It can be tempting to make upgrades to your apartment rental to make it feel more like home. However, some of your upgrades could lead to your landlord keeping your security deposit when it is time for you to move. If you are hunting for an apartment, here are some possible upgrades that could impact your security deposit to ask about before signing the lease.
Painting the Walls
One of the most popular upgrades for renters is painting. Changing up the wall's color to help it blend with your furnishings might seem like a good idea, but your landlord might not agree.
Your landlord likely wants the apartment to remain rental ready at all times. If you move out before you can repaint the wall to the color it was before, the landlord will have to buy the paint supplies and either paint the walls or hire a contractor. As a result, there is a good chance your landlord will keep your deposit.
To avoid this, ask your landlord about how he or she feels about painting the interior of the apartment. If the landlord agrees that you can, ensure the terms for the upgrade is included in your lease agreement. For instance, if you have to get approval for the color before you can paint, make sure it states that in the contract.
Swapping Out the Appliances
Most rental apartments come with the appliances included. However, if you have your own appliances or simply want to replace the existing ones because you do not like them, you can swap out the ones in the apartment for others you prefer.
There is a catch, however. You need to make sure the old appliances are safely stored throughout the duration of your lease. When it is time to move, you need to place the old appliances back into their original spot without damage. Unfortunately, not everyone remembers this and ends up losing their deposits to the landlord.
You can avoid this by first checking with the landlord to determine whether or not swapping out the appliances is allowed. There is a chance that the landlord can remove the appliances for you and use them elsewhere. Regardless of the policy, you need to make sure it is in writing to protect yourself.
Talk to your rental real estate agent about other upgrades you could potentially make to a rental apartment that could hurt your chances of getting your deposit returned.