Personally, this depends largely on the apartment and the number of properties the landlord owns, Most landlords in Dubai & the rest of the middle east that have multiple properties listed or who own all the apartments in an apartment complex typically source their furniture & furnishings from a medium-sized south-Asian or India based furniture manufacturer like (moderated. Looks like crafty advertising) that does custom home furnishings like this one.
They typically get better deals since they source at such a large scale and they tend to pass on most benefits to the tenants & the furniture also tends to be quite classy. Not to mention, the landlord also makes money out of this and the tenant does not have to hunt for furniture incessantly. This makes for a great deal overall.
If I am an owner of multiple properties, I would also resort to something similar. With the on-going virus, since China is not a great option to source great quality furniture, Vietnam & India turn out to be great alternatives.
I have leased furniture in the past, and that was because the owner of the apartment I was renting, was offering a furniture package along with the apartment. So I agreed on that, since the additional amount on monthly basis, was much less than what I would have spent if I was to furnish the apartment myself.
In the UK I think, as a landlord, leasing furniture might be an interesting option as a means of helping short-term cash flow. In a perfect world, yes, we would all buy new furniture for rental properties but some tenants are not as careful with furniture as others.
I agree with Longterminvestor. Buying furniture sounds ideal, especially if you plan to use / move into that property later on, but their quality doesn't last forever. Even if the tenants are careful, damage happens over time.