Renting a home comes with certain responsibilities and restrictions. While you want to make the space feel like home, it’s important to avoid any permanent changes or damage. Overstepping the boundaries as a renter can result in fees, charges, or even eviction. To maintain a smooth relationship with your landlord and ensure you get your security deposit back, steer clear of these seven things you should never do in a rental home.
It can be tempting to try tackling electrical issues like installing ceiling fans or rewiring lamps yourself in an effort to update your rental. However, amateur electrical work is extremely dangerous and could cause serious hazards like fires or electrocution down the line. The same goes for attempting any kind of plumbing work beyond very minor repairs. Unless you’re a licensed professional, leave electrical and plumbing projects to the experts only. Your landlord will surely prefer to make these upgrades anyway to ensure proper code compliance. Stick to strictly cosmetic improvements you can easily reverse later.
While a fresh coat of paint may be permissible, structural changes like removing walls, adding skylights, or finishing basements are off-limits in a rental. Even if you have the best intentions to improve the home, structural changes often require permits and professional work to be done safely and legally. Don’t attempt to undertake renovations beyond painting, minor repairs, or decorative tweaks that are reversible. Major construction plans must be approved by your landlord beforehand. Unauthorized structural changes can be grounds for eviction.
One of the responsibilities that comes with renting is properly maintaining the home. Be diligent about routine maintenance like replacing air filters, cleaning gutters, trimming bushes, checking smoke detector batteries, and servicing the HVAC system per your lease agreement. Neglecting basic upkeep causes bigger problems down the road for both you and the landlord. Document and report any issues right away. Avoid procrastinating on maintenance tasks or hoping problems will fix themselves. Prevention is much easier than remediation.
While you want your rental to feel personalized, exercise caution with decor modifications like wallpaper, bold paint colors, or removing closet doors. Most standard leases prohibit changing flooring, making holes in walls, or doing anything else that permanently alters the home. Always get written approval from your landlord before any decor updates beyond hanging artwork or adding removable window treatments. Make sure any custom touches you make are easy to reverse. If in doubt, it’s best to keep changes minor and temporary.
Many landlords have strict no pets policies. But even if your lease allows pets, there are usually restrictions around number, size, and type. Never move animals into your rental without explicit written permission, even temporarily caring for a friend or relative’s pet. Unauthorized animals can prompt eviction notices or pet fees and deposits. Be transparent if you want to add a pet while renting. Ask first and get approvals in place to avoid jeopardizing your rental agreement. Responsible pet owners make good tenants.
Taking houses for rent in League City, TX, or anywhere else requires conscientiously upholding your responsibilities from start to finish. Being respectful and avoiding conflicts with neighbors is key to a positive rental experience. Pay attention if neighbors make noise complaints or report issues with shared spaces. Don’t dismiss their concerns or assume the landlord won’t take their side in a dispute. Like it or not, keeping the peace could determine whether your lease is renewed. Don’t play loud music, let your kids run wild outdoors, leave shared yards messy, or engage in other inconsiderate behaviors. Good neighboring goes a long way, even if you don’t know them well.
It should go without saying, but continuing to promptly pay your monthly rent should be the top priority as a renter. Stopping payment out of protest or anger over disagreements with your landlord is never acceptable. Failure to pay rent will quickly result in legal action against you. If you’re having financial troubles or disputes over the home’s condition, communicate with your landlord to work out alternative solutions. Never take matters into your own hands by halting rent payments. Doing so will only make matters exponentially worse in the end.