A common misconception of renting is that it’s impossible to make somewhere feel like home. But just because you don’t own a property doesn’t mean that you can’t spruce the place up and make small tweaks in order to put your unique stamp on it.
So, we quizzed Rightmove’s resident property expert Miles Shipside on some of the quick, easy and practical ways that renters can liven up their homes without making wholesale changes.
He said: “If you are renting a property rather than buying one, a lot of things you might do to make it more homely are very likely not going to be allowed under your tenancy agreement. It will state that you have to give the property back in the same condition as you rented it, and that means if the walls are painted magnolia then they have to be handed back magnolia when you leave.
“While landlords tend to like the neutral and easy to touch up qualities of magnolia, it does mean that a homely makeover has to concentrate on other areas of property dressing unless you can get your landlord to agree to your redecoration ideas.”
Here are Miles’ top tips:
1) Check with your landlord first
Before you do anything, always make sure that you have permission to do so in writing, including what happens at the end of the tenancy. Landlords usually want tenants to rent their properties for long periods at a time and the more homely you are allowed to make it, then hopefully the longer you will stay and pay rent to them.
2) Make good use of accessories
Accessories can play a huge part in making a property that you don’t own feel like yours. Colour can be introduced through rugs, candles, throws and cushions, and naturally these investments can be taken with you should you move. Artwork works well too, but if wall fixings are required then bear in mind the obligation to fill any holes in walls as well as undertake the subsequent redecoration when you leave.
3) Lighten the place up
Don’t forget to use mirrors to bounce light around the property and that cleverly positioned reflections can also create the feeling of spaciousness. Inside, plants can soften any starkness too. Lamps can be a feature when unlit and create different moods to the property’s standard ceiling lighting.
4) Don’t neglect outside space
If you have a garden, maintaining it to a high standard might help declutter your mind in stressful times. Adding pots, or planting colourful seasonal plants, could also help personalise your rented property into a home.
5) Put your personality on display
Finally, think about putting up some bookshelves or artsy displays with enough space to create a scene full of your treasures and photos from holidays, festivals and other memorable trips. This will allow you to showcase the things you love to you and your visitors, in turn making the space feel lived in, whilst also showing off your personality.
(Source: Rightmove, 2019)