One of the best things about the holiday season is the decorations, but before you hang lights or put a holiday wreath to your door, consider how your decorations could cause damage to your rental property or become a safety issue.

Usually your Lease Agreement will list your property’s policies regarding damages and whether decorating your rental (such as hanging pictures with small nails) could be viewed as damaging the suite, so it’s important to take another look at your lease before you start decorating.

Even when you’ve taken the time to check over your lease for anything you might’ve missed, you still might be wondering how to put up your decorations while limiting the amount of damage you do to your suite.

In this post, we go through some tips on how to safely decorate your suite for the holidays inside and out.

Use Non-Damaging Decorations on Walls and Doors

It’s possible to decorate your apartment for the holidays while ensuring you don’t breach your Residential Lease Agreement or risk losing part or all of your security deposit.

To prevent unnecessary damage to your rental suite, consider using ornaments, decals, or pictures that won’t leave any residue, marks, or holes when you take them down.

As an example, instead of using a nail to hang a wreath on your door, use a removable adhesive hook. For windows, use easily-removable decals. Pictures can be propped up on shelves or displayed on an easel instead of hanging them on a wall.

Help Prevent Electrical Fires or Injuries

Decorative lights and other electric holiday decorations are a staple of the season, but they can also present safety issues, such as fire or injury, if not used properly.

The last thing you want for the holidays is to cause a fire or have someone get injured in your suite or on the property, so before you plug in any lights, make sure you are following these general holiday safety tips:

  • If you are decorating outdoors, be sure to use lights and other decorations that are rated for outdoor use. If you use indoor decorations that are not made to be outside, it could increase the risk of fire and electric shock.
  • Before you change a burnt-out lightbulb on your holiday lights, make sure you unplug them first.
  • If you’re hanging lights outside, reduce your risk of electric shock by switching out your metal ladder for a wooden or plastic one, since these materials don’t conduct electricity.

Keep Your Neighbors in Mind

Showing your excitement for the holidays by decorating outside your suite is great, but it’s important to be mindful of how your outdoor decorations might impact other residents or the rental property in general.

For instance, placing a festive welcome mat outside your apartment door might seem like a good idea, but if maintenance staff need to vacuum the hallway, they probably need to move the mat out of the way so they can do their job. Also, the mat could cause a tripping hazard, so it’s probably best to keep it inside your suite.

If you live in an apartment with neighbors close by, be mindful of any decorations that might encroach on their space. For example, hanging a large wreath on your balcony railing might not be a good idea especially if you have neighbors below you, since it could fall and cause damage to their property or even injure someone.

If you live in a ground-level suite that has a patio that leads to a public walkway or lawn, be sure that your decorations stay on your property and don’t spill over onto these common areas.

Also, it’s probably best to not use motion-detecting lawn ornaments that play loud sounds or music when someone walks by, as these can disturb your neighbors, especially if they go off at night.

Essentially, you just want to make sure that your decorations don’t cause any issues for maintenance crews, neighbors, or anyone else around the rental property.

Decorating for the Holidays

Just because you live in a rental doesn’t mean you can’t be festive and put up decorations, but you do need to remember that the property is not yours, and that any damage or nuisances you cause due to your decorating might create issues with your landlord.

When you’re decorating for the holidays, remember to use decorations that are easily-removable, safe, and won’t disturb your neighbors.

Posted by Lisa Hoffart

Lisa is an experienced writer interested in technology and law. She's been writing for LawDepot since 2017.