To Rent or Not to Rent? Pros and Cons of Renting Furniture

Side view of happy young couple placing sofa in living room of nIn Los Angeles, it’s not easy to move in and out of an apartment — especially older apartment buildings downtown. They’re notorious for narrow hallways and no elevators. And, if you’re the type to change apartments each year, you know how hard it can be to match your current furniture to the new space. That is why more renters in Los Angeles are opting to rent furniture too. But before you go out and sign a contract to furnish your new space, you’ll want to make sure it’s the right step for you.

Pro: Change Up Furniture Anytime

Rental furniture doesn’t have the same commitment as furniture you buy. When you buy something, you can’t just change out furniture every year — unless you want to pay for it. With rented furniture, you return the furniture at the end of your contract, pick up more, and you’re not out the cost of the item. This is especially helpful if you move frequently and need to change out your furniture to match your new space.

Pro: It’s Moved for You

You don’t have to move the furniture you rent. Instead, the company can relocate it for you. That means no more hassling with moving vans, no bribing friends and family to strain their backs relocating your items, etc. But, your furniture rental company might charge a fee to move mid-lease.

Con: It’s Expensive

When you compare the cost of renting furniture to the cost of buying, you’ll pay more over time for rental furniture — and you won’t own the furniture (unless you do a rent-to-own contract). Even when you compare the cost of interest and buying furniture on credit, you pay more to rent.

Con: You Could Get Locked Into a Contract

Most furniture rental agencies have contracts. These can be month-to-month, six month or yearlong lease periods. So, you are locked into that contract period until it ends. If you need to end early, you might be charged an early cancellation fee — or have to pay out the rest of the lease.

Is Renting Furniture Right for You?

If you tend to move a lot and you aren’t fixed in a single location, rental furniture could be your answer. It comes down to your budget as well — can you afford a rental payment and furniture lease payment every month? Also, if you are the type that changes your style frequently, you might find it more affordable to rent furniture than commit to a purchased piece.

Apr 2014