Furnished or Unfurnished?
Your decision to rent a furnished or unfurnished apartment will largely depend on the duration of your stay in Italy. That’s because unfurnished apartments in Italy are very different when compared to unfurnished apartments in places like the US or Australia. An unfurnished apartment in Italy literally means empty rooms with only the bathroom sink and bath, and not even the bare minimum of kitchen appliances or clothing wardrobes, and some might even require a ‘mini-renovation’ like installing light fixtures and painting the walls. So really, a long-term stay is the only logical reason that would justify investing in a mini-renovation for a rental. Also, Italians use the word ‘arredato’ to describe a furnished apartment, so if a rental ad doesn’t have that word in it, then the apartment is not furnished.
On the other hand, most furnished apartments in Italy are nothing to write home about either. A lot of landlords will put old and unkempt furniture for the sake of having it there, and often refuse to remove it on the premise that they simply don’t have anywhere else to put it. That said, there are some rare cases where tenants actually furnish their apartments according to a cohesive decor scheme, with quality furniture and everything, but don’t hold our breath for these, or be willing to do some serious searching before you do.
Italians are not exceptionally well-known for their cleanliness and the state of their rental apartments clearly explains why this is the case. Regardless of whether the apartment is furnished or unfurnished, you’re likely to come across things like dust and grime, and in most cases the landlord will not be willing to decrease your deposit for these conditions either. So you’ll have to take what you can get or keep looking.
What to look out for
Below is a list of specific things that you should look out for during your apartment search:
Luckily, landlords are offered a special tax incentive when they replace their old windows with double-pane ones, so you’ll find that most apartments in Italy offer double-pane windows, so you can confidently keep looking if you come across an apartment with only single-pane ones, unless the landlord is willing to replace them before you move in. Be sure to not sign the contract until the windows have been replaced, or strike a deal where both of you split the costs of replacing it.
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