Decor Items that May Violate the Typical Rental Agreement

Today on the blog it is all about “Decor Items that May Violate the Typical Rental Agreement.”


When you rent the space you live in, it can be a very constricting experience. Not only do you have to worry about the usual problems that every homeowner does, including maintenance issues, pests, and keeping off other people’s’ property.

You may also be limited in what colors you can use to paint, where you can park your car, and what you can and can’t do with the property in general.

In short – you may enjoy a lot of entitlements through your lease agreement, but they come with a lot of limitations.

For interior design fanatics, this can pose a real challenge. You may have to stick to a single color palette, or maybe even a single color, for decorating your walls.

What can be even more difficult and frustrating is the limitations placed on what you can and can’t use to alter the
property, including wall fixtures, carpeting, and yard implements. It can be a real hassle.

To help avoid this problem, I’ve compiled some of the most common home decor items that run a high risk of violating the standard rental agreement used for most apartments and rental homes.

The surest way to avoid a headache down the road is to educate yourself beforehand on the terms of a rental lease agreement, understand what a renter will and will not allow, and find an agency that will allow you the most flexibility in how you decorate.

It’s definitely in style right now, but if you’re a renter, then you run a very good chance of getting in bad with your landlord if you use wallpaper to decorate your home. It can be frustrating, but you need to think about where the landlord is coming from. First of all, once wallpaper is on, it’s incredibly difficult to get off.

It involves a lot of scraping, scratching, and pulling, and there’s a very good chance that you’re good to leave some good scuffs, maybe even a few holes, in the wall.

Second, even if the landlord likes the design of the wallpaper, it could be a pain to replace. Most wallpaper contains a very specific pattern. Many of these patterns are patented, and only sold by specific businesses.

If that business ever decides to retire that particular style, your landlord won’t be able to buy more to fix or replace patches that get torn or scuffed.

Finally, wallpaper tends to be more expensive than paint, not to mention harder to put up. When you move out, a new tenant may tour the rental, and determine that they absolutely despise the wallpaper you’ve used. The landlord will now have to tear it all off, and redecorate, before they can expect to get a new lease signed.

Nailed in Wall Fixtures
It’s pretty natural to want to display pictures of your friends and family, and if you’re married, that wonderful day when you said, “I do,” and officially became hitched. Unfortunately, under many rental agreements, pictures and other wall fixtures that require you to either use a nail or adhesive to put them up are a big no no.

The reason for this is fairly obvious – when you put in a nail, you’re leaving a nice round hole there in the drywall. One or two may not seem so bad, but if you’re putting up multiple fixtures, and using a lot of nails, it can leave you with a scene that looks like someone recreated the
shootout at the O.K. Corral in your living room. Adhesives can cause similar damage.

You’re going to need some really tough stuff to support the weight of your custom frames, and as your adhesives dry and harden, they become more and more difficult to remove. Even when you do pry them off, they often take noticeable patches of paint off, and in some cases, even tear chunks out of the wall.

Holiday Decorations
The timing is perfect, since Christmas is right around the corner, to point out that before you start inflating your over sized Frosty the Snowman blow up in your front yard, you should probably double check your lease agreement.

Many holiday decor items rely on nails, adhesive, and electrical power to enjoy their full effect, and this can turn into a real headache for landlords.

You may be absolutely in love with your Santa’s Sleigh and Reindeer combo that you found at Home Goods, and want to put it up on your roof, but all a landlord sees is the potential for a damaged roof.

Another example comes from Halloween – you may love decorating with pumpkins on your front porch, and usually they’re not an issue, but if you don’t promptly get rid of them, and they start to rot and stink, you’re going to have one very angry landlord to deal with.

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