Even Rentals Have Curb Appeal—Here’s How to Increase Yours

published Sep 15, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

Curb appeal: that familiar phrase we hear on HGTV shows and from real estate agents. For many millennials, the reality of one day owning a piece of curb is far in the distance (you know, after paying off student loans and recovering from all those wedding guest-related expenses). But just because you’re a renter doesn’t mean you have to curb your enthusiasm for curb appeal. There are a few ways city slickers and multi-unit dwelling folks can take part in the quest for a gorgeous home exterior, too. What’s more, it could even benefit you financially!

Zach Opheim, a Nashville-based real estate agent with Compass, has his finger on the pulse of trends, both in Music City as well as across the country: He advises renters to get in touch with their property management company as soon as possible to discuss what can be done to boost their exteriors. “Often they will be flexible and sometimes allow for doors, door frames, and balcony railing to be decorated or painted,” he says.

The golden rule of getting permission from your landlord (and even potentially reimbursement for the supplies in the form of a rent discount)? Pitch how whatever you want to do will benefit them as well. According to Opheim, since your landlord owns the building, any curb appeal improvements will directly benefit. Just like a single-family home, if a building has a well-maintained and aesthetically-pleasing flair, it can stand out among similar buildings in the area and have a positive effect on how people view the property. Who knows? It could even help convert passersby into potential renters. And if you’re willing to help out with a project that’s been lingering on their to-do list, too, you should be golden.

But don’t forget: It can benefit you, too. While you may be driven by a want to add a personal touch in a temporary space, maintaining a fashionable and well-kept unit may even establish you as a favorite tenant and can ever up your bargaining power against rent increases come lease-renewal time. (Trust me, the power that comes with that positive reputation is huge and definitely worth the extra effort!)

If they’re not into a big overhaul, one small thing you can ask them permission for is to personalizing your unit number on your front door. (Personally, I’m a huge fan of the modern fonts you see on address plaques all over Austin, Texas.)

Want to do something a little more small scale (or just really don’t want to talk to your landlord)? Pop by your local home goods retailer and see what sort of accessories you can find. A wreath for your door or sophisticated doormat can work wonders in your hallway. If you have a balcony or deck space, consider finally starting that herb garden with window box planters or hanging plants. String lights are another dazzling option.  And if you’ve got a little extra spending money, go all out with an outdoor rug, some deck chairs, and a cute side table. All that’s missing is your favorite playlist and an Aperol Spritz. 

More great Real Estate reads: