If you’ve ever had a tenant make unauthorised changes to a property you own, you may be wondering what your rights are. What kind of improvements to a property are tenants allowed or not allowed to make? And when do they need to seek your permission?
In many instances, tenants will be perfectly satisfied with the state of the apartment or home they are renting and not need to make any personal home improvements. But in some instances, renters may want to make the space more to their personal liking. The types of improvements that renters often want to make include:
However, there are other changes that a tenant might want to make that are more significant in both altering the home and cost. In these instances, it is best for the renter to seek permission from the landlord before attempting to make the following changes:
It is imperative that tenants seek the landlord’s permission prior to embarking on these kinds of projects. It is best if the tenant makes their request in writing, giving as much detail as possible about the types of changes they would like to make. These details should include:
As a landlord, it is very important that your original lease agreement speaks to all of these issues and that the agreement is reviewed and understood by both parties. Then, in the event that the tenant proceeds without permission, or in violation of the lease agreement, you will have legal recourse against the tenant.
Some of the possible remedies for a landlord include:
Finally, as a landlord, it is important to remain reasonable when responding to a tenant’s request to make a change to their rental space. Most of the time, the changes a tenant is requesting are small and relatively insignificant, merely making their living area more comfortable for themselves.
If the landlord can remain reasonable in their response to their tenant, it can go a long way in ensuring an ongoing positive relationship between themselves and their tenant.
By Rolf Howard, managing partner, Owen Hodge Lawyers