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How Decorating Can Affect Your Security Deposit

El Segundo Renter Hanging ArtworkWhether you own or rent your El Segundo home, we’d like our living space to feel pleasant. For most, this would mean adding decorative elements that help to personalize a home. But if you are a renter, decorating can have a massive effect on your security deposit. A lot of leases have a list of the kind of changes you, the tenant, can make as well as what you would need permission from your landlord to do.

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

Interior Paint

It is the number one question renters ask: Can I paint the interior of my rental house? This is a typical question that actually makes sense to ask! Changing the paint color is an easy way to personalize a room or the entire home. To exercise caution, make sure to check with your landlord first if your lease specifically states that you can paint your rental house,

The majority 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 is able to legally withhold funds from your security deposit to repaint the house if you have modified the wall colors and return it to its original state before you leave.

Wall Damage

Pretty notable reason renters don’t get their entire security deposit back is due to holes (or other damage) in the walls. When you modify your home, you may not be thinking about how your landlord will react to the damage left after putting framed artwork, mounted televisions, or other wall-mounted décor items. Even some nail holes in a wall can cause a security deposit deduction, and the cost of repairs increases depending on the size of the holes that are left behind.

To prevent 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 don’t hang anything on the walls. Large artwork or televisions can look nice on top of an accent table or cabinet and won’t leave wall damage behind.

Floor Damage

Finally, be sure to consider 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 massive things you need to keep in your home, have somebody 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, think about buying 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 it happens, the less you need to do to restore the home to its original condition, the bigger the chance you will get your full security deposit back.


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