Main menu



Renting an Apartment and Decorating It

Those who rent an apartment are typically severely limited in their decorating options. This can have the effect of making a rental apartment feel more like a hotel than a home.

 Oftentimes, rental apartments are painted bright white, and residents frequently feel that the color is somewhat impersonal but are unable to repaint the walls.

This is just one of the decorating restrictions that an individual renting an apartment may face. Other restrictions may apply, and a careful reading of the contract will assist the renter in determining what is and is not permitted.

Renting an Apartment and Decorating It
Decorating a Rental

Examine the Contract Thoroughly

Renters who live in apartments should carefully review their lease documents before beginning to decorate. This is critical because certain common decorating items, such as painting or shelving installation, may be prohibited by the contract documents. Decorating illegally may result in severe penalties. These penalties may include the imposition of fees at the end of the rental period or, in the worst-case scenario, eviction.

While the majority of standard decorating items, such as hanging pictures, are generally acceptable, some particularly strict policies may prohibit them entirely or impose restrictions on the type of nails that may be used or on the methods of patching the holes. Renters who have questions about whether certain decorating actions are permitted or prohibited should contact their leasing agent before proceeding. This will help ensure that the renter is not penalized for their actions in the future.

Additionally, if the leasing agent informs the renter that an action prohibited by the rental agreement is acceptable, the renter should always request a signed, written document stating the contract's exception. This is advantageous because the leasing agent may forget to make an exception to the rule or may not even be on-site when the renter's lease expires.

Consider the Reversibility of Modifications

When renters in an apartment situation make decorating decisions, one of the most critical factors to consider is the reversibility of the apartment modification. In most cases, as long as the action is easily reversible, it is likely to be permissible. The case of painting the apartment, on the other hand, is a frequent exception to this rule. While painting can be easily reversed, most apartment complexes do not allow residents to paint their apartments. This is because, while painting is frequently reversible, restoring the wall to its original color is not always straightforward.

Irreversible changes to the apartment, such as the removal of walls or the addition of permanent fixtures, are typically not considered acceptable when decorating a rental apartment. While even significant modifications are rarely completely irreversible, the majority of leasing agents would consider modifications that require the assistance of a general contractor to be permanent. On the other hand, minor modifications such as nail holes for hanging pictures are considered reversible due to their ease of correction. Again, if a renter is uncertain about the permissibility of an action, they should seek clarification from the leasing agent.

Take into account the Security Deposit

Before they take possession of an apartment, the majority of renters pay a security deposit. This security deposit is held to cover any damages caused by the renter during the rental agreement's duration. After the renter vacates the premises, the leasing agent may anticipate the need to perform some minor cleaning or minor repairs. However, a deposit sufficient to cover the cost of more significant repairs is frequently collected to provide some protection for the leasing agent if the renter damages the apartment and leaves it in need of significant repair.