As experts in real estate law, we know that navigating a relationship with a landlord can sometimes be tricky. As long as you pay your rent on time, keep to yourself, and follow rules regarding pets in the complex, you should be fine, right? In theory, yes. But what happens when you decide that you want to customize your apartment so it feels more like home? The last thing you want to do is violate your contract and place tension on your landlord-tenant relationship. Expressing yourself through your apartment decor is completely appropriate, but you must do it within the bounds of the restrictions your landlord has put forth.
We’ve come up with a few tips to help you decorate your rented apartment without damaging the property. You’ll be happy, your landlord will be happy––it’s a win-win.
Read your contract thoroughly
First things first, read your contract front-to-back. Quickly skimming the terms and conditions when you sign the lease and then forgetting about the contract until it’s time to move out is never a good idea. Before you even move into an apartment, you should be aware of any rules your landlord may have. Some landlords allow for tenants to paint the walls and hang pictures with nails, but others are more strict. Before you dive into any decorating, make sure you know exactly what is allowed and what isn’t.
Add pops of color with accessories
Tired of the drab walls and ugly carpet in your apartment? A great way to add customization to your home is through throw pillows, rugs, and blankets. You can add as many or as few as you’d like, plus you can switch them out easily as your styles and tastes change. These simple accessories can turn a dreary, boring room into a cozy oasis. Toss a few pillows on your couch, drape a throw blanket over the chair, finish it off with a beautiful area rug, and you’re good to go!
Hang decor on the walls with damage-free resources
Can’t stand looking at the plain walls? If your landlord isn’t a fan of nails in the wall, you can still find ways to hang your favorite pictures, tapestries, and strung lights. Many landlords are okay with tenants using command hooks, which claim to hold up to several pounds without causing any damage to the wall. It might be a good idea to run this idea by your landlord just in case, though. Washi tape is another suggestion for lightweight hangings such as pictures or posters.
Create an accent wall with vinyl wallpaper or decals
If you’re going for a bold look, you can always try vinyl wall decals or wallpaper. Create a pattern or go with a solid color, but either way, you’ll have a fun conversation piece that is easy to remove once it’s time to move out.
Keeping a good relationship with your landlord is crucial, but living in a rented apartment doesn’t have to feel like you’re living in a rented apartment. What damage-free decorating ideas have you used to make your place feel more like home?
If you find yourself in the middle of a landlord-tenant dispute, give us a call and set up a consultation.