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Which One Should You Choose: Furnished Or Unfurnished?

One of the fundamental questions a tenant has to answer when looking for a property is whether they should choose a furnished or unfurnished rental. It's not always a straightforward decision. There are a few factors to take into account, the cost of rent and personal circumstances the most important.


What's the difference between furnished and unfurnished rentals?


On the face of it, it's an easy question to answer. But it isn't quite so clear cut as it seems. Even unfurnished accommodation will include some fixtures and fittings. Many landlords will ensure their unfurnished properties include essential white goods including oven, washing machine and fridge. Most will include carpets and possibly curtains or blinds.


If you're looking at renting a furnished property it can be more confusing. You may see rentals advertised as 'furnished' or 'part-furnished'.  What's the difference?


Unfortunately, there's no standard which defines what furnished and part furnished (or even unfurnished) actually means. Every landlord or letting agent will have their own interpretation. You need to actually view the property to get a full understanding of what's included. One landlord’s interpretation of a furnished apartment, for example, may be that it simply includes basic white goods. But this is what most tenants would expect to find in an unfurnished apartment.


Deciding on furnished or unfurnished


Deciding which type of rental is best for you depends on your circumstances. As well as what you need from the property.


The cost


One of the biggest factors, when tenants look at the property, is the cost. How much is the rent? Rents on furnished properties tend to be higher than unfurnished. This is because the landlord has extra expenses including purchasing, repairing and insuring for the furniture. The landlord is likely to charge a higher rent to recover those costs. All things being equal to an unfurnished apartment, for example, will be cheaper to rent than a fully furnished apartment.


But for a tenant costs involve more than just the rent. If you take on an unfurnished property you then have the expense of fitting it out with your own furniture.  Not only that but you also have to pay for moving the furniture in and out of the property at the start and end of the tenancy. It may work out less expensive in the long run to pay the higher rent for furnished accommodation.


Of course, if you already have your own furniture you won't have the initial outlay on furnishing the property. This means you can look for unfurnished rentals at (in theory) a lower rent.




If you want to find a place and move straight in without any hassle fully furnished is the solution for you. Everything you need is already in the rental. No need to go shopping, arrange deliveries or worry if your furniture will suit the decor.  Though you may need small things like kitchen utensils. Otherwise, you’ve moved in as soon as you unpack your suitcase.


It's the convenience, as well as the savings on buying furniture, which attracts young people, especially to furnished accommodation. And if you're going to be a student, you'll certainly be looking for furnished digs. You don't want to be carting furniture back and forth at the start and end of every academic year.


Length of tenancy


If you're looking to put down at least semi-permanent roots you'll be looking for a long-term tenancy. If this is the case an unfurnished property may be best for you. If you're staying in any property for any length of time you’ll want to make it your home. Your own furniture will help you do this.


On the other hand, if you're planning to be moving on quickly a furnished property would be best. Moving home can be a pain and you don't want to be hauling furniture in and out every six months or so.


All about you


Your personal circumstances will be the biggest factor in deciding whether to choose a furnished or unfurnished property. Young people are spending a huge proportion of their income on rent. Young families and young people, in general, may find it difficult to find extra money to furnish their new home on top of the rent and everyday bills.


Furnished properties will also suit workers who've relocated for short-term contract work. There's little point in furnishing a place if you're going to be moving again fairly quickly.


However, if you're older or are downsizing you'll already have your own furniture so unfurnished properties will probably suit you best. if you opt for a furnished property you'll have to sell or store your furniture.


Tenants can find their ideal property faster with MakeUrMove the online letting platform bringing landlords and tenants together.

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