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Tips for tenants: How to adapt furniture in a furnished rental property to your tastes without damaging it

30 May 2014

Sometimes when you are renting, particularly if you are just starting out or relocating, it can be helpful to rent a furnished or part-furnished property.  However, the furnishings may or may not be to your taste. 


Many landlords are willing to be flexible & will offer properties furnished or unfurnished, like this two bedroom apartment for rent in Paddington W2

Here are 3 easy ways to adapt the furniture in the property you’re renting without upsetting your landlord or risking your deposit:

1.  Ask if the landlord will remove furniture & find free or inexpensive furniture to replace it – if you don’t like the furniture that comes with your rental property then ask your landlord if they will remove it.  It may be that the landlord is happy to store or get rid of items that you don’t want, particularly if you are taking out a longer contract such as a 24 month contract. Many landlords are actually very flexible about furnishing, so do ask.  To find free or inexpensive furniture to use instead, try using a site like Freecycle or find something via one of the many local Facebook groups such as Northfields Facebook Friends, Pitshanger Area Friends or Acton Life.

2.  Use slipcovers – slipcovers are a great way to cover upholstered furniture or even dining room chairs.  Slipcovers are easily replaced and many are washable.  Try searching for slipcovers on Amazon, Ebay or use Google to find local retailers.  When you move you can take the slipcovers with you to use in your next home.  Slipcovers are also a wonderful way to protect the furniture if you have children or pets.  If you're a dab hand with a sewing machine you can make your own slipcovers – there are plenty of tutorials online.  Trying searching on a site like for instructions. 

Slipcover DIY

There are lots of slipcover tutorials online like this one from Ana White which can be made up in 10 minutes.

3.  Cover scarred tabletops with glass or mirror – if the furniture in your rental home has scratches or marks OR if you want to protect the tabletops so you don’t damage them and therefore put your deposit at risk, try having a piece of glass or mirror cut to fit the top of the table, dresser, side-table etc, etc  (you get the idea).  If you use glass you could personalise it a bit more by putting a piece of fabric, decorative paper or even photos under the glass.  That way you don’t need to use coasters either!

Make it home

You want the property you rent to feel like a real home and so you’ll want to make it yours.  Just remember that the landlord does need to protect their investment and that includes their furniture, so whatever you do, make sure you look after the property AND the furnishings so that you get your deposit back.  Your landlord will appreciate it and that will also mean a great reference for you in future.

Do you have a question about getting the most out of your rental property?  Tweet us @northfieldslive or ask us questions via our Facebook page.  We’re here to help.