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What a Landlord Should and Shouldn't Allow in a Rental

July 16, 2019

Landlords try their best to make their tenants feel at home, but that doesn't mean renters are allowed to do whatever they wish. There are things that are strictly prohibited by landlords - and that's not bad. By differentiating what's allowed and what's not, landlords set standards of behavior that are acceptable in their rentals. 

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What should be strictly prohibited in rentals

  • Renovations

There are things most landlords don't want tenants to do in their rental, even if nobody sees it. First of all, most landlords hate when a tenant makes renovations not agreed with them beforehand. Arranging a bedroom's feng shui is one thing, but changing the wall color is an entirely different story. Once the lease expires, the landlord will be forced to deal with redoing the tenant's design decisions. But typically renters don't want to renovate a rented property, because it can take time and effort to make the rental over to their specifications. Additionally, it's not reasonable to make major changes to a rental if the renter isn't planning to live there for a long period of time, especially if the changes aren't reversible. 

  • Growing prohibited plants

Having indoor plants is amazing. They look attractive, add coziness to a rental, improve air quality, and produce oxygen. Plus, house plants have a positive impact on the environment. But don't conflate planting basil and lettuce on a windowsill with growing illegal plants in a rental property. Growing even medical marijuana in a rental might be prohibited by certain state/local laws. 

  • Selling furniture/appliances

Every tenant should realize that selling furniture or appliances they don't own is a crime. But it's best to have a list of furniture and kitchen appliances at the beginning of the tenancy, just to be on the safe side. 

What's usually not allowed in a rental

  • Subletting 

Subletting without the landlord's consent might violate the lease agreement, even if there's no "sublet clause" in the document. Tenants won't have any problem if they have written permission from their landlord to sublet a part of the rental. 

  • Smoking

Keeping rentals smoke-free is important to most landlords. A no-smoking clause in a lease agreement wouldn't be a surprise. Some landlords even screen smokers during the application process to maintain their smoke-free policy.

  • Loud parties

There's nothing wrong with hanging out in a rental, but loud parties may disturb the neighbors and encourage a police officer to make an unexpected visit. 

What can be tolerated

  • Pets

Almost 50% of American households have a pet. As a rule, pet owners tend to stay in a rental longer because their pets get used to places. Being a pet-friendly landlord means not only more tenants, but also the ability to charge additional fees for a pet deposit. Keep in mind that you should use the same policies for all tenants, and don't forget to adhere to the Fair Housing Laws. 

  • Vaping  

Vaping is considered a safe alternative to smoking. If you don't allow smoking in your rentals, will you be okay with renters vaping in the apartment? Most landlords don't mind vaping, since e-cigarettes contain less harmful substances. 

What do you allow and prohibit in your rentals? Share your thoughts and experiences by leaving comments below. We'd love to hear what you think.