How to Finish Your Basement as a Renter

It should be common sense that when you are renting someone else’s property, you are prohibited from making any changes to the property without the consent of the property owner.

The last thing you need is for your landlord to call Halperin Law Center, the Law Office of Eloise Salamone, or any other law firm to file a civil claim against you. So here are my sensible solutions for how to finish your basement when you are renting so you can make the space down there more usable.


First, you need to consider what type of flooring you have. Most unfinished basements will have concrete floors. You have a couple of different options when it comes to your flooring. You will have to think about how much you are willing to spend on this temporary flooring. 

You can contact your landlord and see how they feel about using a basement floor sealant over the concrete. This will make the floors waterproof and give the floor a more finished look. 

Another option could be skipping the sealant if you don’t want to spend over $100 (or if your landlord does not give you permission), and laying down temporary vinyl flooring. This is a great option for now, but remember that you’ll have to remove it when you move out of your rental property so you need to be prepared to pull all of those tiles up before you move out. 

The cheapest and easiest option for finishing your floors is to purchase either rubber floor mats and/or large area rugs to put down on the floor so you can remove them easily when it’s time to move out.


Next is the walls. You will need to get permission from your landlord to do drywall, and it will be one of the more expensive options. The walls are probably concrete as well, so you may be able to get permission to paint the concrete. If your landlord does not give the okay for paint, the best thing to do is to use removable wallpaper over the concrete. But this will also have to be removed before you move out of the residence. 


You will also need to find a sensible solution for the ceiling. For this, I had a tough time coming up with a sensible solution that was easy to remove and didn’t require permission from the landlord. Ideally, if you can spend the money, purchase a drop down ceiling. This can be easily removed when you move out and will really give your basement the finished look you were hoping for. 


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