As a renter, you want your living space to be pleasant. This includes, for many, the addition of decorative elements that help personalize a residence. But if you’re a tenant, the amount of your security deposit you receive returned depends greatly on the decorating decisions you make.
Usually, the terms of your lease agreement specify what modifications you may make without the landlord’s consent. However, if you are unclear, you could unintentionally make adjustments that cause a reduction in your security deposit.
It is crucial to understand the restrictions on what is permitted and what is not. Discover how to avoid losing your security deposit by choosing tasteful design 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. Remember, the damage must be severe enough to require repairs. For instance, the landlord can deduct the cost of repairs from your security deposit if you placed bulky paintings or shelves on the walls that left significant holes, used adhesives that harmed paint or wallpaper, or made additional modifications that deteriorated the property.
The amount of the deduction will be determined by the extent of the damage. To prevent disagreements regarding the deductions from your security deposit, it is essential to carefully check your lease agreement and comprehend the specifications for design choices and property maintenance.
Failure to Restore the Original Condition
Assume that the rental contract required you to return the property to its original state at the end of the lease, and you neglected to do so after making decor-related alterations. In that situation, your landlord may utilize your security deposit to pay for the costs associated with restoring the property to its initial condition.
Whether tenants can paint the interior of their rental home is one of the most commonly 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. Many leases stipulate that the property must be returned in its original condition, including the wall color.
Violating the Lease Terms
If your lease agreement specified certain decor restrictions (such as no painting or nailing of items to the walls) and you violated them without your landlord’s permission, this could be justification for withholding the security deposit. Your lease agreement would have specified the permitted and prohibited decor items. Many tenants fail to take into account the possible wall deterioration brought on by mounting framed art, televisions, or other home accents. The cost of repairs rises with the severity of the damage, and even a few nail holes in a wall might diminish the amount of the security deposit that is reimbursed.
To avoid losing your security deposit, you have to plan your decor with the end result in mind. You could use nail-free hangers or refrain from mounting anything on the wall. Large works of art or televisions can be placed atop an accent table or cabinet without causing any wall damage.
Excessive Wear and Tear
During a tenancy, a rental property typically experiences wear and tear. However, if your choice of decor causes excessive damage, such as weighty furniture causing damage to the floors, or if you fail to maintain the property, the landlord may retain a portion of your security deposit to cover the cost of repairs or replacements.
To prevent floor damage, it is advisable to move heavy furniture with assistance and to position protective material underneath, such as a blanket or moving pad. To make moving your decor easier and less likely to result in damage, especially if you move your furniture around frequently, think about making an investment in felt cushioning for the bottoms.
If your decor choices or general living practices leave the property in a state of disrepair or excessive filthiness beyond normal wear and tear, your landlord may use a portion of your security deposit to cover cleaning costs.
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. You’re more likely to receive your entire security deposit refunded if there isn’t much restoration work needed.
Check your lease agreement and, if necessary, your landlord’s justifications for keeping your security deposit very carefully as a tenant. Legal action can be taken against deductions that you feel are unlawful or don’t follow local laws. Documenting the property’s condition at the time of your move in and out will help your case if you want to challenge the deductions. In order to comprehend your landlord’s perspective and possibly come to an agreement, it’s also a good idea to communicate with them.
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Originally Published on September 10, 2021
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