, or tearing up the carpets to replace them with floorboards, you’ll need to get permission from your landlord. Be aware, though: even if your landlord agrees to your home improvement request, they may stipulate that you’ll need to put the property back to its original state at the end of your tenancy. This is most likely to be the case if, say, you’re asking to repaint the walls in a particularly bold color or put up some strikingly patterned wallpaper.

The Importance of Personal Liability Renters Insurance

If you decide or need to get the home improvements on your rental undertaken by a professional, it’s important to ensure you have personal liability renters insurance. This is to make sure you’re covered in the event that this professional suffers an accident or injury while they’re in your home. This element is usually incorporated in a general renters insurance policy, but it’s worth checking if this is the case.

The personal liability element is just one reason that having renters insurance is so important. A policy is also a vital way to protect your personal possessions in the event of damage or theft – plus, it may be able to cover your costs should you need to move out of your home for a temporary time period.

Can I Make the Home Improvements Myself?

So, you’ve got the landlord’s permission to carry out your desired home improvements – great! Next, it’s time to work out whether it’s possible to undertake these yourself or call in the services of a professional. This will totally depend on the nature of the home improvements you want to be undertaken.

Some decorating you may wish to tackle on your own while fitting a new bathroom suite will require bringing a professional on board to ensure the plumbing is undertaken correctly. Your landlord may even only agree to certain improvements on the proviso that the work is carried out by an experienced professional contractor. In general, any project that involves plumbing or electrical wiring should always be undertaken by a professional – as well as potentially causing damage to the property if things go wrong; they entail serious risks to your health and safety, too.

It’s also important to consider the fact that even though carrying out some home improvements yourself will save you on the cost of hiring a professional, you may still need to purchase expensive tools and equipment to get the work completed to a high standard.

Real Case Study Examples

  1. Sarah, a renter in a studio apartment, wanted to give her living space a fresh look. After obtaining her landlord’s approval and ensuring she had personal liability renters insurance, she tackled repainting the walls herself. However, she hired a professional contractor to install new kitchen cabinets to ensure the work was done correctly and safely.
  2. John and Emily, a young couple renting a two-bedroom house, planned to renovate the bathroom. They consulted with their landlord, who agreed to the renovation but required them to hire licensed professionals for the plumbing and electrical work. The couple also purchased personal liability renters insurance to protect themselves from accidents during the renovation process.
  3. Mike, a college student living in a shared rental apartment, wanted to create a small home office space in his bedroom. After getting approval from his landlord and roommates, he built a custom desk and shelving unit himself. However, he hired an electrician to ensure the work was done safely and that the new lighting fixtures were up to code when installed.

People, Also Search

Do I need permission from my landlord before making any home improvements? 

  • Yes, obtaining consent from your landlord before undertaking any home improvement projects in your rental property is crucial, even if they seem minor. Failure to do so could potentially violate your lease agreement.

What type of home improvements typically require hiring a professional contractor? 

  • Projects involving plumbing, electrical work, structural modifications, or major renovations should be handled by licensed and insured professional contractors to ensure safety and adherence to building codes.

Why is personal liability renters insurance important when making home improvements? 

  • Personal liability renters insurance can protect you in case of accidents or injuries during home improvement projects, mainly if you have hired contractors to work on your rental property.

Can my landlord require me to return the rental property to its original condition after making improvements? 

  • Yes, landlords can stipulate that tenants must return the rental property to its original condition at the end of the tenancy, especially if the upgrades involve significant alterations or personalized design choices.

When deciding whether to tackle a home improvement project or hire a professional, what should I consider? 

  • Consider factors such as your skill level, the complexity of the project, the potential for damage or safety risks, the cost of tools and materials, and the time required to complete the project. It is generally advisable to hire a professional contractor.

Final Thoughts

Making a few improvements to your rental property can uplevel your home and make it feel more your own. Whether it’s applying a new shade of paint in the living room or creating a set of built-in shelves in a hall alcove, home improvements can take near-endless forms. Before starting on a project, first of all, consider whether it’s actually the landlord’s responsibility. For example, if the living room needs painting because dampness has stained the walls since you began your tenancy, this could be the landlord’s responsibility to put it right. For purely aesthetic or design improvements, you’ll still need the landlord’s permission to carry them out.

And when it comes to whether or not to hire a professional to carry out the work? If it involves electrics or plumbing, bringing a professional on board is vital. For other types of work, this will depend on your skill level and the time you have available. If in doubt? Get in a contractor. And don’t forget to be sure you have personal liability renters insurance.

Related posts
Home Improvement

Creating a Focal Point: The Role of Luxury Sectionals in Interior Design

In interior design, a well-curated space is a harmonious blend of aesthetics and functionality.
Read more
Home Improvement

The Ultimate Guide to Dryer Vent Cleaning Kits: Everything You Need to Know

Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the world of dryer vent…
Read more
Home Improvement

Every Room Matters: A Journey to Perfecting Your Home's Interior

Your home is your little safe and happy place. A place where you don’t just spend the most…
Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *