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Working with a Landlord to Freshen Up a Rental

How to Negotiate with a Landlord for Home Improvements


When you are renting a home or apartment, the property owner is the person responsible for major maintenance and improvements. As a renter, you are limited in the work you are allowed to perform on the dwelling. Any improvements that you do make become the property of the building owner. There are ways for you to negotiate improvements that can be mutually beneficial.

Investment value

If your desires are something that will benefit the property value, this is the approach you should take. Items that will please the tastes of almost any renter are more likely to be viewed as acceptable. Improvements that add energy-efficiency are also good ideas. A new refrigerator, stove or bathroom fixtures can be suggested with property improvement in mind.

Long term tenants

If you plan on being in a home or other rental for many years, the landlord may be more responsive to your requests for changes. If the owner is aware of your intention to stay, it will improve your negotiating angle. In addition, consider offering to pay a portion of the costs. If you do intend to stay, you will benefit from the money you spend.

Negotiate labor

If you are in a position where you can complete some or all of the labor for the desired improvement, include this in your discussion. Your landlord may be receptive to paying for materials if you are willing to do the work. In this situation, your work should be professional. If the work is not done correctly, it can devalue the property. You might even try the reverse. Offer to pay for the materials if the owner arranges for the labor.

Approach any discussion for a desired improvement with an open mind. Demanding will not increase your chances of success. If you can also provide a summary of the costs and benefits to the owner, you might be pleasantly surprised with the results.

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