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How Decorating Can Affect Your Security Deposit

Raleigh Renter Hanging ArtworkWhether you own or rent your Raleigh home, we’d like our living space to feel homey. For a good chunk of people, this would involve adding decorative elements that help to personalize a home. However, if you are a renter, decorating can have a gigantic effect on your security deposit. The majority of leases contain a detailed list of the kind of changes you, the tenant, can create as well as what you would need permission from your landlord to do.

But if some items are not clear, you may begin to wonder exactly where the line is between what’s allowed and what isn’t. And if you’re not totally certain, you may accidentally do something that could get less of your security deposit back than you want. Let’s see some common décor items that may cost you – and how to avoid being charged for repairs.

Interior Paint

Here 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. To exercise caution, make 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 state paint in any section of the lease, it’s significant 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 significant 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 having a few nail holes in a wall can result in a security deposit deduction, and the cost of repairs goes up depending on the size of the holes that are left behind.

To steer clear of 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 simply refrain from hanging anything on the walls. Large artwork or televisions can just as well look good on top of an accent table or cabinet and will not cause any wall damage.

Floor Damage

Finally, be sure to be mindful of your floors as you decorate. Heavy furniture and other things are able to gouge, scrape, and otherwise damage floorings like wood or laminate, and crack or break the tile. If you have bulky things you need to keep in your home, have someone else 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 getting 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 important to always keep in mind, at some point, you will be moving out. And when that day comes, the less you need to do to restore the home to its original condition, the greater the possibility that 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 Raleigh 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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