In this #AskTDS blog, we answer a tenant’s question; I want to decorate my house for Christmas, will this affect my deposit?

Putting up fairy lights, sparkly decorations and bauble laden trees is all part of the festive fun associated with Christmas and the end of year celebrations; but tenants and landlords alike need to be aware of any damage that may be identified as a result of temporary decor additions.

It seems reasonable to be able to participate in making a home seasonally appropriate but blue tac, cello-tape and nails are not always suitable and can leave indelible areas of damage to your rented home. Inventory clerks and letting agents will be well trained and experienced in looking for any changes from the beginning to the end of the tenancy. The check in record will be the starting point so even small tears to wall paper, paint and fabrics could turn out to be expensive if they are a result of a tenant’s actions and beyond reasonable use.

How do you make sure you don’t turn a happy time into a costly one? Well, as a tenant you need to make sure you have read your tenancy agreement and understand the obligations placed upon you. Additionally, asking for written consent to make changes will hopefully ensure that the landlord has had the opportunity to consider a reasonable request and more importantly confirm the condition the property needs to be returned to.  Temporary decorations shouldn’t leave damage that can only be resolved by costly cleaning or repairs; make sure decorations are free supporting and can be removed easily. Without proper permissions, a tenant may be held responsible for a landlord’s loss.

For landlords, understanding that a good tenant just wants to enjoy their home is all part of the rental experience. Flexibility, but with clear tenancy agreement clauses, will ensure the situation is managed to everyone’s benefit.

Landlords will need to make sure they have the correct clauses in the tenancy agreement which clearly set out what is expected and considers the rental property management carefully, depending on how long the agreement is for, to maintain a good tenant-landlord relationship.

So, get it right from the beginning and be prepared. Remember, ‘elf and safety’ at this time of year will help you enjoy your decorations but avoid damage that may lead to a deposit deduction.

About TDS

Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a Government-approved scheme for the protection of tenancy deposits; TDS offers both Insured and Custodial protection and also provides fair adjudication for disputes that arise over the tenancy deposits that we protect.

We provide invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and disputes for agents and landlords through the TDS Academy as well as joining with MOL to provide the Technical Award in Residential Tenancy Deposits.

TDS Insured Scheme: where a TDS member can hold the tenancy deposits as stakeholder during the term of the tenancy.

TDS Custodial Scheme: where TDS hold the deposit for the duration of the tenancy.

TDS Academy: TDS provides property professionals with invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and tenancy deposit disputes.

TDS Northern Ireland: TDS is Northern Ireland’s leading and only not for profit tenancy deposit protection scheme.

TDS can only comment on the process for our scheme, other deposit protection schemes may have a different process/require different steps. Content is correct at the time of writing.

These views are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the view of TDS, its officers and employees.

ARLA|Propertymark: For agents who would like to stay up to date, you can contact Propertymark | ARLA at: By being a member of Propertymark | ARLA you will be eligible for TDS Insured best headline rates.

RLA: If you are a landlord and would like to keep up to date with any changes that may affect you or your responsibilities, you can contact the RLA at: and quote reference: dg715 to receive 25% off your first year’s membership.

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