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Flat Upgrades That Could Jeopardise Your Rental Deposit

Keen to customise your rental home? Look out for upgrades that could jeopardise your tenancy deposit.

Faye deGavre


Jul 07, 2021


4 min read

Flat Upgrades That Could Jeopardise Your Rental Deposit

While renting a house or flat comes with various perks, renters across the UK tend to face the same problem – making the space feel like home. This can be especially difficult if you find that the landlord has stringent rules about preserving the property, from white walls to an unfussy garden. While you may not be able to make any grand changes to the place, there are plenty of ways to put your stamp on the property – but do they put your rental deposit at risk?

When deciding how to decorate your rented home, keep an eye out for these faux pas that could jeopardise your tenancy deposit.

Decoration no-nos to protect your rental deposit

  • Painting the walls

Depending on how long you plan on staying in the flat, you may want to paint the walls to inject your personality into the space. If the landlord agrees, be wary of painting a whole room dark blue or bright pink as it may take many coats of white to repaint over once you move out. Lighter and more subdued colours tend to be easier to cover up.

Keep in mind that the landlord should redecorate the property every three years to keep the place fresh. If a new coat of paint is due, you could ask to take on the redecorating if the landlord pays for the paint. That way, you both get what you want.

  • Mounting a TV

Who doesn’t love an immersive cinema experience? You may try to recreate that (and save space) by mounting the TV on the wall. Quickly, you’ll realise that it needs fix stands and heavy-duty drilling. The size of these holes leave a mark, so it’s worth consulting your landlord before getting the drill out. Better yet, find a slim TV stand that suits your style so you can leave the walls in good nick when you leave.

  • Creating a garden

It may seem trivial and irrelevant to the property itself but keeping the property’s garden neat and tidy is essential as a renter. Even if you’re green-fingered and want to keep the garden lush and healthy by planting up new shrubs, consult the landlord first. Having a garden means maintenance, which creates more hassle for the landlord once you leave. As a result, the landlord may use your rental deposit to turn the garden back to its original form once you’ve left, undoing your hard work and eating into your deposit. To keep your deposit, go for pots and planters that you can take with you when you move.

  • Updating without permission

If you don’t ask your landlord before painting, planting, updating appliances, changing furniture and drilling, you might as well wave your deposit goodbye now. 

The key takeaway is to contact your landlord before making any changes to the property – no matter how minor they may seem. Finally, cleaning the property at the end of your tenancy will help protect your deposit, as simple as it sounds.

How much is a tenancy deposit?

In England, landlords are only able to take five weeks’ rent as a tenancy deposit. This increases to six weeks for properties whose rent exceeds £50,000 per year.

How do I get my tenancy deposit back?

If you return the property in the same condition as when you checked in (excluding general wear and tear), your rent is fully up to date and you’ve settled all utility bills, then you should receive your full deposit. If you and your landlord agree on deductions at check-out, then you will receive the amount minus any deductions.

As a general rule, the property should look the same when you move out as it did when you first moved on. For low-risk personalising tricks, check out our top ways to make a rental feel like home

Find your next rental

Are you ready to find your next rental? You can discover more with Boomin. Our advanced property site offers a wide range of suitable spaces, and you can be the first to know about hot properties coming to the market. What’s more, Boomin gives you the ability to book viewings online 24/7 with experienced Letting Agents. Start your rental search today.

Faye deGavre

Content Writer