How to set up a furnished apartment for rentals

This article will let you know about the legal requirements for renting furnished apartments, and help you prepare your property mid-term rentals.
Preparing a furnished apartment for mid-term rentals: a counple cooking in the kitchen.

Furnished apartments for mid-term rentals are becoming a major trend in Germany. They are readily available in major cities like Berlin, Munich or Frankfurt, and the growth is set to continue, as the flexibility they offer attracts people commuting to work, students, frequent travelers, and those on work assignments. If you are a landlord looking to rent out a furnished apartment and are looking for a guide for setting it up, you’ve come to the right place!

This article will let you know about the legal requirements, and help you get the right furniture and equipment, plus all the small details that make a difference.

What must be included in a furnished apartment?

A furnished apartment usually contains a basic set of furniture. In Germany, a furnished apartment means the property is at least half furnished. Descriptions like “partially furnished” and “fully furnished” give tenants an idea of how much furniture is included. Most furnished apartments have practical and comfortable essential equipment, like a sofa, bed(s), bed linen, curtains, wardrobes, lamps, a fitted kitchen, tables, chairs, and a washing machine.

What are the legal requirements for furnished apartments?

Renting a furnished apartment, as described in the German Civil Code (BGB § 535), is no different than that of an unfurnished apartment: the same rental rights apply. The minimum standard equipment of a normal apartment is radiators, doors, windows with daylight, a bathroom with a toilet, a shower or bathtub, smoke detectors, water outlets in the kitchen, and electrical outlets throughout the apartment. This minimum standard makes sure that the apartment is suitable for use. However, your apartment can only be considered furnished, if it has a more complete setup than the minimum standard.

We recommend that you document which furniture is actually present in the apartment in detail in the contract. This way you will be on the safe side if there is ever a legal dispute with tenants. Tenants are liable if any furniture is damaged unless it is due to natural wear and tear. In this case, you as the landlord are responsible for replacement or repair. You can also specify a furniture surcharge on the actual rent In the contract. You can find more detailed information on calculating the furnishing surcharge here: Calculating the Furnishing Surcharge in Germany.

Tips for preparing an apartment for mid-term rentals

Define your target group

Once you know who your target group is, you can set up your apartment accordingly and tailor your online listing for them. For example, if you are renting out your property in Frankfurt am Main, you can probably count on business people who are in the city for work; in Riem in Munich or in Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin, you may also be targeting families.

Amenities and the feelgood factor

Tenants in mid-term apartments want to feel at home, even if their stay is temporary. They need a cozy atmosphere and an apartment for all purposes. This includes areas suitable for cooking and dining, a bedroom with a comfortable bed, a relaxing living room with a sofa, a bathroom with all amenities, and a visibly separated work area. This ‘home office’ does not have to be a separate room, an alcove within the living room might be enough. Also think about adequate storage space, lamps, a quality office chair, and a desk. Furniture with a storage function can help you save additional space.

Furniture and details

There’s a vast selection of furniture you can consider, from the most popular and affordable items from large stores like IKEA, all the way to specialty designer and vintage pieces. Keeping in mind that some furniture might get damaged over time, you should consider durability, and we recommend choosing items with a mix of simplicity and character, that will make your apartment stand out. The small, fine details also make a difference: a good-smelling soap in the bathroom, a few sets of bed linen, a coffee maker, and most of all, a clean apartment. By having these in place, you will help your tenant feel right at home. Decorative items should be as simple as possible but they can add a special touch to your apartment. Don’t forget to protect everyday items, for example with a mattress protector or a splash guard for the kitchen.

When setting up furniture and equipment, sustainability and energy costs are also key questions. You can read our tips for setting up an eco-friendly apartment.

Apartment Checklist

As a landlord, you have a lot to think about when furnishing your apartment. To help you with all the details, and to give you an extra bit of inspiration, we’ve put together a Checklist for the ideal furnished rental apartment for you.

More ways we can help you

If you are looking to renovate, furnish and rent out your apartment, the Wunderflats Plus property management solution will make the world of a difference. From designing the apartment to setting it up with furniture, equipment and decorations, all the way to maintenance, repairs, administrative tasks, everyday issues on site, getting the right photos in place, setting up a listing, communicating with tenants and making sure the property doesn’t stay empty, our team can take care of it all. For more information, head over to Wunderflats Plus, our team will be happy to answer any questions.

If you’re ready to rent out your apartment, you can also get started with Wunderflats right away. Create a listing to reach thousands of verified tenants looking for furnished rentals.


Please note: This article does not constitute legal advice – the contents of this page have been prepared solely for your information. As we act as a platform, we can and may share our assessments, but we cannot provide you with a legally binding recommendation for your own course of action.


More Posts

Photo by TienDat Nguyen on Unsplash
How to Legally Increase Rent in France: Know the Rules

Are you aware of how rent adjustments work in France? Each year, landlords might have the option to increase rent, but only if they stick to guidelines set by a government index known as ‘L’Indice de Référence des Loyers’. Do you know when rent hikes aren’t allowed, even at lease renewal? If you are curious to learn more about these rules and how they might affect you, keep reading.

Read More »
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
Tenant in Situ: Useful Advice You Need to Know

If the tenant is renting a furnished place, you might wonder what happens if the owner decides to sell it while the tenant lives there. In this guide, we’ve gathered everything you need to know about buying a property with tenants in situ.

Read More »