Book Now
Request More Info

Should you choose furnished or unfurnished when renting a flat for the first time?

Apartments | 4 MIN READ

If you are renting a flat for the first time in London, there are key questions to address ahead of your move. One that pops up on every first-time renter’s list is: should you rent a furnished or unfurnished apartment? If you’re unsure which to choose, we’re on hand to provide tips so that you make the right decision when the time comes to renting their first property.

In this guide dedicated to first-time renters, we explore the differences between furnished and unfurnished properties, shed light on the advantages of each, and share why a Dolphin Square apartment might be the right choice for you. After all, helping new tenants is what we do! Let’s begin.

Renting property furnished or unfurnished

Before diving in to explore our advice, we must first establish and define what each term, furnished and unfurnished, means.

What is an unfurnished apartment?

As a general rule, an ‘unfurnished’ property comes with limited items and tends to cost less than a furnished or part-furnished counterpart. When a property is classified as unfurnished, it does not include furniture such as tables, chairs, sofas and beds. Typically, though, an unfurnished rental property will include a fridge/fridge freezer, oven/hob, and perhaps a washing and dryer combination - more commonly known as white goods.

What is a furnished apartment?

The term ‘furnished’ refers to a property that typically includes white goods and basic furniture - at the landlord’s discretion. Typically included in a furnished rental property you would expect to see similar to above with the added value of tables, chairs, a sofa and a bed(s) (depending on the size of your rental property). In some circumstances, a furnished apartment will include storage facilities and decorations - but again, this is down to the landlord’s discretion of what they choose to include.

What does part furnished mean?

It’s worth mentioning the term  ‘part furnished’ in this list, as a growing number of properties fall into this category. A rental property that is part furnished refers to having the white goods included along with furniture basics; i.e basic dining table, one or a pair of chairs, and a bed. When additional furnished items are introduced, the property would then fall into the ‘furnished’ category.

Advantages of renting furnished and unfurnished apartments

As a first-time tenant, and when hunting down your first ideal rental property, a good understanding of the advantages of renting a furnished or unfurnished apartment can make a real difference in your decision and when it comes to signing the dotted line. Here we take a look at the advantages of each.

Advantages of furnished rental apartments

  • Convenience: Renting a furnished apartment is seen as the most convenient option for a first-time renter. Move-in time is significantly reduced - which means you can enjoy your new home without worry. All you need to do is bring your personal belongings and you are good to go. 
    • Did you know? Pets are welcome at Dolphin Square - characterful cats and dapper dogs are already making themselves at home in our Pimlico community.

  • Save money on upfront costs: While you should expect to pay an increased monthly rental fee for a furnished apartment, it goes without saying that renting a furnished apartment will save you money, especially in the short term. If you’re moving into an unfurnished apartment without any furniture, the bill to deck out your new pad could well reach into triple digits (£££s) or more. By having an apartment with the furnishings included, you can spend more money on things that matter the most; i.e food, travel expenses, and having fun.

  • Settle in faster: There’s nothing more satisfying than being able to settle into your new apartment straight away. When choosing to rent a furnished apartment, the stress of moving in is reduced as you find your feet from day one. There is no assembly of furniture or positioning, and repositioning, the layout of your rooms. Put simply, once moved in, you can start to enjoy your new home.

  • Avoid the hassle: Nobody wants to spend time lugging heavy furniture, especially if you’ve secured your first rental apartment on the building’s 6th floor or higher. A furnished apartment eliminates the hassle of sourcing new, or used, furniture and appliances which can take a lot of time and effort. More often than not, most furniture included has been carefully selected to complement the layout and theme of your new apartment. All that’s needed is a sprinkle of your personality.

Advantages of unfurnished rental apartments

  • Save money on your monthly rent: The difference in cost between a furnished and unfurnished apartment can be a defining factor in which apartment type you choose. By choosing an unfurnished apartment, you will save on rent as the monthly cost of renting an unfurnished apartment can be significantly lower than a furnished property. This is because landlords want to cover the costs of furnishing an apartment and protect the household items from tenant damage.

  • Reduced liability of property damage: Renting an unfurnished apartment reduces the risk, liability, and unwavering concern of damaging your landlord’s property - which can often result in costly repairs and replacements. Having to repair and/or replace items in a furnished apartment can leave a dent in your monthly expenditure as well as impact the amount of deposit you get back at the end of your tenancy. By having your own furniture, you can rest assured knowing a few bumps and shavings to the kitchen table leg or the sofa arm won’t leave you short till payday.

  • Add your own style: Having the ability to add your personal influences and style to a property can mean the difference between an apartment feeling like somewhere to stay and somewhere you call home. Unfurnished apartments tend to lend themselves to renters who want to bring their home comforts - including furniture such as the oak cabinet you want to cling onto at all costs. Unfurnished apartments will give you plenty of space to make things feel and look how you want them to.

Renting a flat for the first time? Choose Dolphin Square

Dolphin Square offers an established, reputable and high-quality accommodation solution for first-time renters in Pimlico, London. We have taken the time to create an environment that serves all our residents beyond their expectations, and we’re perfectly positioned for students, solo tenants, and couples. 

If you’re looking for the most affordable home in the city, our choice of beautifully furnished, professional management apartments might just be the home you have been looking for. Take a look at our rental offering and see why our current tenants have chosen to live at London’s most distinguished address.

We understand that the prospect of finding a new home right now may be a little daunting. We thought it helpful to explain the measures that we have put in place with your safety in mind. Read our Viewing Promise today.

Is it best to rent furnished or unfurnished?

Armed with the knowledge of furnished and unfurnished terms, and having read the different advantages of each, you are now positioned to make a choice on what type of apartment will suit your needs. To recap, furnished apartments combine convenience with the ability to settle in from day one, while unfurnished apartments save you money on rent each month as well as allowing you to inject your personality into things.

Whatever your decision, don’t forget that Dolphin Square apartments are the number one choice for first-time renters looking for a place to live in the capital. Coupled with superb on-site amenities, and excellent transport links to the city, there is no better place to rent than Dolphin Square. Come on down and find out more.