As a landlord, you may be wondering whether it’s a good idea to furnish a rental property, or leave it as a blank canvas. The best option for you depends on your budget and your target market.
An unfurnished property is exactly as it sounds: it comes with no furniture, although basic things like flooring, light fittings, curtains and white goods are usually in place.
A furnished property should have everything required to live reasonably comfortably, including beds, mattresses, chairs, wardrobes, a sofa, TV and dining table.
Part-furnished falls somewhere in between and can vary. Usually, basic furniture such as bed frames, wardrobes and perhaps a sofa and/or chairs might be included.
Should I furnish a rental property?
It depends on your target market. Some tenants are looking for a rental property that feels more like “home” than others.
For example, a family planning to settle for a longer period will likely want to put their own stamp on the place, and are also more likely to have furniture already. Therefore, an unfurnished let would be an attractive prospect.
However, some families opt to rent on a shorter-term basis before buying a home, leaving their own furniture and belongings in storage, so might benefit from a furnished property.
For couples looking for a rented home, unfurnished is usually a good bet. But while they will also want to personalise the space, they may also lack big-ticket items, such as beds and sofas. Offering a property that is part-furnished could be a great middle ground.
Shorter-term lets lend themselves better to furnished properties, especially if they are close to transport links or business hubs that attract professional and corporate guests.
Alternatively, if you already have furniture for the property, and are prepared to put it into storage, consider offering a choice. This level of flexibility can be extremely attractive, and widen your choice of potential tenants.
A lettings agent with good knowledge of the local area will be able to advise on the best strategy for furnishing your rental property. They may even be able to arrange for an unfurnished property to be “dressed” for photographs and viewings, making it more inviting and showing it off to its full potential.
How to furnish a rental property
It’s important to realise that a furnished property won’t necessarily command a higher rent than an unfurnished one. However, offering high-quality furnishings can help you attract your desired type of tenant.
If you plan to furnish, or partly furnish, a rental property, set aside a budget for this early on. Try to see it as an investment in helping find your ideal tenant, and bear in mind future costs of repair and replacement if necessary.
Make sure you create an inventory of fixtures and fittings, and that all soft furnishings comply with the fire regulations.
Here at Carter & May, we help our landlords get their properties in front of the right tenants. Get in touch with our team today for more information about our landlord services.