Managing a Furnished Apartment: When to Upgrade


October 16, 2018

Managing a furnished apartment can be more profitable than a standard apartment. It can also be much more time-consuming. There is the standard maintenance that comes with a basic apartment. In addition, with a furnished apartment, you have all the furniture to worry about as well. The furniture must be kept in good shape if you’re going to entice new tenants.

Knowing when to replace furniture can be difficult though. If you replace the items in your furnished apartment too frequently, you’ll spend more than necessary. If you replace the items too infrequently, then things will get broken. Or you will end up with a low-quality finished space that keeps you from effectively renting it back out. Below are general guidelines about when to replace specific pieces of furniture in your furnished apartment. Use them to help you figure out when the time is right, and help you avoid spending too much on replacement items.

Upgrade these items every 5 years

A spacious furnished bedroom in Boston with wooden furniture. There is a dark blue accent wall while the others are painted white. On the bed there are white pillows and sheets with a yellow blanket on top.

Certain items wear down much faster than others. This is especially true for mattresses and bedding items. It’s important to replace these items frequently enough to keep them from wearing out and scaring new renters away. Replacing the two below items once every five years should help make your furnished apartment more desirable.

  •       Mattresses
  •       Box springs

Upgrade these items every 10 years

These furnished apartment mainstays are relied on heavily.  They should hold up much better than the items listed up above. You can expect to upgrade these about once every 10 years. Of course, there are going to be cases where you will need to upgrade these pieces more frequently. This is especially true if tenants are hard on the furniture. This is common with tenants who have pets or children. Appliances and amenities should be kept in the best shape possible.

  • Office chairs
  • Sofas
  • Bed frame
  • Most appliances (a lifespan of 10-15 years is common)

Upgrade these items as needed

a kitchen table made of light wood sits against a wall with a large window looking out on to a brick building with green foliage. On either side of the table are two grey chairs and on the center there are some decoration pieces. Next to the table there is a floor lamp switched on

These items will often last much longer than 10 years, but wear and tear happen at different rates and depend on your tenants as well. That’s why it’s so important to take photos and have security deposits in place to help cover the cost of key furniture replacement. To keep these items in good shape for your future tenants, examine each of these furniture pieces carefully and replace them if they are excessively worn, they are growing weak enough to be a hazard to use, or they begin to look dull enough to scare off future tenants.

  • Kitchen table
  • Kitchen chairs
  • Office desk
  • Dressers
  • Lamps
  • Décor (such as vases, wall art, mats, etc.)

Avoid upgrading perfectly functional items

Over time owning a furnished apartment, you will learn to assess the furniture and to get an idea of when pieces need replacing and when they will hold up for a longer period of time. The guidelines above should help you estimate when to plan on replacing different furnishings, but always check the items in your unit before making any replacements.

If the furniture is still in excellent condition, then it’s worth waiting for a replacement. It’s also possible to make repairs to keep furniture in running order if there are only minor issues such as loose legs or frame damage in one specific location. Consider making repairs to help you save on replacement costs, but make sure every repair is structurally sound or you could end up creating furniture that is dangerous to your tenants.

Avoid upgrading furniture until next tenant

It’s always best to avoid upgrading the furniture items in a furnished apartment until you move on to your next tenant. That’s because upgrading to a new piece with the current tenant still at the location could result in damage to the piece of furniture before you even get another tenant. Only recommend what breaks while a tenant is renting your space. Make any necessary upgrades or renovations after the apartment is renter-free.

Work furniture costs into rent and security deposit

As the owner of a furnished apartment, it’s important to make sure you charge a rental price that accounts for the added cost of maintaining all the furniture in the space. It’s also valuable to include furniture replacement costs into the total security deposit that you ask for when authorizing someone to move into your space. By taking these simple steps you can protect yourself against furniture damage and make sure that you can cover the cost to replace any faulty furniture at any time.

a small corgi dog bites on the handle of a wooden set of drawers

Maintaining a furnished apartment is much more work than maintaining a standard apartment unit. Regularly inspecting your unit's furniture takes more time than you may expect. You will have to take steps to properly sanitize items like mattresses in between tenants as well, which can add costs and work to standard maintenance practices. By working with Blueground you can cut out most of those maintenance concerns while still enjoying the benefits that come with renting out a furnished space. At Blueground we handle maintenance, furniture replacement and most everyday tasks that come with renting a furnished apartment. We can help you complete these actions more easily than you can complete them yourself, thanks to our extensive team of professionals (such as on-call repair technicians, dedicated cleaning staff and client experience specialists).


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