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Rented Accommodation: Dress to Impress

March 31, 2015

I know I only just recently talked about buying that dream home and dressing it up in style, but I’d like to look at this from a different perspective. My hubby and I know exactly what we like, and we’ve worked hard to create a space that suits both of us.

But what about if you were creating that space for someone else, and it was only for a short amount of time? It all becomes a bit more difficult doesn’t it? Suddenly, you’re grand interior design ideas are out the window…almost!

I bring this up because I was discussing at length moving houses with my mother. She wants to be closer to London so my dad can get to work easier, and she can be closer to me; it’s a win-win scenario all round and I’ve been pretty excited all week at the news.

As she keeps telling me, “it’s a buyers’ market out there”. Her plan, once the house is sold is to go into rented accommodation for a spell, until they find a home they’re willing to make an offer on. It’s expected to be a short term stay, but my mother (as much as I love her) is used to a certain level of comfort and home luxuries.

This was evident in the conversation we had, as well as evident from the memories I have as a young’un of us staying at the Premier Inn, or camping in the woods. “Never again” I believe were her exact words on both occasions.

So what are her options? Rented accommodation in the price range she’s looking for rarely comes furnished. She has a treasured collection of furnishings that I’m sure she has no intention of parting with, nor lumbering them into a house only to move it all back out again in a few months. Buying new furnishings seems like a waste of money, as she and my father will have no space once they’ve bought a new home, so they’ll likely end up in a skip or a street corner for some lucky students to find.

I told her landlords can often provide solutions for situations like these, as they’re used to dealing with frequent comers and goers, and even students are moving on within a year. They’ll often part with the idea of buying new furniture, looking instead for alternatives that work for both the tenant and the property owner.

Whilst many people looking to let their properties won’t furnish it (much to the dismay of my mother), they can utilise buy to let furniture packages, turning an empty space into somewhere that’s marketable and desirable by prospective tenants, and more importantly, liveable.

Rental furniture options can also be used by tenants themselves, which is what I ultimately suggested to my mother. Interior design is difficult to get right, and waiting for a landlord to furnish a property which will only be occupied for 2 – 3 months is even more difficult. They’re notoriously stubborn for a start, but more importantly, they care about the bottom line above all else!

If you’re going to be entering a short-term rent, ensure your property isn’t just a stop-over you’re settling for. There’s plenty of ways you can furnish a temporary home that doesn’t require too much energy or money. As for my mum’s current furniture, she wanted it in storage

Previously, I have espoused the benefits of websites like Freecycle or Gumtree for getting a hold of free furnishings, but if you’re only going to be staying in a property for such a small amount of time, I would advise against it. Not only it is wasteful, but the furniture could be better suited in the hands of someone who will use it on a long term basis, and perhaps someone who couldn’t afford to furnish their home by conventional means.

The aim should be to make a short-term stay as comfortable as possible. Even if it’s for a small amount of time, people will want somewhere attractive to love, and landlords should be flexible and provide furniture packages that only work on a practical level, but also to appease those looking for something more stylish.

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