Christmas is just a few short weeks away and most of us like to make our homes feel a little festive. Putting up the decorations can feel just as Christmassy as passing round the sprouts on the big day itself!
But if you’re renting your home, it’s worth taking a moment to check what is and isn’t allowed as part of your contract. Clearly you won’t be making major alterations – like installing a full size sleigh on the garage roof(!) – but some landlords won’t allow so much as a drawing pin in the wall.
Here are our five tips to stay on the right side of your landlord this December.
Before you add any paper chains or tinsel to your walls and ceiling, have a quick read of your contract. Often you’ll be restricted from using nails or drawing pins – but there may be other rules to be aware of too.
Sticky tape and Blu-tack might be OK, but do bear in mind that taking these down can sometimes remove paint and even plaster from the wall – which could end up with you losing money off your deposit. Is it worth the risk?
Think about whether you’ll opt for a real Christmas tree or an artificial one. While lots of people prefer the real thing, they do drop lots of needles which could get stuck in the carpet, or even leak sap onto the floor. Also, dragging it in and out of the house or flat could leave you with scraped walls or other damage.
In our opinion, an artificial tree is easier to install and creates less mess while providing you with the same festive feeling!
Whether you rent or not, safety should be your first concern. Never leave fairy lights on when you go out or head to bed – and don’t overload power sockets.
Candles can add a cosy scent of cinnamon and spice, but some landlords won’t allow them to be used. If they’re OK, do make sure they’re placed somewhere that they won’t be knocked over, and protect furniture and floors from dripping wax. Battery powered candles are also another great option – far safer, a lot less messy and in many cases, less expensive than real candles too!
Top Safety Tip: Be extra careful not to hang paper decorations near lit candles, lights or heaters.
If your contract is very strict, there are still lots of ways to bring seasonal spice to your home. Use Christmas ornaments instead, like a mantelpiece display, a nativity scene or collection of snow globes.
Why not add Christmas bedding in your bedrooms, festive themed cushions and plants in your living room and pop on your finest Christmas jumper and hat!
Don’t neglect to involve all your senses. Brew up some mulled wine or bake some gingerbread to add a festive scent, and – of course – don’t forget the Christmas music!
December is traditionally the party season and many of us decide to host an event to mark the end of the year. But as a tenant, guests, food and alcohol can be a risky business.
There’s rarely a party without a spilled drink or two, so try and contain lively celebrations to the kitchen or rooms with a hard floor. If your landlord owns your furniture, cover it with a throw or two to protect it from damage.
General advice is to keep gatherings fairly small so that you can keep things under control. Or if you know things could get messy, hire a bar or a party venue where people can let their hair down without it being your problem!
Have a great December, and best wishes for Christmas and New Year from all of us here at Progressive Lets!