Research from property website OnTheMarket.com has found that renting a two-bedroom furnished flat can cost up to 21% more per month than renting an unfurnished property of the same size in the same area.
The data gathered uses average monthly rental prices based on two-bedroom flats across nine major UK cities, to determine the average difference in cost between renting a furnished or an unfurnished property.
The graph below shows the average difference in rental costs between furnished and unfurnished two- bedroom flats or apartments across 9 major UK cities (prices are per calendar month).
The graph below shows the average difference in rental costs between furnished and unfurnished two-bedroom flats or apartments in London (prices are per calendar month).
The cost of furnishing a two-bedroom flat can be around £1,800 including a sofa, coffee table, bookcase, TV, table and chairs, two double bed frames, two mattresses, a desk and an office chair. This amount is calculated based on furniture from IKEA and a TV from Curry’s.
With prices for furnished flats commanding up to 21% more than unfurnished, it is a decision for the tenant to decide whether or not to save a lump sum to buy basic furniture.
According to the results, renting a two-bedroom furnished property in the city of Sheffield costs tenants an average of £726 compared to £598 for an unfurnished property of the same size – a 21 per cent increase in price.
In Newcastle upon Tyne the difference is £85 more – a 14% difference, Birmingham (£127 more – a 20% difference), Sheffield (£128 more – a 21% difference), Manchester (£101 more – a 15% difference), London (£128 more – a 9% difference), Leeds (£128 more – a 19% difference), Glasgow (£86 more – 13% more), Coventry (£102 more – 15% more) and Cardiff (£50 more – 7%).
Helen Whiteley, Commercial Director at OnTheMarket.com said: “Ultimately this research suggests it’s worth calculating the cost of furniture to decide whether the initial financial outlay can be off-set over time during the rental period.
“Spread throughout a 12 month tenancy, these costs become around £150 per month meaning it is worth prospective tenants giving serious consideration to whether or not they are embarking on a long term let. That said, there are clear benefits and a level of convenience of walking into a ready-to-live-in property when weighed against the alternative of buying everything yourself.”
Denise Brown, Property Management Manager at Andrew Craig in Newcastle, said: “Newcastle has a strong hold on student accommodation that requires fully furnished because tenants travel to this area for university and do not have many goods of their own.
“Gateshead has more long term tenants and mostly family homes, it is not normally their first rental and the tenants have collected goods along the way.
“Since the Government abolished tax relief for landlords on furnishing properties, we have noticed a significant drop and over three quarters of our management/let-only business is now unfurnished.
“Landlords are more likely to buy rent guarantee insurance, which protects the landlord against the tenants not paying the rent, than furnish properties.”