As a renter, you want your living space to be pleasant. For many, this involves adding decorative elements that help to individualize 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.
Your lease agreement typically specifies which changes you may make without the landlord’s consent and which ones do. But if you’re unsure, you can unintentionally make modifications that cause your security deposit to be deducted later on.
It is essential to understand 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 due to tenant-inflicted damage caused by their decor choices. It’s crucial to remember that the damage must be severe enough to require repairs. For instance, if you mounted heavy artwork or shelves that left large holes in the walls, used adhesives that damaged the paint or wallpaper, or made other changes that caused physical damage to the property, the landlord may deduct the cost of repairs from your security deposit.
The amount of the deduction will be determined by the extent of the damage. To avoid disputes over security deposit deductions, it is essential to carefully review the terms of your lease and comprehend the requirements for interior design 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 this case, your landlord may use your security deposit to cover the cost of restoring the property to its original condition.
The ability to paint the interior of a rental home is one of the most frequently asked questions by renters. Given how simple it is to add your own style to a room or your entire house by changing the paint color, it makes sense why this is a popular worry.
However, you must first check your lease agreement or contact your landlord before picking up the brush. 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. The provisions of your lease would have specified what was and was not permitted in terms of decoration. Many tenants do not consider the potential wall damage caused by mounting framed artwork, televisions, and other wall-mounted décor items. Even a few nail holes in a wall can reduce the amount of the security deposit returned, and the cost of restorations rises as the extent of the damage increases.
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 artwork or televisions can be placed on an accent tables or cabinets without causing damage to the wall.
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 enlist assistance when moving heavier furniture and to use protective material, such as a blanket or moving pad, underneath. 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.
Your landlord has the right to take a portion of your security deposit to pay for cleaning costs if your decorating choices or general living habits cause the property to be excessively dirty or in need of repair beyond normal wear and tear.
It’s important to keep in mind that you’ll eventually move out of a rental property, so when decorating, keep in mind that you’ll 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.
As a tenant, you should thoroughly examine your lease agreement and, if necessary, your landlord’s justifications for retaining your security deposit. If you believe that the deductions are unjustified or do not comply with local regulations, you can challenge them legally. You can argue against the deductions by providing evidence of the property’s condition both when you moved in and when you left. In addition, it is advisable to communicate with your landlord in order to comprehend their reasoning and possibly reach a resolution.
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