We often get asked by landlords whether they should offer their property as furnished or unfurnished. The decision comes entirely down to who you want as your ideal tenant, but there are certain pros and cons to offering a ready-made room to your tenants or a completely blank canvas.
Firstly, consider your target audience. If your ideal tenant is a young student, chances are they don’t own much furniture. If your ideal tenant is a family with kids, chances are they already have furniture coming out of their ears. It’s best to remember that any furnished property has to be suitable for your tenants. There’s no point spending a lot of money on designer furniture if it isn’t going to benefit them.
If you are to include furnishings to your tenants, it will save them money. They won’t need to go out and buy their own; however, they might not be happy with what you have chosen. Everyone has different tastes and you have to keep in mind the person or people actually living in the house.
A tenant that buys their own furniture for your property is more likely to stay for longer periods. They’re making an investment and moving furniture in can be quite complex, which might deter them from moving out in the future.
On the flip side, offering your property furnished means you can feasibly charge a higher rental price to cover the original costs of buying furniture. Dependant on what’s included, you could be looking at around an extra 5-10% extra income.
When considering renting your property furnished, you must remember that you are legally obliged to replace any items that are listed on the inventory that break. If, for example, you leave a sofa in the property and the base falls through, you must replace this within an adequate time frame for the tenant. While you could possibly obtain a higher monthly figure, the price of replacement items can sometimes outweigh the benefit of the increased rent. This of course only applies to wear and tear, and not tenant damage.
When it comes to insurance, if a tenant brings their own furniture, or any other items, they are solely responsible for the insurance to cover this. However, furniture you provide is your responsibility and must be fire resistant.
Another option is to offer your property part-furnished. You could include as little or as much furniture as you want, or even offer the tenant the choice of how much furniture they would like. You could have a spare sofa in your garage, or a bed in the spare room, that you could offer as a small token gesture which could help in securing a good tenant.
In summary, we believe that you should furnish a property only if it will be more profitable in the long run. If you have spare furniture, offer it to your prospective tenants, but don’t force it upon them.
Give us a call today on 0845 838 2890 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chat about your rental options. We have over 30 years’ experience in the property sector and manage over 400 properties on behalf of our landlords.