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How Decorating Can Affect Your Security Deposit

Muskego Renter Hanging ArtworkWhether you own or rent your Muskego home, we all would like to live in comfort in our living space. For most, this would mean 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 report 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 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 sure, you may unintentionally do something that could get less of your security deposit back than you want. Here are some common décor items that would 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 common question, and it makes sense to ask! Changing the paint color is an easy way to personalize a room or the entire home. But just in case, be certain 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 mention paint in any section of the lease, it’s vital to note 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 altered the wall colors and return it to its original state when 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 change parts of your home, you may not be considering how your landlord will react to the damage left after installing framed artwork, mounted televisions, or other wall-mounted décor items. Even just having a few 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 refrain from losing your deposit, try planning your décor while taking into consideration what’s going to happen after you’re done renting. Choose nail-free hangers instead, or just completely avoid hanging anything on the walls. Large artwork or televisions can just as well look good on top of an accent table or cabinet and won’t leave wall damage behind.

Floor Damage

Finally, be sure to be mindful of your floors as you decorate. Heavy furniture and other objects can 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, consider getting some felt padding for the bottom of your furniture to make rearranging your décor easier and less likely to cause damage.

Regardless of how you decorate your rental home, it’s important to consider that, 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 bigger the chance 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 Greater Milwaukee could have 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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