When showing potential buyers or tenants through a property, one thing they always look for and will comment on is whether the property has enough storage space. Be it inside or out, everyone wants more storage. The problem is when it comes to renting, tenants do not have much opportunity to change or install new storage solutions.
The good news is that there are options for renters and it just comes down to being aware of your situation and taking the right steps.
For tenants who want to add more storage to their living situation, garden sheds are one of the easiest, temporary storage solutions for you. They are also not likely to breach your lease if the right steps have been taken.
Knowing Who to Contact
Property Manager and Property Owners
There are different rental options in Australia which means you may be dealing with any of the following people directly when seeking advice for storage. You’ll either deal with the Property manager, Onsite Managers or directly with the Property Owner.
Body Corporate and the Council
There are also third parties who may impact your living situation. In many apartment blocks, units and complexes tenants have a set of Body Corporate (Strata) By-Laws, which can be very restrictive. There is also the local council who may also be involved in the process depending on the change you require.
When seeking approval for a garden shed, you will need to know who are the parties’ you need to deal with.
How to Get Approval
The most important step for any renter in this situation is to first seek permission from either the property manager or directly from the property owner. This is not a difficult process. You would just need to notify the property manager in writing of your request and then wait for their decision.
If you are renting a house, you may only need to gain permission from the owners however, with Body Corporate properties (Strata managed properties) permission may also be required from the Body Corporate Company. Some patience is required as it’s a longer process.
If you are looking to install a medium sized shed you may need to get council approval as well. This can also be a time consuming process and usually includes a small fee to lodge the forms. I recommend you always check with the local council first if you are installing a shed.
Negotiation and Clarifying Ownership
Currently your rent is $300 per week and the owner is going to increase it to $350 aweek. You could take this opportunity to propose, “If you allow me to install a garden shed, I will resign the lease for 12 months at $350 a week”. Sometimes the owner may even pay for the shed (to increase the property’s value), which would be a great result for you. Alternatively, you can invest in a shed providing all parties are aware that you will be taking the shed with you when you leave.
The most important thing to remember is:
- Ask for the owner’s permission
- Clarify who has ownership of the shed
In the event you gain approval, it is well worth amending a contract or having a written record of ownership of the shed.
BREACH OF LEASE
You would then have a certain period of time to fix or change what has been done, back to the original state e.g. by removing the shed and reinstating any ground that was disrupted. If you refuse to move the shed then your lease will be terminated and you would have to leave and take the shed with you.
At the end of the day, if you have a clean record and a good relationship with your landlord or property manager it is worth asking them for permission. A lot of the time you would be surprised at how easy it is.