You want to feel at ease in your rental home. For many, this entails including ornamental components that help individualize a property. Nevertheless, if you are a renter, your decorating decisions can have a significant impact on the amount of your security deposit that you receive returned.
What alterations you are permitted to make and those that require your landlord’s approval are typically outlined in your lease agreement. However, if you’re unsure, you can unintentionally make modifications that cause a reduction in your security deposit.
It is crucial to understand the restrictions on what is permitted and what is not. Find out how to avoid losing your security deposit by choosing decorator-friendly options and avoiding repair fees.
Causing Damage to the Property
Since tenants’ design choices frequently result in damage, landlords frequently take money out of security deposits. It is essential to observe that the damage must be severe enough to necessitate repairs. The cost of repairs may be deducted from your security deposit by the landlord, for instance, if you placed bulky artwork or shelves on the walls that left significant holes, used adhesives that ruined paint or wallpaper, or made other changes that physically damaged the property.
The amount of the deduction will depend on the degree of the damage. To avoid disputes over security deposit deductions, it is essential to carefully review the terms of your lease and comprehend the requirements for interior design and property maintenance.
Failure to Restore the Original Condition
What if, after making alterations to the decor, your lease agreement required you to restore the property to its initial state at the end of the term? In such a case, your landlord may use your security deposit to cover the costs associated with returning the property to its initial condition.
The ability to paint the interior of a rental home is one of the most frequently asked questions by renters. Given that changing the paint color is a simple method to distinctly customize a space or a whole house, it makes sense why this is a prevalent concern.
However, prior to picking up a paintbrush, you must first review your lease or communicate with your landlord. According to numerous leases, you are required to return the house in the same state that you found it in, including the wall color.
Violating the Lease Terms
If your lease agreement stipulated certain decor restrictions (such as no painting or nailing of items to the walls) and you violated them without the landlord’s permission, this could be grounds for withholding your security deposit. What was and wasn’t permitted for decor would have been specified in your lease conditions. A lot of tenants fail to put into consideration potential wall damage that could result from mounting framed art, mounted televisions, or other home accents. The security deposit refund might be affected by even a few nail holes in a wall, and the cost of repairs rises as the damage gets worse.
Plan your decor with the final result in mind to avoid losing your security deposit. You might opt for hangers without nails or forego wall hangings altogether. Large pieces of art or televisions can function just as well on top of an accent table or cabinet and won’t harm the walls.
Excessive Wear and Tear
During a tenancy, a rental property typically experiences wear and tear. However, if your choice of furnishings causes undue wear and tear, such as when heavy furniture scrapes the floors, or if you fail to keep up with routine maintenance, the landlord may take a portion of your security deposit to pay for necessary repairs or replacements.
To prevent floor damage, it is essential to move heavy furniture with the assistance of another person and to place protective material below, such as a blanket or moving pad. Consider investing in felt cushioning for the bottom of your furniture if you frequently rearrange it to make rearranging your decor easier and less likely to cause damage.
Your landlord is permitted to use a portion of your security deposit to cover cleaning costs if your decor choices or general living habits leave the property in a state of disrepair or excessive dirtiness beyond normal wear and tear.
It is essential to keep in mind that when you rent a residence, you are going to move out, so you must design with the understanding that you will need to return the home or apartment to its original state. The fewer repairs required, the more likely it is that your security deposit will be returned in its entirety.
Check your lease agreement and, if necessary, your landlord’s reasons for withholding your security deposit. Legal action can be taken against deductions that you feel are unlawful or don’t follow local laws. Providing evidence of the property’s condition when you moved in and out can help you dispute the deductions. It’s also a good idea to talk to your landlord so you can grasp their perspective and perhaps come to an agreement.
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Originally Published on September 10, 2021
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