This rule you’ll read about out of all the rental tips you’ll pick up does happen to be very particular. By particular, I mean involving a landlord who will immediately throw a temper tantrum over the fact that you, the tenant, thought it would be a good idea to have your daughter paint a flower on the beautiful white drywall! Be careful here. Even if you’re in a rent-to-own home from the H.O.P.E. Program, you’re limited on what you can do as far as renovations and improvements are concerned (at least until you sign off on a lease and own the home with a mortgage).
Think About It: You Don’t Actually Own That Rent-to-Own Home (Yet)
Therefore, by law, you can’t make any improvements on your rent-to-own home. No painting. No additions. No installed shelving. In many cases, you may not even be able to purchase pets, or even fish. Who knows. In general, if the landlord’s in charge of repairs of everything from the furnace to the gutters on the roof, legally and fairly, you must not change anything as far as the structure and makeup of the dwelling.
Let’s back up, though, for a moment…. Remember: your landlord’s not a mindless terminator out to get your money. Rather, chances are you might even see that your rent-to-own home lease agreement doesn’t even say anything about improvements at all, meaning legally — since it’s not in the writing — you can probably paint a room or two.
Here’s the basic rule of thumb, though: ask. Always bring it up with your landlord first. Get the approval in writing — as a real estate attorney would, yet again, advise — and you’ve definitively covered all your bases.
You Live in It, Not Own It
That’s the basic truth about renting, rent-to-own homes, and tenancy. It’s a trade-off. Just know, though, that you might get lucky: you might get a landlord who’ll let you paint the living room hot pink! You won’t know unless you ask, and that’s why this is quite the premier tip as far as rental homes are concerned.