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Is it best to rent furnished or unfurnished?

Is it best to rent furnished or unfurnished?

One of many big decisions you need to make as a tenant is whether to rent a furnished or unfurnished property.

Perhaps you have your own furniture and are set on renting an unfurnished property so you can make it feel like home, with your own belongings.

Or maybe you’re looking for a furnished property as you don’t own any furniture of your own, or you’re happy to place your own items into storage.

Here, we’ll run through the big differences between furnished and unfurnished rental properties, what you can expect from both and the pros and cons of each.

 

‘Unfurnished’ meaning

An ‘unfurnished’ rental property is one that comes with no furniture, as you might expect.

But that doesn’t mean it’s completely empty.

An unfurnished property should still come with white goods, flooring and window coverings.

 

What should a landlord provide in an unfurnished property?

Despite being classed as ‘unfurnished’, your landlord should still provide certain things as standard in your rental property.

In an unfurnished property, you should expect to find:

  • A cooker and hob
  • A kitchen sink
  • A fridge and freezer
  • Bathroom fixtures, like bath tubs, shower units, toilets and basins
  • Some kind of flooring, whether that’s carpet or hard flooring
  • Curtains, blinds or shutters for privacy

 

What is the difference between furnished and unfurnished?

Compared with an unfurnished property, which we’ve outlined above, a furnished property may include:

  • Everything that’s included in an unfurnished property
  • Seating, like sofas and chairs
  • A dining table and chairs and tableware
  • Storage throughout the property
  • Beds

 

Furnished or unfurnished? The pros and cons

There are a whole host of pros and cons when it comes to renting a furnished or unfurnished property.

Much will depend on your personal circumstances, what furniture you already own and how long you plan to stay in your rental property.

 

The pros of ‘unfurnished’

  • You can put your own stamp on the property with your own things, rather than relying on your landlord’s tastes
  • If you’re building up a stock of great furniture that will travel with you between properties you rent, or buy, this can be a great investment
  • If you break or spill something on your own furnishings, you won’t have to worry about repair or replacement money coming from your rental deposit – although clearly you might still have to pay to replace your own things

 

The cons of ‘unfurnished’

  • If you have very little, or no furniture, you might have to spend a lot of initial money to get yourself kitted out with enough to be comfortable in your rental home
  • If you have a lot of furniture, moving in and out of rental properties can be far more problematic and costly, as you may need to hire a removals company to help you with large items
  • Moving furniture in and out of rental properties can sometimes cause damage, which would affect your deposit

 

The pros of ‘furnished’

  • Furnished properties can be more cost-effective, as you won’t need to spend on your own furnishings
  • Renting a furnished property can give you greater flexibility – particularly if you’re renting on a short-term tenancy. Once you’re ready to move, you just grab what’s yours and go, with no heavy furniture to move

 

The cons of ‘furnished’

  • You’re relying on your landlord having the furniture that you need. For instance, if you’re used to sleeping in a king-sized bed, but your rental property only has a double, this could be an issue
  • Your landlord’s furniture might not be to your taste, meaning the property won’t truly feel like ‘home’
  • If you damage any of your landlord’s furniture, this would affect your deposit

 

Is it better to get a furnished or unfurnished apartment?

Whether it’s better to rent a furnished or unfurnished property really comes down to you and your own circumstances.

When it comes to flats and apartments, though, you should also consider how easy it is to move large items in and out and whether a lift is available or you’ll be using flights of stairs.

 

When to rent unfurnished

  • If you own a lot of your own furniture and want to put your own stamp on a rental property
  • If you’re looking to rent a property for the long term, renting unfurnished and using / buying your own things can be a better way to make a property feel homely
  • If you only want to rent for a short period of time, a furnished property can provide more flexibility as well as an easier moving-out process
  • If you’re renting a property for work during the week, before returning home at weekends, a furnished rental is the best option

 

When to rent furnished

  • If you only want to rent for a short period of time, a furnished property can provide more flexibility as well as an easier moving-out process
  • If you’re renting a property for work during the week, before returning home at weekends, a furnished rental is the best option

 

Further reading…

Now you’re fully up to speed on furnished and unfurnished rental properties, take a look at our guide to preventing damp and condensation when renting.

Often, condensation can be a result of tenant lifestyles and poor ventilation practices, so our guide explains the things you can do to stop damp taking hold when you’re renting.