Crocodilian Blog

The Temporary Rental Blog from Berlin

The five most common furnishing mistakes landlords make

Cabinet close-up

Furnished flats rented on a temporary basis are now in high demand. All those who relocate to Berlin because of a new job have to find somewhere to call home - and the chances of finding a permanent home in the city are low, especially when you can't even attend a viewing appointment.
Renting an apartment for a limited period is an easier task.

Good tenants demand good apartments. The times when it was enough to simply place a few pieces of furniture in an apartment are over - nowadays, tenants are not just looking for accommodation, but for a temporary home. A place where they can recover from the stress of work, and where they feel comfortable.

A high-quality and appealing interior guarantees that:

  • Your apartment is rented on a continuous basis
  • The number of pre-rental visits is lower
  • You get better tenants, or can choose better tenants

What are the key mistakes landlords often make when decorating a furnished apartment? Here are our top five:

Buying cheap equipment

It is commonly thought that it is best to furnish a temporary apartment as cheaply as possible, to ensure that the rent stays affordable, and that broken furniture can be replaced quickly. However, this is not always the case.
Simple and cheap furniture is appropriate if the flat rate is also very low. This target group is normally made up of students, interns, and other low income tenants.

Working people moving to Berlin because of a new job have completely different living wishes than students, for whom the price is often the most important factor.

Professionals are looking for an attractive and more comfortable home. This target group is willing to pay more than students for a more valuable institution. Of course, expectations are higher.

Landlords often buy apartments at very high prices. In relation to the purchase price then unfortunately often becomes with the equipment.

  • It makes sense to invest in quality if you wish to address a target group that is willing to pay more.
  • These tenants have higher expectations, but on the plus side are used to treating apartments more carefully than less demanding tenants.
  • Higher quality furniture lasts longer. Although the initial purchase costs are higher, in the end it is less effort and cost to replace worn furniture. Here, too, it is often the case that cheap furniture can ultimately become expensive. As a landlord, you can claim the expenses for your furnished apartment, as well as the agency costs, for tax purposes. If you then intend to rent out your apartment furnished for the next 10 years, it makes no difference whether or not you pay 200 € more for a bed.

However, this does not mean that you always have to go for the priceiest furniture - there are still some tips and tricks to keeping your costs low.

Using too many different suppliers

If possible, your apartment should look like the showrooms of one popular (high-end) furniture store - with nothing ill-fitting. Real design aficionados will even decent things in IKEA, and it's fine to buy the bulk of your furniture there. But we highly recommend that you add better quality lamps and other little details to your home. These are well-worth is as they the overall impression of your dwelling.

Too many colors, patterns, and materials.

Your home will look better if you limit yourself to a few colours, patterns, and a selection of materials. Ideally, the colours should compliment each other or there is a risk that the furnishings will appear too restless.

A random mix of old and new

Take second to think about whether that glass table from the 80s, the cupboard with wooden veneer, and the old sofa are still too good to throw away - a wild furniture mix rarely looks appealing. Every temporary apartments need a furnishing concept, and even if it has been well equipped and decorated, badly chosen furniture can bring down an apartment's rental rate.

The devil's in the detail

Cupboard, bed, table, chairs. Often bought quickly and without much consideration, these details are crucial, and are what gives an apartment its atmosphere.


  • Make sure to choose adequate lighting. It is always best to choose at least a few different light sources, such as a floor lamp, table lamp, or reading lamp. One single ceiling lamp creates an uncomfortable feeling in the room.
  • Tip: Make sure that the tenant can easily replace the light bulbs themselves without having to use a large ladder.
  • LED luminaires save energy and ultimately costs - an important factor for temporary renting.

Many landlords do without carpets to keep a minimlist, fuss-free aesthetic.
This has many advantages, such as:

  • Better room acoustics
  • A more practical room
  • Protected flooring

If you do choose carpets, make sure they are not too high-maintenance


  • Highlighting the sofa using cushions looks great in photos. Use a decent filling material that isn't not too soft or thin.
  • Invest in good quality bed linen from an alternative to the Swedish furniture store and make sure that the pattern goes with the furniture, otherwise the photos can create bad first impression.
  • Choose an attractive bedspread
  • Keep pictures on the wall modern - and remember stay away from Berlin panoramas, which look cheap and give the feeling the tenant is staying in a holiday apartments for tourists. A bad picture can ruin an otherwise well though-out setting.

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