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Six Tips to Make Your Rental Feel Like Home

Published on Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Six Tips to Make Your Rental Feel Like Home

You may not own it, but you still want your home to feel like your castle. Making changes can be a challenge, especially when you want to abide by your rental rules.

These are some super simple ways to inject a little of yourself into a rental home, without ticking off your landlord.

 

Decorate a Rental Home with Your Personal Style

 

1 Make a Plan

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The organisation is key when taking on any type of home project. Use our tips below or social media sites such as Pinterest for inspiration on what you’d like to do.

Phil Swan of Crawford Real Estate says that to make a rental feel like your own place, you don’t need a big budget or even have to make any major changes.

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“It’s also a good idea to work with the existing style of the home,” he recommends.

Have a good think about a theme or certain colours you’d like to use throughout the home and get started.

 

2 Speak To Your Landlord/Property Manager

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This is an important one. Once you have an idea of what you would like to do, Phil advises that it is crucial that you get in touch with your property manager.

“You need to give them an idea of the scope of changes you’re planning and get advice on what is allowed, particularly if they’re permanent changes,” he says These sorts of things may include:

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Window furnishings/installing curtains

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Putting items on walls

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Landscaping changes

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Painting

Even minor changes may need written consent from the landlord. In regard to making changes to a rental property, Fair Trading NSW advises that:

Tenants can make changes if they have the landlord's written consent, or if the tenancy agreement permits it. If the tenant's request is considered 'minor' then the landlord must not unreasonably withhold consent. The tenant must pay for changes they make to the property unless the landlord agrees otherwise.

 

3 Start in the bedroom

The bedroom is the ideal place to start because it’s where your personal style is already on show.

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Update your bedding to something vibrant to brighten up your space and give the room a really thorough clean, donating any clothing items you no longer need.

Create space by getting rid of any furniture you don’t use or look at ways you can multipurpose furniture you already have.

Getting the bedroom on point sets up a theme for the rest of the home.

 

4 Make it Green

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An indoor plant (or several) can make a huge difference to the aesthetic of your home, instantly livening up a loungeroom with a pop of fresh colour.

Depending on the species, some plants exude a tropical feel, creating a holiday at home vibe.

Do your research and put plants where they make sense – bigger plants belong in family areas or ‘dead space’, while smaller species in pots (which I recently picked up from my local Coles for around $12) are great for the bathroom or bedroom.

Don’t trust yourself with a living thing? Fear not, our list of toughest to kill plants will help you out.

 

5 Create Atmosphere

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Many rentals don’t feel like home because they are decorated with a random collection of items picked up haphazardly over time, or in a share house, it’s a mishmash of different housemates’ things.

Put a bit of thought into what kind of atmosphere you want to create in your home, what colours you want to use and what items may work better in other rooms.

Here are some ideas.

5.1 |Furniture

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If you have the cash, invest in some good quality furniture. Keep it neutral, so you can easily match it if you decide to move in the future. You should also look at portable and versatile items such as decorative ladders, side tables and kitchen benches on wheels

A bookshelf is another practical option that gives you extra storage plus a way to show your style. Get a lowline version if you have small children, otherwise a safety secure point on the wall to keep a tall bookcase steady may need your landlord’s permission.

5.2 |Lamps

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Lighting is a lovely way to create ambience. Research what’s available and pick something that works for the space and expresses your personality.

5.3 |Rugs

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This is an affordable way to inject a little character into any room, while also protecting the carpet.

5.4 |Trinkets

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Smaller objects like decorative bowls, candles, diffusers and sentimental knickknacks are easy to add but can make a big impact.

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Don’t forget to put your photos up as well (framed and placed on the furniture, unless you have the okay to wall mount) to really make it feel like home.

 

6 Be Proud

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This is a simple one but being house proud of your rental can go a long way. You get to reap the advantages, but it also reflects brilliantly on you as a tenant.

Keep the house tidy, ensure the yard is kept neat (and mowed, if that’s your responsibility) and report any maintenance issues promptly to your property manager.

As Phil notes, making the changes above have many benefits.

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“Not only is it making your home warmer and inviting, if your landlord decides to sell, but a new owner is also more likely to keep a tenant on if the home has been well looked after,” he says.

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