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Is it better to rent furnished or unfurnished in the UK?

It really depends on your personal circumstances as to whether it is better to rent an unfurnished or furnished home in the UK, but there are a number of things worth considering when making your decision. Typically unfurnished properties are cheaper than comparable furnished properties, and offer you the flexibility to tailor the homes to your own taste, but they also require additional upfront cost, time and effort to furnish. 

In this article we will explore in more detail the pros and cons of each option, and by the end you should be able to make a decision about what is best for you.

 Empty home without any furniture - unfurnished

First up, what can you expect in an unfurnished property?

An unfurnished property will still include white goods, such as a fridge, freezer and washing machine, as well as a cooker and oven, It will also likely include curtains and blinds and suitable floor coverings. However, it won’t include any hard furniture, soft decorative furnishings, or cooking utensils.

...and how about in a furnished property?

It will depend on the individual property as to exactly what items will be included, but you can assume that if it is advertised as furnished it will include everything required for you to live there without adding additional items. It will likely include sofas, armchairs, bed frames, mattresses, wardrobes and chest of drawers.


Cat looking cosy in furnished home

Advantages of renting a furnished property

1. Convenient

One of the key benefits of renting a furnished property for many people is that it is convenient. If you don’t own your own furniture (perhaps because you’ve just graduated, or you’ve just left a family home) then a furnished property means that you don’t have to worry about spending time finding and waiting for deliveries of furniture.

2. Simpler

If you’re going to be sharing with friends or people you’ve met through or similar, it can quickly get complicated when you all contribute towards buying furniture. Who gets to keep the sofa when you move out in a couple of years? Do you split the payments equally if you weren’t bothered about getting a coffee table? Selecting an already furnished property means that you can avoid these discussions and keep it simple with one monthly rental payment to the landlord. 

3. Lower initial expense

Another benefit of renting a furnished property is that you can avoid the initial upfront costs of buying furniture, which can be expensive!

 Bed in furnished property

But not all furnished properties are equal….

Unfortunately there is no accepted or recognized standard for furnished rental property across the UK, this means that the quality, cleanliness and standard of furniture can drastically differ from property to property. So it is worth visiting potential properties to compare and inspect the furniture! You will often find that properties are priced more on their location and size rather than quality of furniture and interior. Therefore you can pay the same price for a property furnished in cheap, falling apart IKEA furniture and well-made furniture that is designed to last. Make sure you’re moving into the later!

There are a growing number of property managers who are more focused on provided quality, well designed interiors and furniture. They’re typically priced slightly higher than comparable properties, but it could be worth it to get great looking furniture. Check out Essential Living, Tipi, Get Living for London properties, and MODA for Manchester.

Advantages of renting an unfurnished property

1. Create your own home

Some people value being able to create their own “home” by selecting furniture that matches their own taste and preferences. With an unfurnished property you have the power to pick that dusty pink velvet sofa you’ve always wanted, as well as finding pieces that won’t fall apart while you stay in the property. 

2. Less deposit risk

When you move into a property you should flag any damages to furniture on the inventory check to ensure you are not charged when you move out. However, there is always the risk your landlord doesn’t have the same understanding of “fair wear and tear” as you and they pursue you for dents, stains or marks on furniture. If you take an unfurnished property you remove this risk. 

3. More cost-effective in the long-run

Generally speaking unfurnished properties can be slightly cheaper on a monthly basis than a comparable furnished property because the landlord has not incurred the expenses of furnishing the property. Therefore even if you have paid for furniture upfront at the beginning of your rental, if you stay there for a couple of years it may work out more cost-effective.

Man happy to dive into his bed from Monty Space

What’s that? There is another option?! The new kid on the block: Flexible furniture with Monty Space.

At Monty Space we’re providing landlords and tenants with another option - great quality and stylish furniture available on an affordable rental basis. With Monty you can turn an unfurnished property into your dream home by selecting your preferred furniture pieces and have them delivered and installed within 7 days. All payments go towards ownership so you will never pay more than the retail price for the items, but if your circumstances change and you no longer need the furniture we will collect the furniture for free.

We give you the best parts of furnished properties - convenient, simple and low upfront cost, whilst avoiding the bad bits - low quality, poorly maintained furniture and no choice over style. If you fancy finding out more about how Monty works check out more information here.

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