Can I Change the Showerhead in My Apartment?

If you want to upgrade, replace, or install a new showerhead in your rental, you may be wondering what the rules are. Can you swap it out yourself or do you need permission? What should you do if the existing showerhead breaks? Here’s what tenants need to know about showerhead changes.

Can Tenants Swap Out Their Showerhead?

If you dislike the showerhead that was provided with your apartment, check your lease to see if you are allowed to change it out. If there isn’t anything specific stated, you should feel free to swap out the shower head. However, be sure to keep the old one so you can reinstall it before moving out.

Generally, tenants are allowed to make non-permanent changes to the apartment as long as they return the apartment to the condition it was in when they first moved in. However, some landlords will put wording in the lease that states that you can’t change your showerhead, or that only low-flow shower heads are allowed. If your water bill is included in your rent, your landlord may not want you to use a high flow showerhead.

Choose a Showerhead Allowed by Your Landlord

Standard showerheads may use 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM), but some landlords prohibit installing more luxurious high-flow showerheads which use more water. Check if your building has GPM limits before purchasing. Opt for a showerhead with a removable water restrictor which allows you to adjust the flow rate.

Follow Proper Installation Steps

Changing a showerhead involves basic hand tools like wrenches and pliers, plus Teflon tape to prevent leaks. Turn off the water supply before swapping out the old showerhead. Follow directions carefully to ensure the new showerhead is fitted and sealed properly. Avoid overtightening.

Will My Landlord or Maintenance Worker Help Swap My Showerhead?

Generally, changing basic fixtures like showerheads is considered a minor repair that tenants can handle themselves. Most landlords won’t send out maintenance staff just to help install a new showerhead you bought. However, it depends on the policies of your building, so check your lease agreement for any clauses about alterations. Notifying your landlord beforehand is also polite in case they object or have special requirements.

One factor in this, is whether you live in a large apartment complex or not. Most of the places that I have lived, the maintenance workers only do major work. However, I once lived in a really large apartment complex that included several buildings worth of apartments. They had so many tenants that they kept one full-time maintenance worker. Seems how he was paid hourly, he would often have time to do small jobs for tenants. When we moved in, we were even told that he would change out lightbulbs, hang photos or artwork, or change curtains for us if we wanted him to. I was kinda shocked that he was willing to do such minor things for us! However, once I realized that he was a full time employee who didn’t always have tasks to do, it made more sense.

What Should I Do If My Showerhead Breaks?

If your existing showerhead stops working properly or leaks, alert your landlord or maintenance team right away. Dripping showerheads can cause water damage over time. Most rental agreements require landlords to fix broken fixtures like showerheads at no cost to you. Make sure to document the issue with photos or videos in case of disputes over who is responsible for repairs later.

Restore When You Move Out

Some landlords require tenants to re-install the original showerhead when moving out. Save the old one just in case. This ensures a consistent look for future renters. Check your lease or ask about re-installation expectations before removing the previous showerhead.

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