Landlords with a property to rent have an important decision to make regarding the nature of that rental: will it be furnished or unfurnished? First of all, let’s consider what these terms mean:
Furnished: This refers to including furniture, furnishings, and items such as desks, beds, side tables, sofas, etc.
Unfurnished: This does not necessarily mean that the property remains empty, as part-furnished properties will still contain things like carpets, light fittings, curtains, white goods and appliances.
Things to consider about furnishing a property:
1. Keep it durable: The downside of furnishing a property is that you will have more to maintain within the property. So offering up a property in which there is furniture does mean this will have to be maintained or replaced should they become damaged, whether through accidental or malicious means. Select furnishings for durability, to maximise the longevity of your furnished property.
2. Follow regulations: Having electrical or other appliances in the property does require you to be responsible for maintaining their upkeep and checks for safety. Keep this in mind when you go to fill your investment property with these kinds of items.
3. It can mean higher rent return: A furnished property can mean you can charge a little extra for a property. Conversely, you will have to outlay a little expense upfront to furnish the property in the first place.
4. Storage and damage: Having furniture ready for the property does mean that you have the flexibility to either keep items in the property or put them in storage if they are not required, which is simpler and cheaper than buying all new furniture every few years. It should be noted here too that a tenant’s furniture, should they be furnishing the property themselves, may cause damage.
5. Agreement length: When considering whether to furnish your property, keep in mind that different kinds of tenants will have different requirements. If your property is a large, multi-bedroom home and you want to rent to families, they are more likely to have a lot of their own furniture. On the other hand, if your property is a small studio or one bedroom in a student-centric area of town, offering things like desks and chairs are going to be more appealing. It’s important to consider who your target market is likely to be and try to provide a good mix of items they are likely to need.
Overall, furnishing a property is always worthwhile if it will add to the value and marketability of your property. Attracting suitable tenants can be challenging, and will be very context-dependent. Ensure that your property remains viable, marketable and profitable by weighing up the pros and cons of furnished versus unfurnished properties.