5 Apartment Upgrades That Won’t Bother Your Landlord

If you are at all familiar with apartment living then you understand that the upgrades you’re allowed to perform in your living space are extremely limited. Since you don’t own the property, you obviously can’t make structural changes like knocking down walls. But you may be unable to make even simple changes like swapping the outdated appliances for newer, safer, energy-saving models. And kitchen and bathroom remodels are right out. However, you can do mini makeovers in order to make your space more functional and livable. And there are certainly ways you can add your personality to the apartment, although you must keep in mind that anything you do may have to be undone before you move out if you don’t want to lose your security deposit. That said, here are a few upgrades that most landlords won’t mind, especially if you get permission first.

  1. Paint and flooring. One of the easiest ways to make your space more modern and more, well, YOU, is to slap a coat of paint on the wall and lay down some clean, new carpeting. Unfortunately, both will require permission from your landlord. However, many owners are willing to let tenants make such upgrades under a couple of conditions. First, they must often agree to return the apartment to a neutral paint scheme before moving out. So you’ll have to paint twice, but so long as you’re in your apartment you can enjoy a color palette of your choice on the walls. And as for flooring, you may not be allowed to attach it permanently. In other words, you might have to content yourself with laying down floating wooden floors or carpet remnants on a room-by-room basis – options that can easily be removed when you leave. This will depend entirely on your landlord, though.
  2. Update or add hardware. Kitchens and bathrooms can get kind of gross and quickly become outdated, but remodeling is so pricy that many landlords avoid it as long as possible. For this reason you might be able to get away with painting and a few other upgrades in these areas. One project that most owners won’t mind is updated hardware, or the addition of door knobs and drawer pulls on cabinets and drawers that don’t already have them. It’s a relatively easy and inexpensive way to get the modern finishes you prefer. You might also be allowed to replace sink and shower hardware.
  3. Replace lighting fixtures. The truth of the matter is that most of us never look up. So if you want to replace outdated globes with nicer lighting fixtures, your landlord probably won’t even notice. But if you’re worried about it or you’d like to take your chandelier with you when you move, simply tuck the yucky old lighting fixtures away in a closet and put them back when you leave.
  4. Add shelving. Storage space in apartments is often limited. And while you can’t exactly add built-ins to create sophisticated and seamless storage, you can certainly add shelving on walls throughout the home in order to increase your storage options. The thing to remember with this upgrade is that anything you put in the wall now will have to be removed, puttied, and painted before you leave.
  5. Use ductless air conditioning. If you’re tired of paying beaucoup bucks for the tiny trickle of air conditioning that makes its way to your unit, and you’re pretty sure that changing the air filter in the HVAC system is something your landlord has never considered, you might want to switch to a ductless unit for your apartment. These units can often be placed in windows (rather than requiring a hole in the wall) and they give you a lot more control over your interior temperature and your electric bill. Plus, they’re easy to remove and cause no damage to the apartment, so your landlord shouldn’t mind the upgrade.
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