Whoever started the rumor that landlords profit from security deposit funds – needs to be silenced immediately!
Despite every renters’ opinion that greedy property managers love squeezing every dime out of a security deposit, this misconception couldn’t be further from the truth. A fully refunded security deposit means that your renter followed the lease to a T and didn’t do any damage to your property; ending tenancy with the property as sparkling clean as day one.
Unfortunately, security deposit deductions are the norm only because renters fail to read and follow their lease agreement. Deductions can range from the full deposit used to return a destroyed property to move-in condition to a couple hundred dollars deducted to fill nail holes and repaint room.
When it comes to decorating, you may find your tenants turning a blind eye to your lease stipulations that no painting, no nails, no paint-striping tape or alterations are tolerated.
Rather than dealing with an angry tenant who wants to fight you on the security deposit itemization that they “didn’t know” nail holes count as damage, give them tools and knowledge about what constitutes renter-friendly decorating aka every manager’s favorite phrase Damage-Free!
Here is a list of Damage-Free Decorating Ideas to share with your renters. These tips allow your renters to make their property feel homey and cozy without risking their security deposit. The more comfortable they feel in a decorated home, the more likely they will renew their lease and become a long-term tenant of yours.
Command Hooks (and everything)
I wonder if Command products were invented by a landlord? These sticky backed hooks make hanging items in a rental a dream. The damage free hooks attach to walls via adhesive strips. Command hooks can easily be removed when your renters move or decide to redecorate.
Command products have gotten more versatile than just hooks and include picture ledges, cabinet organizers, bathroom caddies, and towel bars.
Vinyl decals are removable adhesive images that can be stuck to walls and removed without causing any harm to your property. Wall decals come in a variety of designs from silhouettes, quotes, trees and much more. Some online companies offer customized wall decals for personal photos or phrases.
Installing new shelves will get a big fat penalty from most landlords, but extra storage is often a necessity of small spaced rentals. Stand alone shelves or bookcases are an alternative solution for decorating or storage. Thrift stores, garage sales, and even IKEA are great places for your renters to find affordable shelves or bookcases.
Washi Tape is a “masking-tape like” adhesive tape that comes in a variety of fun colors and patterns. Your renters can create a Gallery Wall with Washi Tape as a unique way to display photos or prints. Washi tape is inexpensive and available at most craft stores or online. Most importantly Washi tape is damage free and is easily removable.
Poster putty is essential for your young renters who want to hang posters without a frame. Poster putty lets users adhere paper products to walls without leaving any residue or holes behind. Poster putty will also work great for photos or for hanging temporary decorations.
Succulent House Plants
A little greenery will brighten up your renter’s home and succulents are small enough that your renters can set them on a coffee table or window sill. A simple indoor plant will encourage your green-thumbed renter to resist the temptation to tear up your landscaping to plant anything outside.
Listen to Your Renters
If you renter ever approaches you with a property altering idea, think twice about turning them down immediately. If the decor will improve the property like a curtain rod or light fixture you may want to consider giving them the go ahead. Remember the more effort your renter puts in to making the property their own, the more likely you are to secure a long-term tenant (hello rental income security!).
Just remember to put all property updates in writing and take each request one at a time so your renters don’t go overboard.