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How to convince your landlord to do renovations

How to convince your landlord to do renovations

Even before I took the Rent vs. Buy quizz that we published on the blog a few weeks ago, I already knew that I am a renter for life. I rented my first apartment several years ago, in my first year of University. By that time, I had no idea about how much I would have to fight with the real estate agencies and landlords in the upcoming years!

In those early years I was a complete novice. A fresher in the exasperating and frustrating world of negotiating and dealing with not so wonderful landlords. Just a quick side note to give credit where credit is due: I have to confess that some of the landlords I had were like dads to me, always ready to help me at home!

Through these years of unanswered calls to the Real Estate agencies, uncountable hours of plumbing videos on Youtube, several visits to *insert your favorite home improvement store here*, and so on, I have been writing The List. The List is a delicately elaborated sequence of rational and convincing reasons for why those all-powerful landlords should pay for the renovations in the place you are renting. 

1.The golden rule (Money, Money, Money!)

Tell them how much value it will add to the property. First of all, because when talking about properties, it is very important to conserve them correctly. If you take good care of things, they will last longer. So, if they want to sell this home or spend less time finding new tenants when you are gone, they better treat it well and have it beautiful.

2. The willful workman

Propose to share some of the work. You can suggest to do the cosmetic part like painting, wallpapering, changing light bulbs, etcetera.

3. The amateur contractor

You can also propose to organize the work and be there while they do it if he/she doesn’t have time.

4. The clever stonemason

Depending on your level of skill, propose to do electrical, plumbing, putting together furniture in exchange for discounted rent.

5. The last resort

If none of these ideas work with your landlord, hit them where it hurts: threaten to leave them! You don’t want to live in a home where you are not comfortable. 

I hope you don’t have to resort to The List when dealing with your landlord, but in case of need: may the force of persuasion be with you.


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  1. Linda Reilly

    13 February

    I’m renting in an adult community. My rent is pretty reasonable. I’m there almost 4 years, and my landlord agreed to replace the kitchen floor (really bad linolium) with laminate. The only other thing he did was replace the dishwasher. The carpet was new when we moved in, but was poor quality, & is wearing badly. I’m afraid if I ask him to replace with laminate, that he will raise my rent..Help!!

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