When you’re renting a space you give up a lot of the more creative freedoms that come with owning your own. Don’t bank on being able to make any drastic changes to rooms, appliances, or fixtures like the plumbing or heating—anything you want will have to go through your landlord and property management company. Even though your options for remodeling are limited, it’s possible to make changes that influence the look and feel of an apartment, office, or even a warehouse.
One of the rooms that lessees are most likely to want to change is also one of the most customizable: the kitchen. The benefit of leasing a space with a kitchen is that it is often possible to bring in your own appliances, like refrigerators or stoves. However, the real meat of the kitchen are the tools you use in it: silverware, serving plates and bowls, cookware, cups, and glasses. It’s through these items that your kitchen’s personality really shines. If you’re looking to make a kitchen more homey or like your own, showcase your china and silverware or shop for utensils with designs that fit your style. A fan of novelty mugs or shot glasses? Buy a rack that sits on the counter or hangs on the wall to show off your collection and make the kitchen pop with personality.
Feeling like a bigger change is needed? Ask your property manager or landlord if they would approve a different coat of paint. If the answer is no, improvise yourself! Hang decals, signs, or put up removeable wallpaper. The best rule to follow: if it’s removable and doesn’t risk any damage to the apartment, it’s probably safe. Even though it might seem like your options are limited, a little creativity can inject a good amount of personality into a rented space.
Creepy crawlers climbing walls and tiny rodents scurrying across the floor—every lessee’s favorite sight! Even if you keep your office or apartment spotlessly clean, it’s impossible to avoid bugs and pests. Little critters love to intrude on our spaces, and we can’t really blame them. Many of our office buildings and warehouses were built right overtop their natural homes! Other than swatting and setting humane traps, what are some steps you can take that will reduce the likelihood you’ll be greeted by a six or four-legged friend?
Keeping your space clean is the number one tip for keeping pests away. If there are no crumbs or leftovers to much on they’ll have no reason to stick around. If there’s no clutter or small crevices to burrow in they’ll have fewer places to stay.
Certain pest problems have unique solutions. Fruit flies can be warded off with some apple cider vinegar and dish soap. Regular flies, mosquitoes? Some say placing a penny in a bag/cup of water is a deterrent.
If you do have pest problems, it’s best to speak to your property management company about a professional solution. They will likely have a pest control company on-call for any problems requiring that special touch.
Got a clog that just won’t go down? Rusty red water pouring from the faucet? A sink that refuses to drain? Backed-up toilet? Hopefully you’ve never had all of these problems at once! Plumbing issue here or there are par for the course as a lessee. Lucky for you, your property management company is almost surely ready and happy to help with any issues that might come bubbling up from the pipes.
The problem with calling for plumbing help is that most lessees and property owners don’t know the best time to contact a professional. We all like to think we’re capable of fixing any problem ourselves (and it sure does save a lot of money if we can).
So, when is a plumbing issue too much for a mere mortal to handle? Incidents that suggest pipes have been compromised should be handled with care—problems like lower pressure or discolored water are warning signs that likely need professional attention. If your drinking water is affected it’s best to have it fixed ASAP rather than spend too much time on it yourself. If your health is at risk, your property management company will always be fast to act.
What does your ideal space look like? It’s probably a lavish home or office that’s secluded on its own land—think Apple’s new Hyperloop One campus or a movie star Malibu megaplex. Reality bites, however, and those who lease property often have to make do sharing building and land space with others.
Multi-lessee complexes make up the bulk of the property management business, as you likely know. When you’re renting one of these spots in an apartment building, a warehouse hub, an office complex, or a center for retail, you eventually learn to get used to your neighbors. But even then, privacy can often feel like a luxury. What are some ways you can maximize privacy in a crowded property situation?
If you’re in an office complex with other businesses, maintaining an active front desk can keep away unwanted visitors or confused folks in search of that office down the hallway. If possible, setting an elevator code that only employees know can secure office privacy. If you’re in an apartment with nosey or noisy neighbors, try to casually address the problems—it’s best to be friendly and acquainted with neighbors so that any privacy concerns can be minimized by a simple conversation. If a neighbor ever oversteps their bounds, speak to your property management company—they can act as a mediator of complaints and concerns.