Semi-furnished VS Unfurnished VS fully-furnished apartment

The terms ‘unfurnished’, ‘semi-furnished’ and ‘fully-furnished’ are often thrown around when discussing rental apartments. Each term refers to the amount of (or lack of) fittings, furniture and furnishings that are provided with the home that is on offer. Often, potential renters look out for a specific type, depending on their needs and whether or not they already own furniture. Each type of home has its own pros and cons. It’s important to first understand what is included and what is excluded under each category so that you can choose the right direction to go as you begin your rental journey.

What is an unfurnished apartment?

Apartments are defined as unfurnished if it does not include any furniture. The apartment will not have sofas, beds, tables or any other furniture. It may have basic kitchen appliances such as a fridge or stove but even these may not be included. Unfurnished apartments are great for renters who have all their furniture and appliances already. Those looking to stay for long periods usually choose unfurnished apartments as they can decorate it and design the space to make it according to their own preferences and tastes.

1. Pros:

  • You can decorate your space any way you choose with your furniture.
  • You aren’t forced to live with an unsightly cupboard or an unmovable piece of furniture that takes up an unreasonable amount of square footage. You are free to change up your furniture as you wish.
  • If you already have all your own furniture this arrangement is ideal as you will not have to sell or place your items in storage.
  • The security deposit and the rent for unfurnished apartments are generally lower than that of semi- or fully-furnished apartments.

2. Cons:

  • If you don’t like furniture shopping, an unfurnished apartment can be an unnecessary annoyance.
  • Purchasing a home’s worth of furniture can cost a lot of money which you may not want to spend on a rental.
  • If you move out, you will have to take all your furniture with you and find a home that is suitable to accommodate it on your next move.

What is a semi-furnished apartment?

These are apartments that have the basic fittings installed, such as lights, fans, etc. and may contain some furniture as well. This apartment will have all the basic kitchen and bathroom fittings and maybe some storage cabinets, cupboards and beds. But not all the furniture that you need to live in it will be provided. For those who already have some of their own furniture and decor and love to do their spaces up according to their liking, semi-furnished apartments work. Let’s take a look at the main pros and cons of a semi-furnished apartment:

1. Pros:

  • The basic fittings are done such as lights, fans, sinks, etc. The rest of the furniture isn’t difficult to purchase and install as no breaking and construction work is required to the structure of the flat.
  • You get to choose at least some of the furniture and appliances you want to have in your home.
  • The security deposit and the rent for sem-furnished apartments is generally lower than that of fully-furnished apartments.
  • For the furniture that is yours, you don’t have to worry about damage or wear and tear being charged to your security deposit if anything happens.

2. Cons:

  • You have to move your own furniture each time you move into a new home. It can be costly as well as a big effort with packing and unpacking.
  • Buying furniture and decor isn’t cheap. To furnish a home you must invest a decent amount of money.
  • You may not enjoy having to design and furnish a home at this point in your life which can be an added stress if you already have a hectic schedule.

What is a furnished apartment?

The term ‘furnished apartment’ does not have a single definition that includes specific items that will be included in a home. This means that the owner is not obligated to provide a particular number of items or amenities to the person who is renting the home.

A furnished apartment will usually have basic furniture (especially large items) and furnishings provided. This could include shelves, cupboards, storage units, beds, dining table, etc. It most often also includes fittings such as lights and fans. It can also include appliances such as a refrigerator and air-conditioner.

It is possible to negotiate with the landlord for more amenities. If they are keen to have you as a tenant they may provide you with what you need. The owner is not obliged to provide the renter with all the amenities you need as long as he is clear about what is available when the agreement is made.

Furnished flats are great options for younger people who don’t want to invest in furniture or who are planning to live in an area only for a short period. Students, single people, or young couples who are new to a city may all prefer to rent furnished apartments to avoid the hassle and costs of purchasing furniture.

1. Pros:

  • You are provided with the basic fittings such as lights, fans, sinks, etc, as well as furniture such as cupboards, tables and beds.
  • You don’t have to spend a lot of money on furniture and doing up the flat as most of this is already included.
  • You won’t have to spend time and effort buying and setting up furniture.
  • You do not have to move your entire home’s worth of furniture each time you move into a new home.


  • The security deposit and the rent for a furnished apartment is generally higher than that of semi-furnished apartments.
  • If you don’t like the furniture, you will have to put up with it when living in the apartment. You will likely not be allowed to remove any furniture from the flat.
  • If you damage the furniture it could come out of your security deposit.

What is a fully-furnished apartment?

A fully-furnished apartment has all or almost all the amenities that a resident would require for comfortable living. This includes furniture such as cupboards, beds, sofa sets, chairs and tables and appliances such as air-conditioners and water heaters. It may even include common kitchen appliances such as a refrigerator, electric kettle, stove and microwave oven.

A fully furnished apartment is hard to find as the brunt of the wear and tear costs of furniture and appliances are then borne mainly by the landlord. Usually, it is only serviced apartments that contain all the amenities needed without needing the resident to contribute his own. Serviced apartments also contain soft furnishings such as curtains and linens, as well as cookware, crockery and cutlery for the kitchen. These apartments are few in India and are generally used for short-term stays of weeks to a few months.


  • You are provided with all the fittings and furniture you need. Serviced apartments even come with bed linen and soft furnishings.
  • You won’t have to spend any money buying furniture or time looking for the right size and style of furniture to suit your home.
  • You do not have to move your entire home’s worth of furniture each time you move into a new home.
  • This arrangement is ideal for professionals who may need to move a lot due to work as well as those who do not want to invest in their own furniture.


  • The security deposit and the rent for fully-furnished apartments are generally higher than that of semi-furnished apartments.
  • Even if the furniture is not to your taste, you will have to bear with it when living in the apartment. You will likely not be allowed to remove any furniture from the flat.
  • If you damage the furniture it could come out of your security deposit.


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