Can tenants participating in a residential lease option renovate/remodel the property?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can tenants participating in a residential lease option renovate/remodel the property?

For example, if a 2 BR, 1 bath home is fine now but the tenants have a baby and would like to build an additional master bedroom and bathroom.

Asked on November 29, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

No, tenants do *not* have the right to renovate, modify, extend, etc. a rental property--even if they are leasing with the option to buy--without the permission of the landlord, which should be in writing; and the landlord may  withhold such permission at will if the he/she chooses, or else put any conditions on it (such as in regards to the right to approve, specifying contractors or how the work is done, etc.) as he/she likes. You have to own property to have the right to modify, etc. it at will.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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