Rental Property Etiquette: The Dos and Don’ts of Your Temporary Home Decor


When you hear the word rental, what does it mean to you? For most people, the term simply means that it’s not yours or something belongs to someone else. All kinds of things come in rentals… movies, tuxedos, cars, and even homes… Regardless of the item being rented, the overall idea behind any type of rental is to treat it with great care because it’s not yours… the rented item needs to be returned in the same condition as when you first received or obtained that particular item.

Yes, you want to take great care of anything in your hands that you’re renting or that doesn’t belong to you but one of the biggest things that you want to take great care of is a rental property. People utilize rental properties all the time, especially for vacations, and that’s why it’s so important that you be mindful of your etiquette in a rental property… because other people will be using it besides you. 


Not only that, you want to be respectful and mindful of the rental property because you have no idea what the owner had to go through to make the rental property possible. Some rental property owners have to take out a rental loan to make the proper renovations and decor changes to make the property truly look like a vacation rental… Ehatever the case may be, as a guest in a rental home, be mindful of how you treat the property for however long you’re going to be staying there.

If you have a vacation or trip planned and want to use a rental property for accommodations or if you’re renting a property out because you’re not ready for a mortgage, take a look at some of the rental property etiquette dos and don’ts.

Do: Get Written Permission On the Things You Want to Personalize in the Rental Property

When you go to a rental property, the first thing you want to do is make it feel like home. Some rental properties come furnished while others don’t and the ones that don’t come furnished, you’re looking at all the rooms as though they’re a blank canvas and you’re the artist moving in to bring the property to life. Well, that’s fine and dandy but you definitely want to get permission from the owner first. There are actually great ways to decorate a rental property without destroying the home’s integrity and character.

Don’t: Send the Owner a Bill For Aesthetic Changes You Got Done on the Property

Most owners have no problem with their renters making changes to the property as long as they’re not permanent changes and the property can be put back to its original state. Things like switching out the hardware on cabinets and changing the doorknobs out, are all things that can easily be put back before moving out. Just make sure to save the original hardware and doorknobs. Also, if you plan on doing this, you’re going to have to do it on your own dime… it’s a change you wanted, not the owners.

Do: Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize! 

Accessorizing a rental property is the main way to make the rental feel like home. You can make a rental property feel like home by hanging curtains, adding rugs, buying table lamps, and adding plants to any room. In fact, states that adding plants to your home can improve your health, improve the air, and sharpen your focus. That alone should make you want to bring a plant into your home, and it’s not doing any type of damage to the property.

Don’t: Paint Any Natural Wood

This is something that should come as a no-brainer… but you know they say that common sense isn’t always so common. Again, most property owners are totally fine with a lot of decor changes tenants make, as long as they’re able to put the property back to its original state and painting the walls are even acceptable but painting any type of woodworking in the rental is unacceptable because it’s extremely hard and time-consuming to remove the paint and get the wood back to its original state.

All in All

The most important thing to remember about rental properties is that you don’t own them. Having that at the forefront of your mind is something that should help you think before making any type of decor changes to a rental property that you don’t own. It’s not that you can’t decorate and make the property feel like home, you just need to run certain changes you want to make by the owners first. 

A good rule of thumb to go by is if you have any ounce of worry on whether or not you should do something, you probably shouldn’t but talk to the owner about it first! You never know what they may give you the green light on!