10 Rental-Friendly Decorating Tips!

More than 1.2 million people in NSW live in buildings with strata schemes, which means roughly one in every seven people are subject to the rules and regulations under strata by-laws.

Section 27 of a tenancy agreement states that the tenant agrees “not to install any fixture or renovate, alter or add to the residential premises without the landlord’s written permission”.

Section 28 states that the landlord agrees “not to unreasonably refuse permission for the installation of a fixture by the tenant or to a minor alteration, addition or renovation by the tenant.”

This agreement means there’s a chance your landlord will allow you to go ahead with your “minor alteration, addition or renovation”.

However, because each strata is different, you’ll need to check the by-laws before you start renovating to know what approvals are required and how to get them. If you don’t follow the correct process, you risk having to pay money to return the property to its original state.

Fortunately, there are several changes renters can make to their rental property without their landlord’s approval. Discover how you can update your home with these ten rental-friendly decor ideas.

Before You Begin: Get Permission & Speak To Your Landlord

While the whole idea of this list of renter-friendly design ideas is to avoid the ire of your landlord, it’s worth discussing your rental-friendly decor before you begin. Working with your landlord rather than against them will demonstrate your care as a tenant. And you might even get away with a few extra additions you wouldn’t usually be allowed to do.

With that out of the way, let’s move on to our renter-friendly design ideas.

  1. Reorganise Your Home – declutter, donate or sell

Before you start adding things to your rental property, consider what you can declutter, donate or sell. While it’s not exactly rental-friendly decor, decluttering can help eliminate the unnecessary items in your home. But that doesn’t mean throwing them away. Gather together your unwanted items and donate them to a local charity, or advertise them on GumTree or Facebook Marketplace for some extra cash.

You can even hire professional home decluttering services to take all your unwanted stuff. Like home removalists help you transfer your things from one place to another, home decluttering is about embracing a bit of minimalism and focusing on items you really need.

  1. Adding Greenery – plants, flowers & succulents

There’s a certain irony to adding natural greenery to your home. Although a home’s primary purpose is to shelter us from the outside world, there’s no better rental-friendly decor idea than plants, flowers and succulents.

  1. Removable Wall Mounts – renter-friendly wall hanging

You’ve all seen your tenancy agreement and read the part forbidding you from drilling holes into the walls. Thank goodness for removable wall mounts and hooks–a renter’s best friend and a solution for renter-friendly wall decor without needing to drill holes into your landlord’s walls.

  1. Cover The Walls – vinyl decals, stick-on tiles & removable wallpaper

A word of warning before covering the walls in vinyl decals, stick on tiles or removable wallpaper: it can still damage your walls if removed incorrectly.

Although the options are seemingly endless, using any adhesive on your walls does pose a risk when it comes time to remove them. To ensure you don’t leave behind any residue, or damage the walls, use a heat gun or hair dryer during removal.

  1. Artwork – paintings & photos

Coupled with those renter-friendly wall hanging mounts and hooks, adding artwork, paintings or photos of any kind to your walls is a sure-fire way to bring your rental to life.

  1. Window Treatment – blinds, curtains or Venetians

Are you as bored as we are of those stock-standard roller blinds in almost every rental unit? Maybe you’re stuck with a pair of daggy curtains, or worse, no window treatment at all. One of the most accessible rental-friendly decor ideas is updating your blinds and curtains. Control the natural light in your home, introduce some added privacy, and improve insulation by updating your window treatment.

  1. Flooring – carpets, rugs & mats

Carpets, rugs and welcome mats are a no-brainer addition to any rental. Even if the entire place is carpeted, adding one of your own will improve the look and feel of your rental home. Adding colour, texture and drawing eyes towards specific spaces, decorating your home with carpets, rugs and mats is a relatively inexpensive solution to rental-friendly decor.

  1. Balcony – interlocking decking tiles

If you’re fortunate enough to have a balcony or outdoor area, you can decorate it with more than just outdoor furniture and a few plants. Upgrade the look of your outdoor space or patio with interlocking decking tiles.

  1. Lighting – replacing Halogens with LEDs

You’ll want to discuss incentives for household lighting upgrades available under the NSW Government Energy Savings Scheme (ESS) with your landlord. Aimed at reducing the cost of your power bill, you can have your old lights replaced with new LED lights at a fraction of the cost.

Subsidised by the NSW Government, switching to LEDs will help you reduce your energy consumption, leading to long-term cost savings on your bills.

According to the ESS, if you change 20 halogen downlights to LED downlights, you can save up to $210 a year on energy costs.

If your light fixtures are already LEDs, but you don’t like the colour, the temperature or the brightness, feel free to replace them.

Oh, and if you haven’t already, invest in a few lamps for even more rental-friendly decor and lighting customisation. Or you could consider entering the world of smart lighting.

  1. Mirrors – maximise space & light

Mirrors maximise the space and light in any room. A fantastic addition to lengthy corridors or bordering dining tables, a mirror can drastically increase the size of even the smallest areas. Whether positioned on the floor leaning against a wall or using those renter-friendly wall hanging mounts and hooks we mentioned before, a mirror is an absolute must for renters.

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Laine Matthews

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