The Do’s & Don’ts of Decorating a Rental Property—Tips for Tenants
Posted on November 29, 2022 by Rental Property in Rental Property Management
Decorating A Rental

After you’ve agreed on a move-in date and signed a lease with your landlord, it’s time to settle into your new space and make it home. Of course, as a renter, you have limitations on the changes you can make to the property. That doesn’t mean that you can’t personalize your new accommodations to your liking. Here are some do’s and don’ts to consider when decorating a rental property. 

What Not to Do When Decorating a Rental Apartment or House

Let’s get the negatives out of the way first. The property owner may have a list of requests on what not to do when decorating the rental apartment or house. After all, the owner needs to ensure the proper upkeep of the place to protect their investment and keep it appealing to future tenants

But even if they don’t specifically mention prohibited changes, there are things that you can generally expect won’t be allowed when decorating a rental. To be a respectful tenant and boost your chances of getting your security deposit back at the end of the lease, keep these points in mind. 

  • Don’t Paint without Permission from the Landlord: Wall color is one of the first things people think about when it comes to making a space their own. If you don’t own the property, though, painting it is a big taboo. Property owners generally try to keep the walls a neutral shade. As real estate agents will tell you, this is what’s most appealing to potential renters or buyers. If you need a color that’s a little more exciting, ask your landlord. In some cases, the landlord may allow you to paint the interior, although you’ll likely have to paint it back at the end of the lease—at your own expense.  
  • Don’t Install New Permanent Fixtures: Let’s say you’ve signed a lease on a property that could use some updates. When you’re thinking about how to make an old rental look nice, you should probably stop short of installing new fixtures. Landlords will probably charge you for damages if you install a new ceiling fan, sink, or overhead lighting fixture without permission. If you think these changes are a must, talk it over with your landlord and get very clear permission first. After all, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to finish any necessary renovations prior to a tenant moving in. 

These two considerations are the most important things to remember when you’re decorating a rental apartment, condo, or house. Basically, the key is to leave the property in the same condition as you found it. 

Renters’ Right to Decorating: What You Can Do

Once you’ve established with your landlord what you cannot do to the property, there are still plenty of ways you can add your personal touch to the space. To make your rental more cozy and appealing to you, try the following: 

  • Hang Pictures without Using Nails: Wall art and framed photos go a long way toward making your rental apartment or house feel like home. You’ll want to avoid nails, though. If the landlord finds too many holes in the wall at the end of the lease, you may lose all or a portion of your security deposit for repairs. Instead, use adhesive-backed hooks. You can find these inexpensive items at many hardware stores and supermarkets, and they come in various sizes suitable for lightweight and heavier frames. 
  • Buy New Furniture: Since most rentals come unfurnished anyway, you’ll need to provide your own. This is an opportunity to make the rental more comfortable and visually more to your liking. Choose functional items that match your personal aesthetic. Furniture can be pricey, but there are still plenty of budget-friendly pieces out there. 
  • Add Area Rugs: This is a great solution for adding a dash of color to your interior. Plus, adding area rugs is an approach to decorating a rental that protects the original flooring, which will keep your landlord happy and help you get your security deposit back. 
  • Use Indoor Plants and Floor Lamps: Bringing in some plants and floor lamps adds a welcoming character to your interior without violating the terms of your lease. Choose your favorite plants and lamp styles to enhance your indoor ambiance. 

Following these basic do’s and don’ts, you can enjoy your rental space and stay on your landlord’s good side! If you’re a renter looking for property in Greensboro, NC, talk to us at SLT Properties. Our property management team is committed to finding the right home for renters and maintaining positive tenant/owner relations.