Published: 10/05/2023Renting a new home is always an exciting experience, but it comes with many decisions, including whether to rent a furnished or unfurnished property. There is no right or wrong answer, as each option has advantages and disadvantages. In this blog post, we will explore the pros and cons of renting a furnished property versus an unfurnished property to help you make an informed decision.
A furnished property comes with all the necessary furniture and appliances required for daily living; some even come with extra items you may or may not want including. Sometimes this is negotiable, but it all depends on the landlord or the letting agent responsible. Here are some pros and cons of renting a furnished property:
Convenience - The most significant advantage of renting a furnished property is its convenience. Moving in becomes a breeze as there's no need to worry about buying furniture, appliances or even basic items such as cutlery and crockery (in some properties – not all!). You can move in, and you are immediately good to go. It also saves on the hassle of lugging large pieces of furniture from property to property. It sounds simple because with the right letting agent, it usually is!
Flexibility - Furnished properties offer more flexibility, as they're ideal for people who don't plan on staying in one place for an extended period. You don't have to worry about finding storage for your furniture or selling it when it's time to move. It gives you a degree of freedom, which for many is highly desirable, especially with the modern-day trend of moving jobs more frequently. Staying in one place for extended periods isn’t the norm anymore, and people want property options that suit their lifestyles. A furnished property is often the perfect solution for that.
Saves time and money - Renting a furnished property saves you time and money. You don't have to spend hours researching and purchasing furniture or worry about the cost of moving it from your old home to the new one. Moving companies do not come cheap; it can be an expensive time once you have added on unavoidable expenses such as deposits, up-front rent etc.
Cost - Renting a furnished property may come at a higher price than an unfurnished one. Landlords sometimes charge a premium for providing furniture and appliances. This isn’t always the case, though, so research this before making an assumption.
No personal touches - Furnished properties usually come with generic furniture, which may not suit your taste or style. You may feel like you are living in someone else's home rather than your own. This may not be an issue for a short period, but how would you feel if you were looking to make a home somewhere long-term…would you ever really feel settled?
Damage - You're responsible for any damage caused to the furniture and appliances provided by the landlord. You may have to pay for repairs or replacement if something breaks or is damaged due to your own action or inaction. Tip: Check the condition of the furniture and appliances before signing a lease on a furnished property. Ensure they are in good working order and not damaged and, if there is existing damage to anything, make a note on the inventory so that you do not incur a charge at the end of the tenancy.
An unfurnished property is a blank canvas, and you're responsible for filling it with furniture and appliances. It is an exciting opportunity to create your own space with your own things and design the perfect pad to return to after a long day at work. Shopping for new things, although at an additional cost, can also be an exciting adventure! Here are some pros and cons of renting an unfurnished property:
Cost - Unfurnished properties can sometimes be cheaper than furnished ones, as the landlord doesn't have to provide furniture and appliances. This can be a significant advantage if you're on a tight budget. Speak with the landlord or letting agent first to understand how the rental amount may or may not differ. We have said it before but will say it again – never presume anything! There is no such thing as a silly question, and you have nothing to lose by asking.
Personal touch - An unfurnished property allows you to add your personal touches, and some landlords may even let you decorate it to your taste. Obviously, this would need to be agreed in advance. An empty house allows you to create a space that feels like home and reflects your personality; it’s a fun project and doesn’t have to cost the world if you are thrifty with bargains.
Less risk of damage – No furniture means fewer items to damage and potentially be charged for when the tenancy ends. This can be a plus if you have young children or pets, as you don’t have to worry about them damaging someone else’s possessions.
Inconvenience - Moving into an unfurnished property can be a hassle, as you must purchase and move all the necessary furniture and appliances. This can be time-consuming and expensive, especially if it is your first home and you don’t yet have many of your own things. An unfurnished property is more suited to those with furniture or looking to go on a big shopping spree…it’s the perfect excuse!
Lack of flexibility - Unfurnished properties mean you can't just pack up and move at the drop of a hat, as you'll have to move (and potentially store) all your furniture and appliances. If you want more flexibility, this isn’t the option for you; if you are looking to stay somewhere longer and want to make your mark on it, then the flexibility aspect probably isn’t as big a factor for consideration.
Choosing between a furnished and unfurnished property depends on personal preference and circumstance. If you're short on time, have a flexible lifestyle and don't mind ‘possibly’ paying extra, a furnished property may be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you want more control over the look and feel of your home and plan on staying in one place for an extended period, an unfurnished property may be the better option. Although both have advantages, those advantages are aimed at two completely different kinds of tenants with completely different lifestyles and future ambitions. By asking yourself a few simple questions, you can make a more informed decision and will have your answer in no time. Good luck…