Make your home Santa-friendly: What can renters do to decorate that won’t risk their deposit

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – but how can renters bring that festive feeling into their home without risking their deposit?

It’s almost time to dust off your baubles, pick out a tree and pop the mince pies in the oven for Santa! But whether your Christmases are tasteful, silver lametta affairs, or if multi-coloured streamers in every room are more your vibe, as the big day creeps closer we’ve come up with a handy guide to getting your rented home fully festival-ready without risking your deposit in the process!

Ask, and it will be given to you… maybe

First things first, if you intend to go all out with a full property makeover for Christmas, before you start transforming your spare room into Santa’s grotto – and especially before doing anything that will cause permanent changes to your property, such as painting, nailing, drilling, sawing etc – put down that paintbrush and electric drill, and pick up your phone instead!

A conversation with your landlord is essential before making any permanent changes to the property. It might be that they have no problem with picture fixtures going up, or a change of colour to the walls, but without a courtesy call to find out, you could find yourself forfeiting your deposit when you come to move out, with your gorgeous paint job being classed as damage to the property.

Many landlords will be happy to come up with a compromise and make a plan together for redecorations, such as an agreement that you return the property to its original colours when you come to move out, or that any fixtures are filled and painted over when you leave. 

But without an honest conversation about your intentions – and then a written follow up clearly stating what’s been agreed – you could find yourself in trouble and your deposit diminishing.

Landlord-friendly festive decorations

There are also loads of festive decorating possibilities that don’t require you to have a difficult conversation with your landlord, or to break the bank during the cost-of-living crisis. Consider what you can do to transform your home with lighting, music, garlands, ornaments and soft furnishings. 

Investing in some inexpensive fairy lights or candles (real or electric) for your apartment or house will immediately bring a different vibe to familiar surroundings. If your budget stretches to it, you could even consider extending the lighting to the outside of your property too, for added Christmas flair!

And if you’ve got the family coming round for dinner on the day, adding some choral music or Christmas pop classics to proceedings will help to get everyone in the mood.

If you’re not able to pin or nail things to walls or bannisters, decorations such as festive garlands can still be hung using removable adhesives, over-the-door hangers, or using ties or string. These can be bought, or give it a go making your own from foraged materials.

Ornaments in vases or on mantels and shelves, as well as hung on trees, can add a Christmassy touch to forgotten corners of your space, without requiring any holes in the walls. Again, these can be shop-bought or unique and home-made.

And adding some festive-coloured soft furnishing, such as glittery throws or red and white cushion covers, can work wonders in warming your wintry space to the Christmas spirit with having any effect whatsoever on the property itself.

Keep it simple

Whilst the temptation to go all out can be strong, Christmas is about much more than just decorations and dinner, and with the cost-of-living crisis biting, this festive season might look quite different for many of us this year. 

Stick within the realms of what your landlord allows to safeguard your deposit, and enjoy the festive season with a few simple and affordable Christmassy touches instead.

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