How to Make Bathroom Changes When Renting

Decoration in a rented apartment can be tough since your leasing contract usually limits the kinds of changes you can make to your place.

Bathrooms are particularly tough, since many rentals feature outdated bathrooms, and the best upgrades are usually ones you can’t make.

There are some ways to remodel a rented house or apartment without violating your leasing contract, however. Here are five tips for making bathroom changes that won’t get you into trouble with your landlord.

  • Don’t change anything you can’t change back. The number one rule for making bathroom changes in a rental is to never change anything that’s irreversible. For instance, changing out the shower head, towel racks, or the cabinet hardware is relatively easy, and can be changed back just as easily when it’s time to move out. Even though these small changes won’t make up for an outdated bathroom or make a huge difference in how your bathroom looks, they are an excellent way to personalize your space.
  • Keep original hardware together and labeled. The trick to replacing anything, whether it be the shower head or the cabinet hardware, is to make sure you keep the originals. Keep them someplace where you’ll know where they are, and label them so that you don’t have to worry about forgetting where everything goes. A labeled ziplock bag in your linen closet is an excellent way to keep everything together.
  • Take pictures. Take advantage of that smartphone, and take pictures of your place when you move in or before you remodel a rented house, especially if you’ll be responsible for putting everything back again before you move out. With every passing year you stay, you’re less likely to remember where everything goes, so pictures will help you to get it right. Dated move-in pictures are also an excellent way to prove that you didn’t cause any damage if your landlord tries to charge you for anything.
  • Ask before making semi-permanent changes. Some landlords will allow you to make semi-permanent changes, such as painting or upgrading a faucet. In some cases you only have to return the apartment to its original condition, such as repainting with the original color before you move out. Other times, such as with an obvious upgrade, landlords are more than happy to have a renter willing to pay for the upgrade.
  • Use accessories to decorate in a rented apartment or house. There may be limits on how much remodeling you can do, but you can always use accessories and decor to make the best of what you can’t change. Hanging artwork, decorating with bright splashes of color, and finding the right shower curtain, rugs, and towels can all help turn something ho-hum into your own personal paradise.

Are you tired of feeling powerless over your own place? Don’t get caught in the trap of thinking you can’t remodel your rented house or apartment to make it look the way you want.

You might be pleasantly surprised with how much your landlord will allow, and even if they won’t agree to any upgrades, you can still make changes as long as they are reversible. With these tips, you can make your rental into a home that really feels like yours.