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Can You Drill Holes in Apartment Walls: All You Need to Know   

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Written By Edward Cohen

We personalize a living apartment to call it home! Otherwise, it’s merely a habitat. While shifting from one place to another, we carry those ‘things’ with effervescent memories. Attaching it to the new residence often requires making holes in the walls. It’s not a concern if you are the apartment owner. However, as a renter, it’s better to check if you have permission to drill. In this post, we’ll shed light on ‘Can you drill holes in apartment walls’ and inform you of everything you need to know, including the repair allowance, damage or repair cost when applicable, and much more.

Can You Drill Holes In Apartment Walls? Is There Any Restriction?  

Yes, you can drill holes in apartment walls if it is in the agreement. If not, you can directly ask the authority for permission. In most cases, there is no strict restriction. You’ll be allowed to drill or nail small holes in apartment walls on condition that you fix the wall before the lease ends.

See Also: How To Install SimpliSafe Doorbell Step-by-Step

What To Consider Before Drilling Holes In The Apartment?   

Lease Agreement  

Check out the lease agreement to see if there are any specific rules or restrictions regarding the renewal or any modifications to the property. Some landlords or rental agreements may not allow drilling holes or ask you to follow specific guidelines for drilling.  

Lease Agreement  

Obtain Permission  

If nothing is mentioned in the agreement, still talk to your landlord or property management and obtain permission before drilling holes. Discuss your requirements and, at the same time, ensure you have clear consent to proceed with drilling. It’s better if you can manage written consent.  

Apartment/Wall Structure  

Consider the wall’s structure before proceeding with drilling. Load-bearing or concrete walls may require specialized equipment or professional assistance to nail even small holes or drill. Besides, remain careful to avoid causing wear and tear on the electrical wires, pipes, or other hidden fittings while making the hole.  

Wall Structure
Wall Structure


While drilling, do not forget to take necessary safety precautions, including safety goggles, gloves, and a dust mask to protect yourself. Ensure you have the right tools with the drill machine, such as the correct drill bit for the wall type, or get a plumber to make the holes more perfect. 


Most agreements require returning the property as it was before your rent. So before drilling, document the existing condition of the apartment. You can capture photos or videos of the property to have evidence of the pre-drilled state. This can be useful in case of any disputes or while restoring the apartment later.  

What Can Happen If You Drill Holes Without The Permission Of The Landlord? 

Although you’ll be allowed to drill on apartment walls based on certain rules, it’s safe to make sure you have permission. Otherwise, you may have to count charges for various reasons, including lease agreement violation (if any) or property damage. Other than that, you may also face a deduction from the security deposit or even legal consequences against repair and restoration obligations for making any massive blunder.  

Common Reason For Drilling Holes In The Apartment   

We may need to drill holes in walls for various reasons. Here are some reasons:   

  • Mounting bookcases or shelves  
  • Hanging artwork and pictures  
  • Installing curtain rods or blinds  
  • Securing wall-mounted electronics  
  • Mounting TVs and securing them  
  • Wall-mounted mirror and storage set-up  
  • Electrical wiring or installations and others

How To Drill Hole Without Damaging Apartment Wall   

While drilling, it’s better to remain careful so that you can avoid damaging walls. You can utilize our following tips on how to drill holes without damaging the apartment wall:  

Mark The Drilling Spot 

Plan and mark the place where you want to drill. Otherwise, drilling in the wrong spot or making an inaccurate measurement may cause more damage to the wall.  

Use The Appropriate Tool  

The machine you use for drilling should be of good quality to ensure your drill bit works accurately. A standard drill with a masonry bit is good for drilling into concrete or brick walls; a standard bit should suffice for drilling into drywall.  

Drill Slowly  

Excessive force can damage your apartment walls potentially. That’s why we recommend drilling gently with consistent pressure.  

Begin With Small Holes  

Initially, start with drilling small holes using a smaller drill bit. It will help you drill conveniently and with accuracy.  

Use Anchors Or Wall plugs  

For mounting heavier items or drilling into drywall, it’s recommended to use appropriate plugs or wall anchors so you have adequate support to hang them. 

can you drill holes in apartment walls

How To Repair Holes?   

Often, it’s in the agreement that the apartment should remain as it was when you terminate the lease. So, in case of drilling, you must repair or fix the holes before leaving for good.   

There are multiple methods of repairing drilled holes, like using single—or two-coated plaster or ready-mixed plaster. Two-coated plaster lasts longer because you use plaster twice—one layer over another, whereas in a single coat, only one layer of plaster is applied. 

Note: To fill the deep holes, it’s recommended to apply single and double-coated plaster. However, if there are small holes in your apartment walls, use ready-mixed plaster to repair them. If you’re unable to fix it by yourself, ask for professional help for better finishing.  

Fill the Drill Holes
Repair Holes

Things To Do Instead Of Drilling Holes Into Apartment Walls  

Although it’s usual to drill holes in apartment walls, what if you’re not allowed to or you don’t prefer drilling? Here are some alternative ways to drill the walls:  

Adhesive Hooks and Strips  

Adhesive hooks or strips are convenient alternatives to drilling on apartment walls. You can use them for hanging pictures or a mirror on the wall. Adhesive hooks can support up to 11 lbs, whereas strips can hold up to 7 lbs. One thing to bother about: if you have painted walls, the paint may come off while removing the hooks. However, you can repaint the wall, which is much easier than repairing the drill holes.  

Monkey Hooks  

Monkey hooks are handy for drywall and can hold up to 50 lbs. Monkey hooks are often called press-in hooks that don’t require a power drill to install. All you need to do is just rotate the hook on the exact spot of the wall until it’s fixed accurately. Then, you can easily hang heavier items on walls. 

Other Alternatives  

Leaning items on walls, like frames and mirrors, is also a common practice instead of drilling walls. If your home has less traffic and no kids, you can conveniently place items to lean on the walls. You can also hang any frame on bookshelves, which is trendy and stylish too.

Arranging easels and decorating your home with them is also a handy and classic alternative to drilling walls. Easel arrangement looks better in a larger space where you can personalize any space as you dream.  

Can You Drill Holes In Apartment Walls In NYC?  

Yes, you can drill holes in apartment walls in NYC if you have permission or written consent to do so. Some owners may not like you to drill on walls since it can potentially damage the property. In that case, check if you have permission from the apartment owner or the manager before drilling. 

Final Words  

The bottom line is that you cannot drill holes in the walls of a rented apartment without permission. The safest option is to talk before signing the contract. Otherwise, check on the repair and drilling task allowance in the contract, so you won’t be charged for drilling holes in the apartment walls later. 

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