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Security Deposit- How to Avoid Deductions & Damage to your Rental Home

security deposit

Whether you own or rent your Gwinnett County home, you would want your living space to feel pleasant. For most people, this means adding decorative elements that would personalize your space. However, if you are a renter, decorating may have a detrimental effect on your security deposit. Most leases have a list of the kind of simple changes you, the tenant, can make, as well as what you would need permission from your landlord to do.

If some aspects aren’t totally clear, you may wonder exactly where the line is between what’s allowed and what isn’t. Unfortunately, If you’re not sure, you may be doing something unknowingly that could get end up in a deduction from your security deposit. Here are some common décor changes and damage issues that would cost you – and how to avoid being charged for repairs.

Interior Paint

This is the number one question renters ask: Can I paint the interior of my rental house? As clear and common as this question is, there is never a black-and-white answer! Changing the paint color is an easy security depositway to personalize a room or the entire home, but it is all about what your landlord and/or owner allow. Just be sure to check with your landlord first if your lease specifically states that you can paint your rental house. It may be pertaining to certain rooms or specific colors.

The majority of leases state that you are required to return the home to its original condition. Even though it may not say paint specifically in any section of the lease, it’s essential to understand that this includes the paint color on the walls. Your landlord is legally able to withhold funds from your security deposit to repaint the house if you have changed the wall colors and failed to return them to their original state before you move out.

Wall Damage

Another common reason renters don’t get their entire security deposit back is due to holes (or any other damage) in the walls. When you decorate your home, you may not be considering how your landlord would feel about 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 and quantity 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. Use damage-free hangers like command hooks. If you don’t want to even take the risk, large artwork or televisions can be aesthetically pleasing on top of an accent table or cabinet, plus it won’t leave any wall damage behind.

Floor Damage

Finally, be sure to protect your floors as you decorate. Heavy furniture and other things could gouge, scrape, and otherwise damage floorings like wood or laminate, or crack/break tile. If you have larger furniture items you need to move into your home, have somebody else help you transport them. Be sure to place protective material, like a blanket or moving pad, underneath so that you will have less floor damage. If you think you would move your furniture around often, consider purchasing some felt padding for the bottom of your furniture to make rearranging your décor easier and less likely to cause damage.

If your rental has carpet, think about laying down a rug to protect the rental’s floors. Any stains and damage will be deducted from your security deposit. If you have children or any animals in your home, be proactive to prevent any serious damage or deductions!

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 happens, the less you need to do to restore the home to its original condition, the more likely you will get your full security deposit back. Be sure to always ask first! Landlords understand that décor is a necessity in your rental home, but keep in mind that there are ways to decorate without damaging or destroying the property!

If you are looking to purchase a rental property in the Gwinnett area and need some professional management assistance, contact us today and we will be glad to guide you through the process!


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