You want to feel at ease in your rental home. Many people interpret this as adding decorations that enhance the individuality of a space. 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.
Usually, the terms of your lease agreement specify what modifications you may make without the landlord’s consent. However, if you are uncertain, you may make mistakes that result in your security deposit being deducted.
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 being judicious with your decorating choices and avoiding repair fees.
Causing Damage to the Property
Because of the damage caused by renters’ decorating preferences, landlords frequently withhold security deposits. It’s crucial to remember that there must be enough damage to warrant 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 deduction will be proportional to the extent of the damage. For the sake of avoiding disagreements about security deposit deductions, it is imperative that you carefully research your lease agreement and comprehend the specifications for design choices and property maintenance.
Failure to Restore the Original Condition
Suppose you made changes to the decor and your lease agreement said you were responsible for restoring the property to its former state at the end of the lease. In that situation, your landlord may utilize your security deposit to pay for the costs associated with restoring the property to its initial condition.
The ability to paint the interior of a rental home is one of the most commonly asked questions by renters. Changing the paint color is a simple way to personalize a room or an entire home, so it’s understandable that this is a common concern.
However, prior to picking up a paintbrush, you must first consult your lease agreement 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 contained specific requirements for decor choices (such as no painting or nailing things to the wall), and you disregarded them without the landlord’s consent, this could be a justification for withholding the security deposit. What was and wasn’t permitted for decor would have been specified in your lease conditions. Many tenants fail to take into account the possible wall deterioration brought on by mounting framed art, televisions, or other home accents. Even a few nail holes in a wall can result in a reduction of the security deposit, and the cost of restorations rises in proportion to the extent of the damage.
To protect your deposit, it’s crucial to plan your decor with the end in mind. You could use nail-free hangers or refrain from mounting anything on the wall. Large televisions or pieces of artwork can function just as well on top of an accent table or cabinet and won’t do any damage to the walls.
Excessive Wear and Tear
It is normal for a rental property to experience wear and strain over the course of a tenancy. 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.
It’s best to enlist assistance when moving large pieces of furniture, and to put something protective underneath, like a blanket or moving cushion, to prevent floor damage. 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 allowed to deduct cleaning costs from your security deposit if the condition of the property is beyond reasonable wear and tear due to your decorating decisions or general living habits.
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 you are to receive your entire security deposit returned.
Check your lease agreement and, if necessary, your landlord’s justifications for keeping your security deposit very carefully as a tenant. You have the right to challenge the deductions in court if you believe they are unlawful or violate local laws. If you want to challenge the deductions, you may be able to do so by providing evidence of the property’s condition at the time of your move in and out. 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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