Renting a home or apartment can feel restricting. For one, it’s difficult to customize a space with paint or architectural changes that don’t violate the rental agreement. What’s more, few people want to spend time adjusting a rental unit, when their time their is so temporary. Leases have different durations and properties can be sold, forcing moves.

Finally, it can be difficult to know your rights as a renter. Without owning the property you reside on, your rights sometimes feel blurry. This week, we are looking to both the Legal Resource Network and the Home Expert Network for advice on all aspects of renting.

Why We’re Asking:

Even though renting can feel restrictive, it also offers great freedom. Renting a space allows you to move after your lease ends or even the ability to break your lease, albeit with possible penalties. Owning a home does not allow for this freedom and mortgage can be a huge source of stress for many.

Since undergoing the recession, renting has become a reality for more Americans. According to the Rental Protection Agency, about one third of Americans are renting a space to call home. We want to learn from our experts about how to make these spaces beautiful, safe, and stress-free.

So we look to our home experts and legal contributors for their top tips on renting:

Home Experts: How can renters use DIY projects to customize their rentals without permanently altering the space?

What items should renters not bring into their new-to-them space?
Is there a checklist for moving that can make the process more streamlined?

Legal Contributors: Are there any inspections that renters should require before moving in or signing a lease?

How can renters be aware of their rights? How do you know when your landlord is violating such rights?
What are the best sources for accessing rental laws that are specific to your state?

We look forward to learning more about renting from all our contributors. Check back next week to see what they have to say!

Experts, post your answers in the comment field below!