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How Decorating Can Affect Your Security Deposit

Raleigh Renter Hanging ArtworkWhether you own or rent your Raleigh home, we all desire to feel cozy in our living space. For many, this means adding decorative elements that aid in personalizing a home. But take note that as a renter, your decorating can have a great effect on how much of your security deposit you recover. A lot of leases have a clarification of what sorts of changes you, the tenant, can make and what you would need permission from your landlord to do.

Though if things aren’t completely understood, you may question particularly where the line is between what’s allowed and what isn’t. And if you aren’t certain, you may unintentionally do something that might mean getting less of your security deposit back than you would like. Let’s have a look at some common décor items that could cost you – and how to avoid being charged for repairs.

Interior Paint

It’s the number one question renters ask: Can I paint the interior of my rental house? And it makes perfect sense why this is such a common question. Changing the paint color is one of the simplest practices to personalize a room or entire home. But be aware that unless your lease particularly states that you can paint your rental house, ensure to check over with your landlord first.

Countless leases state that you have to return the home to its original condition. Even if it doesn’t mention paint anywhere else within the lease, it’s significant to record that this includes the paint color on the walls. Your landlord can legally withhold funds from your security deposit to repaint the house if you’ve changed the wall colors and don’t put it back before you depart.

Wall Damage

Another huge reason renters don’t obtain their entire security deposit back is holes (or other damage) in the walls. If you decorate your home, you may not be thinking about how your landlord will respond to the damage left after putting framed artwork, mounted televisions, or other wall-mounted décor items. Even quite a few nail holes in a wall can bring about a security deposit deduction, and the cost of repairs goes up the bigger the holes that are left behind.

To eliminate losing your deposit, try planning your décor with the end in mind. Employ nail-free hangers, or prevent hanging things on the walls at all. Large artwork or televisions can work just as fine above an accent table or cabinet and won’t leave wall damage behind.

Floor Damage

One final note, be careful to protect your floors as you decorate. Heavy furniture and other stuff can gouge, scrape, and otherwise damage floorings like wood or laminate, and crack or break the tile. If you have huge belongings you will need to keep in your home, have somebody help you move them, and use a protective material, like a blanket or moving pad, underneath to keep floor damage to a minimum. If you have a tendency to move your furniture around, think of purchasing some felt padding for the bottom of your furniture to make rearranging your décor easier and cause less damage.

Regardless of how you decorate your rental home, it’s relevant to tackle it with a mentality that, eventually, you will possibly be moving out. Whenever that day comes, the less you need to do to restore the home to its original condition, the more likely you will be to get your full security deposit back.


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