Renter or not, you want to feel at home in your residence. For many, this entails including ornamental components that help individualize a property. However, if you rent, the amount of your security deposit you receive back may be considerably impacted by the décor decisions you make.
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. Learn how to avoid losing your security deposit by making intelligent design decisions and avoiding costly repairs.
Causing Damage to the Property
Landlords frequently deduct security deposits because of tenant-caused damage to the interior design. It’s crucial to remember that the damage must be severe enough to require repairs. For instance, the landlord may withhold the cost of repairs from your security deposit 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 be determined by the extent of the damage. To prevent conflicts over security deposit deductions, it is essential to carefully research your lease agreement and comprehend the specifications for decorating choices and property maintenance.
Failure to Restore the Original Condition
Let’s say your lease agreement said that you had to restore the property to its initial state at the end of the lease, but you neglected to do so after making alterations to the decor. 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. 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.
Check your lease agreement or contact your landlord first, though, before you start making any colorful changes. The condition of the home must be returned in its original state, including the wall color, according to many leases.
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. Your lease agreement would have specified the permitted and prohibited decor items. A lot of renters fail to take into account the possible wall damage brought on by installing framed art, televisions, or other home decor items. 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 might opt for hangers without nails or forego wall hangings altogether. 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 decorations or furniture cause excessive damage, such as heavy furniture that damages the floors, or if you fail to maintain the property, the landlord may take a portion of your 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. If you move your furniture around frequently, think about spending money on felt cushioning for the bottom to make the process easier and less likely to result in 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. You are more likely to receive your entire security deposit back the less restoration work is necessary.
Check your lease agreement and, if necessary, your landlord’s reasons for withholding your security deposit. If you believe the deductions are unjustified or do not comply with local laws, you can legally contest them. You can argue against the deductions by providing evidence of the property’s condition both when you moved in and when you left. Talking with your landlord will help you understand their perspective and perhaps come to a resolution.
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Originally Published on September 10, 2021
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