All the Cursed Furniture Provided by Your Landlord

The black leather sofa. The ugly MDF wardrobe. The paper lampshade. Burn it all.
Collage of objects found in rental flat
Image: Sam Boxer

The first time I moved into an unfurnished flat – about one year ago, because there was nothing else to do during lockdown three – I learned an incredibly important life lesson. Buying cheap furniture doesn’t mean resorting to the ugliest, poorly made shite you’ve ever rested your arse on. In fact, with the help of your mate with a car driving you to IKEA and a thorough search of Facebook Marketplace, ya can make a rental house a home without resorting to a single MDF purchase.


This leads me to believe landlords have one of two issues: They either have absolutely the worst taste in home decor and genuinely believe a feature wall of postcard-patterned wallpaper is a nice idea, or they are actively trying to make their rental accommodation look as foul as possible. All things considered about landlords, the latter is the most likely to be true.

Impossible to rank in order of crapness, the items below are the most universal bits of landlord shit furnishings that exist. If you rent a furnished property, try taking a shot for each item that is in your flat and find yourself entering the most successful drinking game of your life.

A broken bathroom bin

In all my nine years of rental experience, I have never been blessed with a bathroom bin that works. You may think: ‘What an ungrateful cow, be happy you’ve ever been given a bathroom bin to use in the first place.’ If you do think that, may I recommend a career in the rental industry

Lifting the lid of your steel pedal bin to deposit a used tampon is an unnecessary step in a miserable task that could be mercifully avoided if only these three-litre bins didn’t apparently cost one million quid to replace. 


An oak finish MDF wardrobe with a broken drawer

This wardrobe will collapse if you look at it funny, but you should be thankful the clothes pole inside has been superglued in by a previous tenant at the end of their tether and can actually hold your garments inside. Although you would imagine all hangers are made with the same dimensions, this closet thinks otherwise. Its doors must remain slightly ajar for the entirety of your tenancy if you want to fit all your clothes in. 

Fortunately for you, the generous landlord of this gaff splashed out on a wardrobe with two drawers underneath where you can store extra bits that don’t fit inside the main space. However, the drawers will a) not open and b) be missing a front. If you’re an especially blessed renter, the drawer front might remain for you to prop up against the front of the wardrobe. This will come in handy when your mam comes to visit and shudders at your living conditions – at least it will look one percent less of a hovel.

Glass tables with silver legs

A braver friend than I once smashed one on purpose so she could tell her landlord it broke, got them to bin it and replaced it herself with a much nicer table. It is this dedication to home aesthetic combined with intense recklessness that makes her such a fab mate.

In the beginning, this table doesn’t seem too bad until you find yourself wiping ash and spilled Dark Fruits off of the glass after a sesh, only to see how fucking filthy your floor is. Damn, double homicide.


Paper lampshades

“Why can’t I leave the lightbulb without a cover?” wonders the landlord. “Can’t we sell it as industrial?” The letting agency emphasises the need to make the property look a little less shite, so they can mark up the rent by a hundred quid. The landlord relents and invests £2 on the flimsiest possible option possible. 

This choice is one of the most redeemable on this list for two reasons. The first is that it’s quite fun to tear these to pieces and/or wear them on your body when pissed out your head. The second is when you replace it before moving out, it’s only a couple of quid and available to buy absolutely bloody anywhere.

Stained divan bed

You know what is really handy when participating in a house share and having to keep all your worldly belongings in one room? Having absolutely no under bed space. Enter: the divan bed. This particular one is that suspicious shade of yellow that isn’t meant to exist, the kind that represents years of neglect, misery and potentially mould. 

I wouldn’t be shocked if this kind of bed came with stains built in. That’s the nicest way to picture the stains getting there. And at the end of the tenancy, you’ll get a fee for the stains taken out of your deposit just like they’ve done to every other sorry bastard who ever rented the room.


Faux leather sofas

You would think that when renting a house to five twenty-somethings, supplying enough comfortable lounge seating is a given. Wrong. You’re lucky enough if you even have a living room. It means your landlord hasn’t thought up converting it into a sixth bedroom yet. Regardless, the shit leather sofa is a staple in any rental accommodation.

It’s sticky when you move in, it’s sticky when you move out. It will comfortably hold one and a half arses but somehow you squeeze five people on it during the sesh. Your skin will meld itself into the faux leather for the entirety of summer. If you ripped it open, you’d find a cardboard frame with 1cm of foam stapled on. Please note: I haven’t actually done this, but take a seat on this settee for more than five minutes and you’ll know I am telling god’s honest truth.

This is all just the tip of the iceberg of fucked-up landlord choices that bring into question their understanding of aesthetics and practicality. Missing from the list, but deserving of an honourable mention: window panes that are painted shut, the ugliest canvases you will hide in a cupboard for the whole tenancy and a random piece of really nice furniture that your landlord couldn’t fit into their own – very nice – home. Why pay for storage when you can treat your tenant to one tiny taste of nice decor?