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5 tips for furnishing your apartment for mid-term rentals

In addition to the location and size, the furnishings in a mid-term rental apartment have a big influence on the rent. It is often the little things that make an apartment particularly livable and increase the feel-good feeling for the tenants. Based on our experience, here are some tips for the ideal furnishings for your furnished apartment.

What constitutes an ideal furnished apartment?

For tenants of furnished apartments, it is important that they can “settle in” as soon as they arrive and feel completely at home. Their new apartment should be equipped with all the essentials for a comfortable daily life so that tenants can arrive and settle in with light luggage: Clothes, toiletries bag and a laptop.

Being able to assess the actual livability of one’s own furnished apartment is a challenge for many landlords/-ladies – they become “blind”, so to speak. A change of perspective helps to recognize the potential for optimization. That’s why we asked Wunderflats tenants about their experiences: Which features are essential in a temporary furnished apartment? The three most important features for Wunderflats tenants are Wi-Fi, a washing machine, and a real bed.

We have summarised five furnishing tips for you and created a practical checklist for download. These can help you optimize your already furnished apartment or furnish and equip a new one. The information refers to one-to-two-person homes.

Our tips for the perfect apartment furnishings

Tip 1: Imagine moving into your own apartment on a Sunday afternoon – all shopping facilities are closed.

  • The apartment is clean and ready to live in.
  • There is enough storage space to unpack your suitcase and store personal items.
  • The shelves in the bathroom offer space for your toiletries.
  • There are enough towels available.
  • All lamps work and provide sufficient light.
  • All electrical appliances, heaters and taps work perfectly.
  • The bed is fitted with a duvet and pillow, as well as matching covers.
  • The bedroom window can be darkened with blinds or curtains.
  • A “starter kit” is especially helpful for a pleasant start in the apartment: toilet paper, toilet brush, rubbish bags, aluminum foil, baking paper, soap, coffee and tea. Salt, pepper, vinegar and oil are also often worth their weight in gold if your tenants have their first dinner delivered to their home and want to season it.

Tip 2: Ask yourself if you can get ready for your first day at work in a new company in your own home.

  • Power sockets for cell phones, laptops, etc., are sufficient, easily accessible, and not hidden behind a cupboard or sofa.
  • A workstation is available to work on the laptop. A power socket is nearby, or an extension cable is available. Ideally, there is a notepad and pen in the apartment.
  • The table and chair do not wobble, and the workplace is well-lit.
  • The Wi-Fi code is easy to find and easy to read.
  • There is a reading lamp by the bed for reading and working in bed.
  • The bathroom is well lit and there is a mirror.
  • To iron clothes, a functioning ironing board including an iron is stored in the apartment.

Tip 3: Ensure that you can find – and would use – all the utensils in your kitchen for that first home-cooked dinner.

  • A simple instruction manual in German and English for the most important appliances such as the stove, microwave, coffee machine, dishwasher and washing machine can save effort, time and money for you as a landlord/-lady, over the course of the rental. In addition, a demonstration of all appliances can help when handing over the apartment or the manuals for the appliances.
  • In addition to different pots, there should be pans as well as cooking utensils for stirring, turning, serving, and making sauces or soups – it is advisable to have cooking utensils that are gentle on the surfaces of the pots and pans.
  • In kitchens where cooking is done using gas, a lighter is indispensable. We recommend a refillable stick lighter.
  • Have typical kitchen utensils such as a can opener, bottle opener, and corkscrew on hand – items that are often forgotten when accessorizing, just like pot holders and a pasta strainer. For a handy list of all items, see our checklist.
  • For the oven, have a baking tray and oven rack.
  • Well-sharpened cutting knives for different purposes are available, so that tomatoes, for example, are not squashed but cut. Your knives are dull, and you don’t have a sharpening stone at hand? With this trick, you can sharpen knives immediately: Video from www.stern.de.
  • At least one hygienic plastic chopping board, as well as sufficient crockery and cutlery, are available so that starters and main courses can be fully enjoyed.
  • Existing tins or glass bowls with lids are ideal for storing leftovers.
  • For washing up, there are enough dry cloths, a washing-up brush, a washing-up cloth, a sponge, a pot cleaner and washing-up liquid.
  • Rubbish bins are provided – and there is the option of separating the rubbish.

Tip 4: Ask yourself if a daily routine with a pleasant atmosphere can be established in your apartment.

  • There are places to hang up jackets and deposit the apartment key near the front door.
  • A doormat for storing wet or dirty shoes is useful not only in autumn and winter.
  • Towels can be hung to dry on hooks or a towel rail in the bathroom. A towel rail within reach of the shower is especially handy.
  • Shower racks are useful for tenants of different heights. There are options for storing personal hygiene products such as shower gel and shampoo, and the shower enclosure or shower curtain provides sufficient protection from splashing water.
  • There is a clean bathmat in the bathroom.
  • The bed and mattress are comfortable.
  • There is a blanket for the sofa so that your tenants feel really comfortable, especially in the cool months.
  • A laundry bag or, even better, several laundry bags for separating light and colored or normal and delicate laundry are provided.
  • There is a clothes rack and hangers in the wardrobe for freshly washed clothes.
  • A vacuum cleaner, rags and cleaning products for the various rooms and purposes can be found in the apartment.
  • A vacuum cleaner bag, a set of spare light bulbs and batteries, for example, the remote control is in stock on site.
  • A tool kit can be helpful.
  • A first aid kit, including plasters and compresses, is ready in case of emergency.
  • Smoke detectors are compulsory in private dwellings in all 16 German states and make sense in all homes, also for the tenants’ sense of safety  – here you can find more information on the regulations in your state in German.

Tip 5: Ask your tenants for feedback.

For example, it can be helpful to ask questions such as:

  • Was everything you needed on site when you moved in?
  • Is the apartment still comfortable after several weeks?
  • Is the apartment still livable even when a friend or your partner is visiting for the weekend?
  • Is everything functional? Or have necessary repairs or reasonable improvements been identified?

Interaction and close contact with your tenants often lead to the more careful handling of the apartment and equipment. In this way, you can avoid sudden work for subsequent tenancies.

Bonus: our sustainability tips to save resources and costs

  • Reduce: Equip the apartment appropriately. You can avoid spending on items that do not add value to your tenants.
  • Reuse: Try to repair broken items first before making new purchases. Here’s a tip: Even used furnishings that are in good condition and in perfect working order are often a real eye-catcher in furnished apartments.
  • Recycle: Invest in products made from recycled materials and those that can be recycled after use. For example, textiles such as towels, bed linen and tea towels are made from natural materials.

“From 2017 to 2019, I stayed in 13 different furnished apartments from Wunderflats within Berlin and experienced a wide variety of furnishings and amenities.

Unlike in holiday accommodation, as a tenant of Zeitwohnen, I design my everyday life around my temporary home. Therefore, it is essential that I not only feel like a guest in the apartment but that I can feel at home without limitations. For me, this means, for example, that I would like to have breakfast in my kitchen and invite my friends to my home on weekends.

Furnishings play a big role in the feeling of being at home: I myself moved from apartment to apartment with only two suitcases. Expats who come to Germany from another country often arrive with little luggage. The less I bring, the more important it is for me that all the basic equipment is already in the apartment. That way I don’t have to make any new purchases.

Certainly, some of the apartments I have lived in were furnished quite differently from the way I like things. And yet I can feel at home there because as a tenant I notice immediately when the landlords and landladies have furnished their apartments as if they would like to live there themselves.”

Arkadi Jampolski

Here you can download our furnishing tips in a handy checklist.

Did you know that you can add the cost of furnishing your apartment to your rental value with the help of a furnishing surcharge? You can find information on this in our article Calculating the furnishing surcharge: The Hamburg and Berlin model for temporary furnished rentals.

Do you have further questions on the topics of apartment furnishing or equipment, or would you like to rent out your furnished apartment on a temporary basis? Feel free to contact us via email or create a listing now.

author avatar
Carina Heye
Carina Heye has been with Wunderflats since 2018. Her area of expertise covers topics around temporary housing.
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