Renter Resources  

How to Get Approval From Your Landlord to Make Design Changes to Your Apartment


Could your apartment use a spruce-up, an organizational upgrade, or some cosmetic enhancements? This may not be allowed, but you can certainly request permission from your landlord. Here are 4 ways to ask your landlord if you can make some interior design changes to your apartment.

Tell Them How They Benefit

If you present your plan in a way that they interpret will benefit them or their bottom line, they may be more inclined to give their permission. If you want to paint your bedroom, for example, you can assure them you will pick a neutral paint color and will hire a professional to do the job. A landlord may feel more comfortable if you show documentation of a professional painter who holds insurance. You can also use a painter he or she may know, or consult with the landlord about the color scheme. If you plan to only have a one-year lease, a fresh coat of paint can add value to their property.

Describe How it Can Save Energy

If you want to install ceiling fans in one or more rooms, some landlords may feel this is a liability because of safety or cost. If you approach the subject carefully and explain that you will have the ceiling fans professionally installed by a credentialed electrician, this could sway their decision your way. Ceiling fans are an energy-efficient way to circulate air in an apartment. They can also be an amenity that future tenants would appreciate. You can offer to pay for the installation and for the ceiling fan as part of your request. Understand, however, you might not be able to take the ceiling fans with you when you vacate. This could be something you negotiate with your landlord.

Splurge for a Boost in Storage Space 

Upgrading small closets and generic pantries by paying for professional closet organization systems are a great way to stretch the space you have in an apartment. Depending on the scope of an installed organizational system, it can be as simple as adding shelves and hooks to more elaborate and costly upgrades like built-ins and drawers. The key issue to realize is that you can’t take these constructed upgrades with you when you leave the apartment. You will need the permission of your landlord to make such changes because there is construction involved. To make your argument, tell your landlord that the upgrades you will pay for will be an investment in the apartment. 

Kitchen and Bathroom Fixture Upgrades

A new shower head, a fancier faucet, and new hardware in your kitchen and bathrooms add a luxe look for a low price. These small upgrades can be bought inexpensively at a local hardware story, a big box retailer, or even online. You absolutely need to check with your landlord to make these cosmetic changes. To get the nod from a landlord, assure them you will save the existing fixtures, faucets and knobs and re-install them before leaving the apartment. 

How to Ask Your Landlord to Make Cosmetic Changes in Your Apartment

Performing any upgrades in your apartment should be discussed with your landlord before you make any changes. If you don’t, you risk losing your security deposit. Upgrades can include painting walls, upgrading kitchen and bathroom fixtures, adding ceiling fans and having closets professional constructed for better organization. If you can reassure your landlord that any changes add value to the apartment, your landlord is more likely to give you approval.