Many furniture rental centers entice apartment dwellers each year, with promises of many benefits to renting furniture as opposed to buying it outright. To add insult to injury, some stores are successful in persuading consumers to enter into rent-to-own deals, which are often scams. With so many options for obtaining furniture cheap, including checking the curbs near student apartments on the last day of school for trash that can become your treasure, it’s almost impossible to not find furniture that you can afford. Before you make a decision, here’s a look at the pros and cons of renting furniture.
Pros of Renting Furniture
There are advantages to renting furniture, especially if you really don’t have any other options. You should avoid rent-to-own traps whenever possible. Some of the benefits of renting versus buying furniture are:
- Use furniture for a short time without investing in the full purchase price
- Rental centers often pick up the furniture when you’re ready to move, so you don’t have to
- Little money is required up front compared to buying new furniture
- You may need nicer options for furniture if clients visit your loft or apartment for business, and you may be able to claim it as a deduction
- It may be your only option if you’re having trouble finding cheap or free furniture
You can be creative and enjoy these benefits without going the rental route, but you have to decide what’s best for your personal and financial circumstances.
Cons of Renting Furniture
When you weigh the cons of renting furniture, you may change your mind about pursuing it as an option. In too many instances, rental companies come out as the winners in these deals, and by a landslide. Here are just a few of the cons of renting furniture:
- You may have to pay for it anyway if you damage it
- The cost of renting during a rental term is steep compared to what you can find for free or cheap
- There are miscellaneous fees that have nothing to do with the furniture itself, such as insurance
- You may not be allowed to terminate a contract early if you change your mind or find furniture that you like
- Many stores charge high interest rates, and poor credit scores can result in even higher rates
- The cost of buying cheap furniture and selling it or moving it is often less than renting furniture
- Late payments can affect your credit history, which can impact future apartment rental applications and the amount you’ll pay to turn on utilities
If you’re having money troubles, then there’s a risk that you may not be able to fulfill the contract terms for renting furniture. That carries all kinds of financial and legal consequences that are worth avoiding in the first place.
If you’re convinced that renting furniture is still a viable option, then make sure you check the Better Business Bureau website for the companies you’re considering renting from. Stay away from companies with too many unresolved complaints. Read the contract terms carefully, especially the fine print. If you don’t understand something, don’t expect the company to explain it to you in a way that will benefit you. You may have to seek the help of a consumer attorney or organization.