Decorate your rental with a collection of cat figurines or ancient crossbows, and your landlord can’t say a thing. But install a washer/dryer or build a new wall, and you'll face the consequences: pay to right your wrong or, in some extreme cases, get evicted—even if your addition improves the place.
Indeed, most landlords include provisions in their leases that forbid tenants from making alterations without their express consent. “If you take on a project, the landlord then has to vet vendors, make sure they have the appropriate permits, and worry that your changes might make the apartment less attractive to future renters,” says Dylan Pichulik, CEO of XL Real Property Management, a property management company.
So what can you do to upgrade your digs without incurring the building owner’s wrath? We spoke to landlords, property managers and brokers to round up a list: