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How to decorate a rented property

When you rent a flat or house, you will most likely want to make it feel like your own - but how much can you actually change before you risk not getting your deposit back?

We know from experience that decorating a rented property can be awkward - there are all sorts of things to consider, with some landlords not allowing any permanent changes to be made.

To help, we’ve pulled together a handy guide with advice and the steps you will need to take before you decide to paint those walls.

Preparation is key
First things first, you will need to ask the landlord or letting agency if you can decorate, and how much you can change.

Make sure you get the consent in writing before starting work, so you and your deposit are protected.

Remember, this is their property, so don’t be surprised if they ask for details of which rooms you’re planning on decorating and your chosen colour schemes.

When picking up your brush, make sure you’ve considered your process – any paint on flooring or woodwork could result in hefty bills, so covering and taping off areas in the ‘splash zone’ is essential.

Choose décor that can adapt to your needs
Think about choosing décor that can adapt to whichever space you put it in if this isn’t a long-term rental.

If the property doesn’t have carpets, then a rug can help to keep the room warm in Winter and provide a bit of additional colour. Indoor plants also make a room feel relaxing – but be wary of making carpets wet or muddy, as you may have to clean or replace them if they’re damaged.

Photo frames, prints and posters are also a great addition to any living area, but some landlords will charge you for drilled holes in the wall, or even sticky marks from the likes of sellotape. So, either use a picture rail and wires or, the best easy solution, sticky-back picture hooks - these are surprisingly durable.

Useful storage spaces
If your landlord doesn’t want you to put up a wall-hung shelves, and most don’t, you could always buy some free-standing shelves or cabinets, which you can also take with you when you move elsewhere!

Remember, by being creative with space and furniture, a rented property can soon start to feel like home, without risking your deposit!

Back to the beginning
Many tenants use the end of the tenancy to make a property look as good as new but make some common errors.

Remember, a landlord may ask you to return each room to how it was (usually magnolia) at the end of the tenancy, so be sure to factor that into your timeline and budget if you do choose to decorate, but also how this is done.

You may be tempted to ‘patch paint’, a quick swipe of a brush over some scuffs, marks or peeling sections. This is huge no-no! It’s unlikely that the paint will match (depending on how long it’s been on the wall) and this means the ‘solution’ creates an even bigger problem, leading to the whole wall needing to be repainted – and you being charged.

We would love to see your decorated rental properties and what you have done to them – head over to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages to share. Happy decorating!

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