RentSeeker.ca Apartments for Rent Furnished vs. Unfurnished

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Part 1:

One of the most challenging and intriguing problems that face potential short term renters is deciding on the type of apartment they want to rent.

One consistent area of interest we often hear feedback from is the choice option between furnished and un-furnished apartment rentals. The sacrifice or trade-off between quality and cost could make the decision making process somewhat intriguing.   If you’ve been shopping around for furnished apartments in Toronto on RentSeeker.ca, or in any city in Canada, you probably will have noticed that the asking price for one is more then then unfurnished apartments.

RentSeeker.ca Furnished vs. Unfurnished Apartments for Rent

This might actually be pretty good value and is due to a number of reasons. In order to properly and fairly assess the value of a furnished apartment, it is worthwhile to understand the landlord or building manager’s perspective. From the owners perspective, an individual looking to rent a furnished apartment is someone who probably wants to be catered to, and is likely only there for a short time. S/He would probably expect that the utility bills be set up under the landlords name instead of having to deal with the headaches themselves. While this might not be the case in your particular circumstance, this is sometimes an assumption. Let’s break down some of the the cost factors and value:

  • New Furniture

The Landlord will buy furniture to place into the apartment. This can range anywhere from a simple couch, table and chairs to full towel service, free TV and the more. Whatever it is, understand that the landlord has to charge more for these additional expenses

  • Repairs.

You might be the nicest most considerate guy, the type of person that never puts down a glass without first placing a coaster; however the landlord will operate under the assumption that some furniture is bound to get damaged and will increase his price to cover any real or imagined damage. This might be able to negotiated, as some landlords would prefer a security deposit and if there are no damages would refund it at the end of the lease period. Consider if it would be easier to pay a lump sum upfront and possibly have it returned, or to pay a little more every month.

  • Short term.

As we said, most furnished apartment rentals in the GTA as well as nearly everywhere are for the short(er) term, this means that in between every tenant, the landlord must go in to the apartment, and in most cases, paint all the walls, and hire professional contractors to enhance the suite appeal. In a typical unfurnished apartment rental, the tenant is usually there for a much longer period of time making theses checks more infrequent and thus less of an expense from an owners perspective.

  • Utilities.

Sometimes a short term tenant does not want to deal with the hassle of setting up his or hers own account with electric hydro gas etc. The landlord will often set up the features under their name and estimate the approximate usage and / or by passing the bill on to the tenant. Many unfurnished apartment rentals in Toronto and other cities include hydro in the rent.

While the price of a furnished apartment will probably run you more money per month, the added benefit for short term renters, namely furniture, and also often better service might end up being worth it

PART 2:

So you decided to rent a furnished apartment rental, and are now wondering, what are some of things I need to ask and know. Well, our team here at RentSeeker.ca, came up with some ideas for you:

1. The first question you should ask is for them to give you an itemized list of the furniture that is included in the apartment and the condition that it is in. For example;

  • Couches
  • End tables
  • Bed(s)
  • Kitchen table
  • Lamps
  • Televisions
  • Toaster ovens
  • Chairs
  • Microwave
  • Dishes
  • Cutlery
  • Crib

and…well, you get the idea.

2. Another important question to ask is if the rent price includes the furniture or if there is a separate fee for that. You don’t want to move in only to realize that there is another fee on top of the one you are paying already.  Know how much the total bill would be at the end of every month!

3. Ask  if utilities are included. This can vary by Landlord, so make sure to ASK. The same holds true regarding cable TV, phone lines, etc,.

4. Ask  if there is a security deposit for the furniture. Some landlords instead of charging for repair will often ask for a deposit to cover any potential damage that might accrue. This can work out to your benefit as it means that if you are careful you wouldn’t have to pay anything for repairs. However the downside is that you have to give a lump sum in advance. This is often negotiable so ask your landlord what arrangements you can work out with them.

5. Find out what type of amenities the building and area offer. Sometimes  newer built  furnished property rentals will offer a higher standard of amenities and services on site.

These are some questions we came up with that you might wish to ask your landlord before you commit to  your  rental agreement. Think of your own questions and post them and share them on RentSeeker.ca on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rentseeker — so that others can benefit from your ideas and experiences!

-The RentSeeker.ca Team

“Apartment Rentals Made Easy”