Mumbai: Sayali Karekar, 26, a junior architect at Khatter & Associates, shifted to Mumbai a couple of years ago. Living in a rented accommodation, Karekar needs to shift houses almost every year, and hence gets household items on rent. “I usually rent furniture, refrigerator, beds and other important household items for approximately Rs2,000-Rs3,000 a month," said Karekar, who opts for rental start-up Rentomojo. Like Karekar, several youngsters in Mumbai prefer renting household items such as furniture and kitchen appliances from start-ups such as Furlenco, Rentomojo, Rentickle, Grabonrent, Sabrentkaro and Rentmacha. While renting can make your life convenient, it can also increase your monthly budget. Mint tells you when to rent and when to purchase:

How does it work?

To rent home appliances such as fridge, washing machine and microwave or furniture such as bed, sofa and dining table, you can either visit the rental company’s website or check the app. Most start-ups have operations in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Noida, Gurgaon, Hyderabad and Chennai. Usually, the minimum period to rent a product is three months. You have to pay a security deposit, which is fully refundable if the product is not damaged. Some companies also allow you to buy the appliances and furniture after a certain period of time, depending on your wish. While there are no delivery charges in most cases, you may have to pay labour cost if your building doesn’t have an elevator.

You have to provide your identity proof, including Aadhaar, permanent account number (PAN) and passport, during the transaction. The process usually takes three days. You can pay using netbanking, credit or debit card. In case you move from your existing apartment to a new one, but want to continue using the appliance, the company will relocate it for you.

Should you opt for it?

Let’s compare the cost of a washing machine to the rent. A case in point could be a Whirlpool 6.5-kg top load washing machine that costs Rs15,190 on Flipkart. For this item, rental companies charge Rs740 a month for 12 months, which means you pay Rs8,880 in a year. You will have to pay a refundable deposit of Rs1,770, which brings your total annual expense on the product to Rs10,650. “You end up paying almost two-thirds the cost of the washing machine. This makes no financial sense. It would be better to buy the product," said Suresh Sadagopan, a certified financial planner and founder of Ladder 7 Financial Advisory.

The option, however, works for those who don’t want to deal with the inconvenience of shifting from one apartment to another with the furniture. It is also preferable if you don’t know how long you plan to stay in a city or have a transferable job. You are basically paying the price for convenience. However, if you find that you are paying almost 70% of the cost of the product in a year, it is better to buy the product. Another option is to buy a product on resale. But in this case too don’t forget to do the math.