Decorating hacks for rental properties that don’t break the rules


For many renters, the feeling of temporality can be challenging. Despite this, there are a number of ways to make the space feel like your own without having to own the property itself. You don’t have to settle for someone else’s style or limit your design choices. Decorating your rental property can help create a sense of permanency and put your own stamp on it. Some landlords even prefer tenants who have made the place feel like their own because it indicates they are good quality tenants who will stay long term. It also demonstrates that you are willing to maintain and care for the property.

There are plenty of ways to make an impact without breaking the rules of your tenancy. As property managers, we’ve seen tenants style their rental homes in creative and interesting ways. We’re highlighting some of the best techniques to decorate your rental property without causing damage or breaking your lease terms.

Don’t have a rental property yet? You can check out our currently available properties for rent here.

What to consider before getting started

Once you’ve secured the perfect rental, you may be in a rush to start putting your own mark on it; but first, you’ll need to check your lease. As a general guide, tenants need to leave their rental property as they found it. Aside from wear and tear, any permanent changes to the property’s condition may cause you to lose your bond. Your property condition report is a good reference point to come back to.

We recommend taking a cautious approach and checking in with your property manager. Even if you think your changes or additions will add value, you will need written permission before going ahead. Any agreed-upon changes will usually be made at the expense of the tenant, however, there may be cases where your landlord will offer to cover some of the costs if they believe it will add value to the home.

Are you a tenant and want to make your time with Access Property Management even smoother? Here is a link to some more information about tenancy.

Decorating your rental property

Make smart furniture choices

Since your rental most likely won’t be your forever home, it may not be worthwhile to invest in furniture that specifically fits there. You can still make smart choices about your furniture to make the rental feel like your sanctuary. Pick versatile, durable pieces that can be placed in different room shapes and sizes. Overall, buy furniture that you love and can move around with you to work in many different spaces.

Use interesting storage solutions

A common issue that renters face is the lack of built-in storage. Not having a space to organise and store all of your items can make your home feel cluttered and messy. Fortunately, there are many different ways you can get creative with storage solutions. One of our favourite tips is to use a flatpack cube unit. You can style it with practical baskets or containers to store your belongings and decorate it with homely trinkets. You could also try using a decorative ladder to create extra hanging space.

Don’t neglect the floor

Make sure you look down when deciding how to decorate your rental property. Although it may seem insignificant, the floor can make a massive impact on the look and feel of your home. Rugs are a fantastic option for those rental properties with outdated carpets or bare floorboards. They give a focal point to any room and bring a warm and cozy feel. A well-placed rug can also hide and protect floors from spills and wear and tear, helping you get your full bond back at the end of your tenancy. Opt for good quality, large plush rugs that will stand the test of time.

Get creative with artwork

What better way to make your rental property feel like home than with some artwork. Look around the property for hooks that are already in place before you start planning out your decorations. If there are none, you might be able to use removable command hooks or other materials to avoid putting holes in walls. Consider lightweight artwork such as canvas, macrame art or even fabric to avoid causing damage to the walls. Ensure that you check your lease before sticking anything up. Some tenancy agreements state that tenants cannot hang pictures via alternative methods such as Blu Tack, washi tape and adhesive hooks. You can also ask your landlord for permission to install some hooks as a minor alteration.
If you are unable to hang artwork, don’t fret. Pieces can simply lean against the wall on top of storage units and other furniture, or large pieces can sit on the floor. Don’t limit yourself! Getting creative with styling mirrors, prints, ladders with scarves, and other accessories can be a fantastic way to create interest. Extra tip, consider using clear furniture protectors/guards to eliminate the chance of marking the wall or floors!

Switch up the window treatments

In most cases, the window treatments in your rental home can be easily switched out. You will just need to store them safely so they can be reinstalled when you leave. Outdated plastic blinds can be swapped for new Venetians, sheer curtains can soften a room or hide ugly curtains, and temporary blinds can block out light and keep you well-rested at night. The choices are endless.

Make a statement with accessories

Focusing on quality decor and accessories is the most simple way to make an impact and ensure your home feels like your own. Upgrade the lighting with floor and table lamps, or change up removable light shades and bare bulbs with light fixtures. Hardware can be removed and replaced as long as you label and store the old ones for when you eventually move out. Plants are another great way to feel at home, especially if you live in an apartment with no backyard. Opt for easy care or even fake ones for a no-maintenance decoration. Finally, use throws, cushions and trinkets to reflect your personality and unique style. They do no damage, don’t cost much and easily move with you from home to home.

Properties for lease

Looking for a rental property to make your new home? We’ll help you find and secure one that’s right for your needs. Start your search using our available rental listings page, or contact us directly to let us know what you’re looking for.


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Shirley Smith


We are, and have always been, a family-run enterprise. Founded by Shirley Smith in 1995, the idea for Access Property Management was conceived when Shirley realised there was a high level of demand for dedicated property management agencies, a need that was not being met by the existing real estate market. The agency is now headed by Shirley’s daughter, Stacy Whiting, who joined the business in 1996, and her husband, Mark Whiting, who has been at the agency for over 18 years. This focus on longevity extends to Access’ dedicated team of qualified property managers, with most staff having worked at the agency for 9 years or more.


Shirley’s original objective was to provide a closer link between property owners and high quality tenants provided by relocation companies and the corporate/executive sector. Over time we extended our services to better cater for the needs of all property investors and quality tenants, who were seeking a higher level of service, focus and experience.


For over 27 years, our family owned business has made an impact within the real estate industry in Perth Metro and based on our results we’ve established a strong reputation for integrity, distinction and innovation in real estate and management services.

Meet our team of dedicated property specialists.

I would like to personally thank Kelly for her professionalism and pleasant manner when we were applying for a rental. My son Jarrod (18yrs) & daughter Nicole (22yrs) had been applying for rentals all of January with no success & I was disappointed that some of the agencies hadn’t even followed up on their good references to allow for a fair assessment of their application. As Kelly would know we were successful in this application but had to decline as we were also successful in purchasing a property in that same week. Kelly was very understanding and a pleasure to deal with. I will highly recommend your agency .

Heather – Prospective Tenant

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“I have rented through Access twice since 2010 and both times have been great, particularly the last time when I rented in South Perth and my rental agent was Kelly Duncan. What a delight she was and is and nothing was too much trouble. Thanks Kelly for such a great experience. Shame I couldn’t stay with you.”

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