Updated: Mar 8
Stop! Before you knock that nail into the wall of your apartment, you could cause damage that would risk your entire security deposit!
When you move into an apartment you want it to feel like home. The only problem is often visual changes to the apartment could put your security deposit at risk. The ultimate goal for you as a tenant is to know how to personalize your apartment damage-free to make it feel like home. The GOOD NEWS is that you can personalize your apartment without risking your security deposit at the end of your lease.
“ A House Is Made Of Brick & Mortar, But Home Is Made By The People Who Live There.”
- M. K. Soni
In the following guide, we will look at what you can do and what you should avoid when personalizing your apartment. Our quick tips and tricks will help make sure when you move out your security deposit does as well. Personalizing your space to make it feel like home is important. This helps create a better sense of place identity which gives a sense of belonging and purpose. After a long day of work or running around with the kids, there is no better feeling than opening the front door of your own place and feeling like it was created just for you.
Unfortunately, a lot of people feel they cannot personalize their apartment due to risking the security deposit. A security deposit is requested by your landlord to cover any damages that may occur during the duration of your stay but needs to be remedied upon the conclusion of your lease. For example, this could be holes in the wall, stains in the carpet, removing smoke damage, and so on. However, as long as you follow our quick tips we can help you make sure you get the feeling of home, without risking your deposit and causing any damage.
Let’s Look at the Top 6 Changes You Can Make to Your Apartment without Losing Your Security Deposit
I. Change the Curtains
One of the easiest ways to personalize your home is to change the curtains. Curtains can go with any color scheme! If the sunlight wakes you up before your alarm goes off in the morning then a blackout curtain is a perfect choice. In contrast, you can also brighten a room with a lighter shaded and richly textured curtain.
Prior to your move-out inspection, hang any original curtains provided by your landlord back onto the rail. If you kept the original curtains and took care of them there then will be no damage to them upon move out, that’s a win-win :).
II. Choose Removable Wallpaper
A great way to customize your apartment is to add color to the room. Now, most leases do not allow for painting the walls, but have you ever heard of removable wallpaper? Removable wallpaper does not use glue or chemicals and does not need special tools for removal. This type of wallpaper is great to decorate the walls in the bedroom, living room, or even the whole house. Just make sure to check the wall prior to applying the wallpaper. If you have a wall that is already flaking with paint or cracks then the wall may not be suitable for the sticky paper as it could pull more paint off. Removable wallpaper comes in different colors, prices, and patterns. It can be purchased online and even in some stores. At the end of your lease gently pull it off, and if you notice any paint spots missing you could touch it up with paint from your local hardware store. All you need to do is take a chip of paint with you to match the color.
III. New Coat of Paint for the Walls
If removable wallpaper is not your first choice then it is possible you could paint the walls. We definitely suggest speaking to your landlord first, as they may agree to this and have some options for you. An option could be that you have to paint it back at the end of your lease. Many landlords are accommodating of apartment improvements provided you speak with them first and all changes are documented in writing. However, you may not be able to paint the walls a crazy neon color, but they may allow shades of cream, grey, or white as they are neutral colors that go with everything. It is also possible that your landlord would allow you to paint one wall or maybe even some complementing lines.
IV. Removable Backsplash for the Kitchen
Does your kitchen look boring? Does it need a twist? If your apartment does not have a modern or even nice-looking backsplash in the kitchen why not decorate with a removable or sticker backsplash? All it requires is simply placing the sticky paper onto the existing wall or tile and instantly you have a new and attractive finish without any permanent changes! Just be sure to remove any personal changes at the end of your lease.
V. Change the Cabinet Knobs
Many apartment kitchen cabinets and bedroom cupboards have old or outdated knobs that can leave a room feeling drab and dreary. If you check the cabinets and cupboards you may notice they have a screw-on knob. If that is the case then that makes the next part easier. You can easily purchase modern knobs with the same size thread. The best part about this is at the end of your lease, all you need to do is unscrew the knobs and replace them with the original ones.
VII. Get Smart with Accessories
The easiest way to personalize your apartment without damage is to use accessories. Many features can be hung, or placed on a stand or counter. You will be surprised at the difference a framed picture or scented candles can make to the warmth and the attractiveness of a room. If you need inspiration when it comes to accessorizing then check out our DIY Tips to Make Your Small Apartment Look Amazing.
Our Final Tip…
One great way to modify your rental apartment and keep your deposit is to make it look better than before you moved in. You can upgrade your apartment, add amazing features, bring life and personality to it, and if you follow our tips it will make it look amazing. After you finish all of that, take some pictures and go to your landlord. Ask them if they want to take some pictures to use in their marketing - they will probably agree - in exchange ask them to agree to return your security deposit and charge for the modification. That is a win-win situation and a great way to start living in your newly decorated home.