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Renting Furniture in 2024 Dubai | Deal or Not? A Comprehensive Exploration

In today’s society in which subscriptions and leasing are omnipresent in our life from Netflix for video streaming, Tier for scooters to WeWork for shared office spaces, people are often confronted with the option to rent or lease desired items and services instead of owning them. As such, the question whether renting furniture is a feasible option for your most private and intimate spaces – your home – arises.

While there are different furniture rental options, consumers are often confused by the different models of start-ups which enter the market with complicated and untransparent payment schemes, disappearing from one day to another. Industry experts argue that the continuous outlay for rentals comes at higher cost (in form of a financial risk premium charged by rental companies) to the consumers, raising doubts about the long-term financial soundness of the business model of renting furniture.

The most common renting models globally include 1) Classical Renting Furniture, 2) Rent-to-Own Furniture, and 3) Lease-to-Own Furniture with Installments. The first 2 renting models in which the furniture is not owned by the consumer come with great disadvantages. Critics strongly advise consumers against choosing those models as they have high costs associated. The Lease-to-Own Furniture model is a fancy expression of buying furniture with installments in which case the consumer will own the furniture and as such it is legitimate and proven concept. Now let’s take a closer look at the renting furniture options in detail:

  1. Classical Renting Furniture: Classical renting furniture is a service where consumers renting furniture from a furniture rental company in exchange for the exclusive use of selected furniture pieces for a specific period of time. Typically utilized by businesses and individuals for events (e.g. weddings), classical renting furniture is a common practice in the event planning industry. It caters to those who require specific, high-quality furniture temporarily (one-time) without the long-term commitment of ownership, making it a popular choice among event planners and venue organizers.
  2. Rent-to-Own Furniture: Rent-to-Own Furniture is a financial arrangement in which individuals can rent furniture items for a specified period with an option to purchase them at the end of the lease term. While this model may seem as an alternative to those who cannot afford to make an upfront purchase, it comes with several severe drawbacks. One of the primary concerns is the high cost associated with renting compared to buying outright or with installments. Over the course of the rental agreement, individuals will end up paying significantly more than the actual value of the furniture. Moreover, there are hidden contractual costs, such as maintenance fees and insurance, which further escalate the overall expense.
  3. Furniture Lease-to-Own (Installments): This is the most prevalent type of arrangement in the furniture industry, often offered by major brands and retailers. Furniture lease-to-own agreements with installment payments require the consumer to make regular payments over a predetermined period. However, with the major difference that the consumer owns the furniture from day 1. The installments are just a regular payment scheme towards the total price of the furniture. Upon completion of the full payment, the monthly installments stop and the consumer continues to own the furniture. This widely adopted approach proves advantageous for individuals who prefer the convenience of spreading the cost of furniture over time instead of paying upfront.

In the modernized world, we encounter new rental ideas every day. We can now rent everything from music to movies, from electric scooters to shared offices, without having to buy them. This rapid and uncontrolled rental craze produces results that cause more harm than good. One of these is the renting furniture model, in which companies aim only to increase their profit margin. However, it’s crucial to recognize that the motivations behind choosing to rent furniture are not grounded in practical benefits or environmental considerations as often claimed.

  • The Lie of Affordability: The option of rent-to-own furniture and classical renting furniture, promising affordability with smaller upfront payments, masks a harsh reality. Upon scrutiny, the accumulated costs over the contractual rental period until the furniture is finally owned by the renter outright the purchase price of a comparable item. Consumers discover they are shelling out significantly more than the market value, casting doubt on the supposed affordability of such arrangements and exposing them to financial contractual pitfalls.
  • The Myth of Hassle-Free Solution: Renting furniture, often marketed as a hassle-free option, proves to be less than seamless in reality. Long contracts with a lot of detailed terms and conditions, damaged or dirty furniture, delivery delays, unforeseen fees, and the complexity of new contracts or fees in case of relocation to a new property create a less-than-ideal experience, overshadowing the convenience initially promised.
  • A Troublesome Experience Away from Flexibility: Renting furniture is a fundamentally flawed idea, lacking the promised flexibility and burdened with unnecessary hassle. It is inherently rigid and does not offer the anticipated adaptability to changing circumstances. Long-term rental agreements are not a source of convenience; instead, they tie individuals to contractual obligations, leaving no room for spontaneous changes. The process is marked by complications, making it an impractical choice for those seeking a trouble-free and flexible living arrangement.

In the realm of acquiring furniture or appliances, individuals often face the choice between traditional installments and the promise of rent-to-own contracts. Traditional installments offer a straightforward and transparent payment approach, allowing customers to own the item from day 1. The only disadvantage compared to a full upfront payment might be the interest rates charged by the banks or Credit Card companies for the loan. This method is valued for its simplicity, absence of hidden costs, and the ease that it brings to budgeting.

On the other hand, rent-to-own furniture often leads to regrets due to hidden fees, scams, and compromised quality. Limited customization options result in generic furniture pieces that don’t meet individual preferences. Relying on rental companies for maintenance becomes inconvenient, uncertain, and costly. Long-term costs certainly surpass the upfront purchase price, making renting financially burdensome and unsatisfactory. Overall, the drawbacks of renting outweigh any promised advantages, making it an unappealing option for those seeking a reliable and fulfilling furniture solution.

  • Costs: Renting furniture over the long-term ends up being more expensive than buying it outright. Customers find themselves paying significantly more over time compared to the original purchase price. However, traditional monthly easy installment plans provide customers with an alternative option to own the furniture, while reducing the burden of a lumpsum upfront payment: The only cost-effective solution if you do not wish to pay a lumpsum upfront.
  • Quality Concerns: Rented furniture is not of the same quality as items available for purchase. Rental companies provide lower quality or used furniture, leading to dissatisfaction with the product’s condition. Purchasing and owning furniture by monthly installments address this concern by allowing consumers to acquire higher quality or new furniture over time.
  • Limited Customization: Renting options limit customers’ choices regarding the type and style of furniture. This lack of customization will be frustrating for those who have specific preferences. Purchasing and owning furniture by monthly installments offer greater flexibility and customization, meeting the specific preferences of customers.
  • Dependency on the Rental Company: Customers are contractually dependent on the rental company for the maintenance and condition of the furniture. Once the customer wants to return, relocate, or own the item the furniture rental company most certainly will cause problems and charge the customer additional ridiculous amounts, leading to massive dissatisfaction. Purchasing and owning furniture by monthly installments empower customers with more control over the upkeep of their furniture.
  • Negative Customer Experiences: There have been reports of scams and bad experiences related to hidden fees, poor customer service, and difficulty in returning or exchanging rented furniture. Such experiences affect negatively trust in the furniture rental model. Purchasing and owning furniture by monthly installments is a traditional approach that address these concerns by providing a more transparent and customer-friendly experience without needing to pay the furniture upfront.

In a recent in-depth customer interview with David N.: David explained us his experience when he moved to Dubai and “rented furniture for the first time and why it is certainly his last time renting furniture.” Initially, he believed that he will stay for 6-to-8 months in Dubai. Thus, he calculated that renting the sofa for 400 AED/month would cost him AED 2,400-3,200, the displayed retail price of the sofa was AED 5,900.

However, when his professional circumstances changed and it became obvious that he would need to stay longer in Dubai, he wanted to return the sofa and buy his own furniture. The furniture rental company, referring to the terms and conditions in the 21-page contract, told him that he could only return the sofa after 1 year of usage (or the payment of the equivalent of 1 year rental charges). This equaled AED 4,800 of rental charges for using the sofa for a year.

On top, when he moved from his first apartment to another apartment in Dubai the rental company charged him an additional of AED 500 in administration fees for rewriting the contract. Additionally, the furniture rental company charged him AED 800 for a deep-cleaning of some little stains in the sofa which they claimed to be required. The total cost to rent the sofa for a year summed up to AED 5,300. The exact same sofa he was later able to find online for only AED 3,400, including the peace of mind to own and use as long as he wants to which comes along with it. “Rent-to-own” is for David a highly doubtful business model.  

In essence, while the renting- or subscription-economy makes sense for your video streaming services such as Netflix stay away from home furniture rental which is marketed with terms such as “Rent-to-Own Furniture.”

If you want to avoid the high upfront payment for furniture you can always buy and own your new furniture with easy installment plans. Your most private and intimate spaces should remain your own and not be rented! Check out our TUKA Collection in our item store TUKA NOW.

TUKA's 1-bedroom Funky Cocoon furniture package, including TUKA Collection furniture
TUKA’s 1-bedroom Funky Cocoon furniture package, including TUKA Collection furniture
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