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Child's bedroom in the Towne House

I’ve seen some advertisement where homeowners post a furnished room to rent that includes a bed, dresser and other furniture that’s appropriate for a bedroom.  I’ve never really thought about why homeowners would go through the trouble of furnishing a room, until I recently visited some friends over a weekend – I crashed in their furnished guest room.

Some homeowners already have a furnished guest room for friends and family visiting overnight.  In this situation, leaving the furniture in the guest room and renting out the furnished room is much easier than renting out the unfurnished guest room.

It would also be redundant work to move out the contents of the guest bedroom only to help a new roommate move their belonging in.  In addition, the furniture that is moved out of the guest bedroom will need to be stored in some other part of the house or a storage unit.  Now, it made all the sense in the world why some homeowners rent out a furnished room.

This brings me to my next thought: the difference between renting out a furnished bedroom and an unfurnished bedroom.  I’ve thought of my own experiences and tried to relate them to see how things would be different if I rented out furnished rooms.

Here’s what I thought of:

Furnished Bedroom

1.  Makes it very attractive to short time renters – the idea of not moving furniture makes it easier for short timers to move in and move out.

2.  Your furniture may get damaged or stolen – small items may unintentionally get packed away when your roommate is moving out.  Furniture may also get damaged from the result of spilt drinks or negligence.

3.  Reduces the chances of damaged walls – The chances of roommates nicking or marking up walls is greatly reduced when new roommates are not moving large furniture.

Unfurnished Bedroom

1.  You may get damaged walls – Walls leading up to the bedroom may get damaged from roommates moving furniture and their personal belongings into the bedroom.

2.  Your help may be needed – You may need to assist in moving your roommate’s big items such as a bed and dresser.  If your help is not needed, it’s still a good idea to stand around and supervise so the move goes smoothly, so your time is still being consumed by the move.

3.  Freedom to arrange – You give your roommates the ability to arrange their own furniture, thus giving them some freedom.

Closing Thoughts

Out of the years I rented out my rooms, I’ve never furnished any of my spare bedrooms and I probably won’t start either.  I’ve had some people that were short time(3 to 4 months) roommates and they brought their own furniture to suit their needs for the duration of their stay.  With that said, I don’t think one has an advantage over the other.   Generally speaking, I think it is assumed that most rooms for rent are for unfurnished rooms, unless otherwise stated.

If you have a furnished room state what furniture is already provided in your advertisement.  Be specific about the size of the bed, ie twin, queen and so forth.  List the number of drawers in the dresser and other furniture included in the room(night stand, tv).  You may be able to command more rent per month because your furnished bedroom will still be cheaper than a hotel.  Additionally, no one wants to take on a short term roommate because the turn over rates may lead to the room being unrented, hence missing out on the rental income.

The question I have is, would you rent out a furnished room knowing you can get more rent money per month?  Is it worth the extra hassle to you?


Creative Commons License photo credit: pvdEric

  • ansel troy May 3, 2014, 6:39 am

    currently considering renting out my bedroom. i may convert the living room into another room

  • Marlena July 16, 2015, 8:28 pm

    The rooms we rent out are furnished, and the upside is that in our area many people are coming from out of state and thinking about getting furniture is more of a hassle for them, so the convenience is attractive. The downside is that I think it does attract more short-termers, so I have to make sure to ask how long they plan to stay before I choose them to rent to room, since we generally like more long term people. Of course, we only do a month to month lease, so if someone does a 12 month lease or something than that might not be an issue. Another downside is that when the furniture gets broken, we are expected to replace it. We didn’t put a clause in the lease saying that we wouldn’t replace broken furniture, so the general expectation is that if it breaks, we should buy a new one. Our current roommate who is a pretty big guy has broken 2 beds already which has cost us a few hundred bucks (used bed frames found on Craigslist).


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