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5 Most Common Renters’ Frustrations (and How to Deal with Them)

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While small apartments, lofts and townhomes save space in metro areas and provide more housing in crowded communities, they leave much to be desired when it comes to recreational and storage space. What’s more, upkeep costs and the maintenance required to turn around a home when a renter leaves often force landlords to allow few decorating options. One easy way to decorate your place affordably is by updating the window shades, and you can find inexpensive options online at Factory Direct Blinds.

Instead of becoming discouraged by the lack of possibilities, there are many ways renters can enhance and enjoy their space. We’ve assembled a few ideas that will help you solve some of the most common rental property frustrations.

1. Drab, White Walls

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While homeowners can paint their walls any color they’d like, renters are usually restricted to white walls throughout their home. This shade is not only boring, but it can easily become dirty after months of wear and tear. Enhance the look of your interior rental space by adding art and framed photos.

Pops of vibrant color can be achieved by hanging bright picture frames or by strategically placing chromatic wall sculptures around living areas. Try grouping smaller art and photos in threes so they appear more orderly and uniform. Create instant personality on a budget by putting vinyl record covers or posters in sleek black frames.

You can also offset plain walls by installing colorful shades and blinds. Roller shades and Roman shades are well known for being easy to use — and they are also available in a variety of interesting designs. Select a floral print, paisley pattern or geometric style. You can also create a sleek yet eye-catching look with affordable faux wood blinds and light-reducing cellular shades.

If your walls suffer from scuff marks or become faded, talk to your property manager. While some rentals are on maintenance schedules, a home improvement team may be available to re-paint your interior if you ask.

2. Small, Outdated Kitchens

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Most rental properties come with small kitchens or galley-size spaces. While storage and decorative opportunities are at a premium, they can leave little space to cook and eat. If possible, install additional shelves to open walls or add cooking utensil compartments near the sink. Vertical storage options are the best way to save space while providing additional places to store wooden spoons, serving forks and rolling pins. Consider placing some of your pots and pans on top of the refrigerator — or add a rack to your wall or ceiling.

If your kitchen looks old or boring, turn to patterns and color to refresh it. Hang bright orange or blue towels and pot holders near the refrigerator and stove for easy access and a touch of personality. Small hanging artwork and hanging plants are also cheap and simple ways to incorporate more décor. Additional ideas include plush and pretty rugs and small herb gardens for the windowsill.

3. Little Bathroom Storage Space

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Much like rental kitchens, bathrooms are usually small and provide few storage options. You can add storage without compromising more surface area by adding caddies to the inside of cabinets and placing easy-hang towel racks on the inside of the bathroom door. Suction cup organizers hold soap and shampoo inside the bathtub or shower, while outlet shelves protect your plugs while providing more space for toothbrushes.

Organizers that require effortless installation are available in all colors to fit around your toilet. Stacked wicker baskets add a natural aesthetic and easily sit atop the commode, while affordable spice racks can be hung on the walls to hold small bottles and makeup.

4. Poor Indoor and Outdoor Lighting

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When landlords are on a budget, one of the last things they invest in are indoor and outdoor lighting. You can make your illumination more efficient and beautiful by replacing your traditional bulbs with LED products and swapping out rusting exterior light covers for brand new ones. If the space offers little ceiling and wall lighting, add lights of your own.

Desk, table and floor lamps are affordable and have the potential to add both personality and style to your space. You can even add motion sensors and timers for lights that turn on when you arrive and turn off when you leave. Renters love this relatively cheap technology for saving on utility bills and making life easier.

5. Small Outdoor Spaces

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For most renters, outdoor space is at a premium. This includes room for gardening, recreation, grilling and enjoying fresh air. Make the most of your small yard by adding potted plants to railings and storing small herbs and vegetables in terra cotta pots and tin cans. Hanging plants also save an abundance of space. Vertical gardens with pockets allow green thumbs to extend upward instead of outward.

Up-and-down storage shelves can hold balls, toys and leashes for pets. Portable grills used for camping can be taken out to the porch or patio and stored indoors when the festivities are over. Folding chairs and benches are also ideal because they stack up and out of the way when not in use. Sun catchers and wind chimes easily install in outdoor ceilings, so you can still enjoy artwork while sitting outside.

Focusing on improving these five common rental challenges will allow you to make the most of your property. Each option is low-cost, makes the space more beautiful and comfortable to live in, and reduces or eliminates the chances of deposit loss and landlord disagreements.