3 ways to make your rental feel more like home

Just because you don’t own the home you live in, doesn’t mean you can’t make it your own. As a tenant, you probably don’t want to invest too much time, money or energy in a property you are ‘just renting’ (especially if you are juggling finances, paying off a student loan or saving for a deposit on a house), however there are still plenty of ways to personalise your space, and give it that warm ‘homey’ feeling, without breaking the bank!

Step 1: Style it.

Refreshing the walls is a great place to start. You can hang your favourite pieces of art, a photo collection, or perhaps some stylish wall décor (eg, an oversized mirror) - and that will instantly transform the vibe. And there are some truly amazing ‘no-nails’ picture hanging products on the market today, which means you can take to decorating without damaging existing paintwork.

Something else to look at is lighting. Swapping out bulbs and shades is relatively inexpensive, and it’s an effective way to lift the mood. Décor-wise, you might want to add a statement rug, floor lamp or curtains. Arranging your furniture to complement the space, and using cherished items such as framed photographs, ornaments, strategically placed fruit bowls or vases and houseplants will also take the feeling from impersonal to ‘lived in’ and loved.


Step 2: Care for it.

Looking after your rental (keeping it clean and tidy, and staying on top of maintenance) not only gives you pride of place, but also helps ensure that you get your bond back when it’s time to move on. If issues pop up or repairs are needed, you should tell your landlord / property manager straight away. Depending on your tenancy agreement, they are usually the ones responsible for ensuring the premise is maintained to a smooth-running and comfortable standard, so keeping them in the loop is vital, to stop small issues from becoming big ones.

Other ways to care for your place - and hence, make it feel more like home - is to ensure that it is safe and secure. Locks, security devices, smoke detectors, fire alarms and utilities etc should all be in good working order - compliance certificates (where applicable) will be available from your manager or landlord, upon request.

For additional protection and added peace of mind, it pays to take out contents insurance for your belongings. Your landlord will have insurance that covers the property, but it’s unlikely to extend further.


Step 3: 'Own' it.

You may not own the property in a literal sense, however as a tenant you do have rights, particularly around occupation and privacy. Taking ownership of your tenancy, knowing the ins and outs of your agreement and nurturing a positive and productive relationship with your property manager / landlord will ensure that those rights are upheld. Note down the best method for staying in touch with them, save their phone number and email, and check in regularly.

As long as everyone is meeting their obligations, and the lines of communication are open and clear, it will be easier for you to feel comfortable and happy in your rental - and ‘make that home your own’ while living there.