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Must Have Tools for Renters

Must Have Tools for Renters

More people are renting their homes these days due to soaring house prices and the size of deposits required to secure mortgages. For so many, renting that first home is a pretty huge milestone. and the first feel of independence after leaving the family home. But, if like thousands of others up and down the country you’re a renter, whether that be a flat, apartment, bungalow or two-storey home – the chances are you will need to get handy every once in a while – so how prepared are you?

A common mistake many new renters make is assuming that the task of property maintenance falls into the lap of the landlord. However, in most cases you too have a responsibility to help maintain the home you’re living in – so it’s best to be prepared for those odd jobs with your own toolkit!

Must have tools for renters

A tenant’s guide to appropriate DIY

As you’ve probably already discovered, there are dozens of small jobs you will need to do for yourself in your rented property – many requiring tools! From hanging pictures to securing a loose towel rail, putting up curtains to oiling a squeaky door hinge, those little jobs keep cropping up. A basic set of tools will make keeping on top of them a lot easier and will also help to teach you the much-needed skills you will require when you move on to your first purchased home.

But where do you begin?

If this is your first-time renting, or you have previously been in a property where the landlord really did take on every job themselves, you may feel a little overwhelmed by the prospect of DIY. Luckily, Wonkee Donkee has you covered with our thorough guide to the top tools for tenants – the total cost of the tools is around £100, so you don’t need to worry about breaking the bank either!

Our list of the perfect tools for renters will equip you for everything including:

  • Hanging mirrors, picture frames and ornaments
  • Touch up paintwork (particularly important to do before you leave your rented property)
  • Tighten loose piping
  • Put up shelving
  • Hang a shower rail

As well as much more! The most important thing is to always seek your landlords permission before undergoing any DIY to ensure you are not breaching the terms of your contract. In most cases, a landlord will welcome updates around the home, especially if they don’t need to foot the bill – but it’s always worth checking first!

Get all the tools you might need for your rented property – but shh, don’t tell the neighbours!         

You may be tempted to show off your tools and new-found skills once you’ve built up your toolkit, but be careful who you share these with. The chances are that once your tool-less neighbours get to know you’ve got a set of tools, they’ll be asking for your help in their homes too.

So, be careful who you lend your tools to. You may never get them back! Best to advise people to get their own – from Wonkee Donkee, of course!

Allen/hexagon keys

Have you noticed how many things in the home are held together with bolts that have hexagonal sockets? Beds, tables, chairs, storage units – sooner or later you’ll need to tighten or undo something. Get ahead of the game with a set of Allen, or hexagon, keys.


So many items are held together with or adjusted by screws that an existence without a screwdriver is hard to imagine. A few people seem to get by without buying one – but only because they borrow someone else’s. One screwdriver probably isn’t enough – at a minimum, you’ll need a flat-bladed and a star-shaped (Phillips) one, or a screwdriver set with changeable bits that includes both types, and maybe a few more, too.


There are so many situations in which a sharp tap with a hammer is required. A hammer can help with picture hanging, pinning the backs on self-assembly wardrobes and cupboards, and a myriad of other jobs. But don’t get carried away – hammers can make nasty dents if not used sensibly.

Power Drill

Making holes in walls, or any other part of your rented home, is not a guaranteed way of impressing the landlord. But if it’s OK for you to hang pictures, put up a bathroom cabinet and do other jobs that require drilling, then go for it! You might get a free set of bits thrown in with the drill – and, if it’s a drill driver, it doubles as a screwdriver, so you might be able to take item 1 off the list.

Adjustable Spanner

Nuts and bolts hold our world together. If something needs adjusting or replacing on your bike or your roller skates, or on certain appliances, a spanner that fits is essential. An adjustable spanner, although it has some limitations, fits most normal nuts and bolts. Buy two and you can hold the bolt head still while you undo the nut, or vice versa.


Okay, we cheated here – oil’s not a tool. But a can of light oil (normal nozzle or aerosol) should quickly silence that squeaking hinge or unstiffen a reluctant door lock. It’s also great for lubricating some tools that have moving parts. 

Tape Measure

Maybe you want a shelf to fit an alcove, or need to estimate how much wallpaper you need for a room (if your rental agreement permits you to decorate). To arrive at sizes and quantities, you need a measuring device. With one of these measures, you’ve got it taped – it’s quick and convenient for most types of measuring.

Spirit Level

The shelves looked straight when you put them up. But when you stood back, they turned out to be listing to starboard – or was that port? You could claim DIY artist’s licence, but a level would have ensured the accuracy you really crave. Avoid trouble with a bubble.

Tool Bag

It’s in the bag! Or rather that’s where your tools should be when you’re not using them. A bag keeps them in one place so they’re easy to find, and it and protects them from possible damage. And when you move on to a new rental or your own property, a bag makes it easier to take your tools with you. 

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