The Pros and Cons of Renting Furnished Apartments

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The Pros and Cons of Renting Furnished Apartments

Lisa Wright · May 12, 2022
Cozy furnished apartment with modern fireplace and armchair.

Moving can be a real pain. Not only is it often a long and arduous process to find the place of your dreams, it’s also equally stressful to pack up all your belongings and move them from place to place.

That’s where fully-furnished apartments come into play. Common in the apartment world, they can often take some of the pressure off of renters by providing the bulk of the necessary furnishings. A lot of times, these move-in ready spaces have everything you need to immediately start enjoying your new home — but there are also some downsides to renting a furnished apartment.

Before you make a decision to opt for this type of rental, it’s best to be informed. Important considerations like cost, type of furniture, and the actual extent of the furnishings provided are all things to think about.

Below, we break down the pros and cons of furnished apartments:

Furnished Apartment FAQ

What exactly is a furnished apartment? Unfortunately, there’s no clear-cut answer to this question, as one landlord’s idea of “fully furnished” may be another’s idea of just partially furnished. However, apartments that generally fit the criteria of fully furnished include things like kitchen appliances, dressers, a bed, sofa, and other living room furnishings. In some cases, pre-furnished or fully furnished options even come with decor pieces like wall hangings, curtains, rugs/carpets, and kitchen utensils.

The best way to find out exactly what’s included in a furnished rental is to ask the landlord or rental agent ahead of time. You’ll also want to check the lease to make sure that everything is there (and in move-in ready condition) before committing to anything.

Tip: Many apartments will already have appliances such as an oven/stove, refrigerator, and sometimes even an air conditioner included in the rental. Pre-furnished and fully furnished options tend to take that extra step toward providing other necessary furnishings.

Now that you’re up on the lingo, it’s time to consider the pros and cons of renting a furnished apartment.

Pros of Renting a Furnished Apartment

Contemporary living space in a furnished apartment unit.

While there are many benefits to renting a furnished apartment, it’s important to consider your budget beforehand and have a baseline as to what you can afford each month in terms of rental costs and utilities. This alone will make it a lot easier to determine your options for renting a furnished vs. unfurnished space.

Lower Initial Costs

One of the biggest pros of renting a furnished apartment is that it can save you money on upfront costs like furniture in addition to a security deposit and additional fees like first and last month’s rent, which already put a pretty big strain on your wallet. Opting for a fully furnished place has the potential to alleviate some of these early expenditures.

Less Moving Headaches

Everyone knows what a hassle moving can be, especially when it comes to those heavier items. Renting a furnished apartment means you can reduce the number of items that have to be packed and transported during your move, which can also save you money on moving costs. Even better, it’s less stress on moving day.

More Flexibility

For people like first-time renters and those who don’t want to make a long-term commitment, furnished apartments are good options because they give you the flexibility to settle in to a move-in ready place without having to invest in your own furniture — or committing to pieces that may not work in your next home.

Cons of Renting a Furnished Apartment

Fully furnished apartment living space complete with stylish decor pieces.

Renting a fully furnished apartment may sound like a no-brainer, but unfortunately this option doesn’t work for everyone. Depending on your budget and needs, it could be more of a short-term solution.

Higher Monthly Rent

While renting a furnished apartment can save you money in the short term and prevent you from having to spend extra money upfront, it could also cost you more in the long run. That’s because furnished apartments will all have higher monthly rents than their unfurnished counterparts. If you already have the furniture you need, it may be best for your budget to go for an unfurnished unit.

Damaged Furniture Costs

Renting a furnished apartment means you’re renting the furnishings, too, which also means they must be handled with extra care. Stains, pet damage, and any other type of scratch, chip, dent, etc. will ultimately be your responsibility. This is a big one to consider when thinking about furnished apartments.

Quality of Furniture

This is another big risk when it comes to renting a furnished apartment. There’s no guarantee as to the quality of the furniture left behind from the previous tenant. The landlord may also be unwilling or unable to replace damaged or even unusable furniture.

This is where doing your homework helps. Be sure to take a tour of the apartment before committing, and make sure the rental terms are clear with the landlord as to what will and will not be replaced or kept as part of the furnishings.

There are lots of pros and cons to renting a furnished apartment, including flexibility, personal taste, your current furniture situation, and budget. As with any potential rental, it’s important to do some research and decide what works best for you; make sure your lease agreement is transparent and accurate; and communicate with your landlord to paint a clear picture of what exactly “furnished” means to them. The decision to rent a furnished apartment could have both short and long-term effects on your budget, so making an informed decision is the best way to make the process as smooth as possible. 

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