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How Decorating Can Affect Your Security Deposit

Dr. Phillips Renter Hanging ArtworkWhether you own or rent your Dr. Phillips home, we’d like our living space to feel homey. For the majority, this would involve adding decorative elements that help to personalize a home. However, if you are a renter, decorating may have a detrimental effect on your security deposit. The majority of leases tell you the changes you, the tenant, are permitted to do as well as what you would need permission from your landlord to do.

But if there are things that are not explicit, you may wonder exactly where the line is between what’s allowed and what isn’t. And if you’re not sure, you may unknowingly do something that could get less of your security deposit back than you want. Here are a few common décor items that may cost you – and how to avoid being charged for repairs.

Interior Paint

This is the number one question renters ask: Can I paint the interior of my rental house? And this typical question actually makes sense to ask! An easy way to personalize a room or the entire home is by changing the paint color. But just be sure to check with your landlord first if your lease specifically states that you can paint your rental house,

A lot of leases state that you should return the home to its original condition. Even though it does not mention paint in any section of the lease, it’s crucial to understand that this includes the paint color on the walls. Your landlord has the right to legally withhold funds from your security deposit to repaint the house if you have changed the wall colors and return it to its original state before you leave.

Wall Damage

Another huge reason renters don’t get their entire security deposit back is due to holes (or other damage) in the walls. When you change up your home, you may not be considering how your landlord will react to the damage left after placing framed artwork, mounted televisions, or other wall-mounted décor items. Even some nail holes in a wall can cause a security deposit deduction, and the cost of repairs increases depending on the size of the holes that are left behind.

To avoid losing your deposit, try planning your décor while taking into consideration what’s going to happen after you’re done renting. Select nail-free hangers, or just completely avoid placing anything on the walls. Large artwork or televisions can look nice on top of an accent table or cabinet and won’t leave wall damage behind.

Floor Damage

Finally, be sure to protect your floors as you decorate. Heavy furniture and other things could gouge, scrape, and otherwise damage floorings like wood or laminate, and crack or break the tile. If you have massive things you need to keep in your home, have someone help you move them and place protective material, like a blanket or moving pad, underneath so that you will have less floor damage. If you have the tendency to move your furniture around often, consider buying some felt padding for the bottom of your furniture to make rearranging your décor easier and less likely to cause damage.

Regardless if you decorate your rental home, it’s vital to approach it with a mindset that at some point you will be moving out. And when it happens, the less you need to do to restore the home to its original condition, the bigger the chance you will get your full security deposit back.


Is moving to a new rental home on your to-do list this year? Real Property Management South Orlando has the best one for you! We have quality rental homes for every taste and budget, so check out our listings today.

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