Deciding whether to let a property fully furnished or unfurnished is a decision landlords should base not only on their personal circumstances but on the demand from tenants, to ensure minimal void periods.
There is no right or wrong answer and the type of property and location often determine whether it’s best to provide furnishings or not.
A lot of the apartments we let on behalf of landlords are furnished, but less so with houses. This is mainly due to the tenant demand; apartments are often rented by young professionals who don’t own furniture and are looking for a modern home, whereas larger homes are rented by families who have accumulated their own furniture over the years and prefer to put their own mark on the property.
These are, of course, very general assumptions and it’s important to seek advice from an experienced local letting agent before you make a decision on whether to furnish your rental property or not. Tenant types can vary dramatically from one town to the next.
Often landlords make the decision to furnish their rental property based on their personal circumstances. If, for example, you’ve inherited a property and you decide to let it out you may find it’s already furnished, or if you’re moving away for a while and you want to let out your home it’s often easier to leave the furnishings in place.
What constitutes a furnished property?
There is no legal definition for what constitutes a ‘furnished’ property. However, as a general rule of thumb, if you are advertising a property as furnished tenants will expect the following items to be provided:
- A bed, wardrobe and/or chest of drawers in the bedrooms
- A sofa in the living room
- A table and chairs, if there is a dining area
- White goods in the kitchen, including a fridge, freezer, cooker, and washing machine*
- Soft furnishings throughout the property, such as carpets/wooden flooring and curtains/blinds*
*These items are also expected to be included in unfurnished properties
If you decide to let a property as furnished, you will need to make sure that all the furniture provided meets legal safety standards, including fire safety regulations, whereby all fabric furniture, such as sofas, must have labels proving that they meet this standard.
Also note that if you advertise a property as fully furnished tenants will expect to be able to move straight in, similar to a holiday rental, with items such as crockery, cooking utensils, and a TV included.
The benefits of letting a furnished property
- If you already have furniture in the house it saves you the cost of removal and storage
- It saves tenants money as they don’t need to buy their own furniture
- You can often increase the rental price if it’s a furnished property
- Once the tenancy has ended you still own the furniture, which you could sell or use for yourself
- Your property may let faster than an unfurnished property, depending on the property type, location and demand from tenants.
The benefits of letting an unfurnished property
- You save money as you don’t need to pay for any furniture
- It could quickly attract tenants with their own furniture who don’t want to pay for storage
- If you decide to sell the property you don’t need to worry about removing furniture
- You are not responsible for insuring tenants’ furniture
- You have less concerns over general wear and tear if the tenant is providing their own furniture.
If you have more questions on what a landlord should provide in an unfurnished property then please get in touch with our letting agents.
To find out more about the pros and cons of letting furnished or unfurnished properties, book your free no-obligation rental valuation with your local Portico lettings team. Fancy a free valuation in just 60 seconds? Try our instant valuation tool