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Furnished or unfurnished: which is best?

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As a landlord, the decision to rent a property furnished or unfurnished is entirely yours to make. It will depend on your needs and priorities, local tenant demand, and what type of tenant you are hoping to rent to/attract. As you might expect, there are pros and cons attached to the realities of renting a property furnished and unfurnished.  

What are the pros and cons of letting a furnished or unfurnished property to tenants? Buying furniture can be a major expense. Is it best to leave tenants to bring their own furniture? Discover the pros and cons of letting a property, furnished and unfurnished property

Here are a few: 

The pros of furnished properties

  • You can expect your property to be snapped up by a tenant more quickly as the property will be ready to move into.
  • Your property will likely appeal to professional tenants, corporate tenants and overseas tenants who may be willing to pay more on rent to live in a well-furnished property. Overseas tenants will likely not have the time to buy furniture, so may solely be looking for furnished properties.   
  • The furniture you buy for the property can later be used in any other properties you might let out, or you can use it in your own home.
  • As tenants who move into a furnished property will not have to buy their own furniture, this will save them money, which is an appealing prospect to those looking for a hassle-free, turnkey solution. 

 The cons of furnished properties

  • Furnished rental properties can prove more of a worry and a hassle for landlords. This is because furniture will have to be accounted for in the inventory, and any wear and tear or damage done to the furniture will need to be replaced and paid for by the landlord.
  • Some tenants can be put off a property if the furniture is not to their taste.
  • Tenants are arguably less invested in a property if they are using furniture owned by the landlord, and without their own furniture, they may be more inclined to move on and not stay in the longer-term.  

The pros of unfurnished properties

  • Tenants who have their own furniture may be more likely to remain in the property for longer, as they have more invested in it. If a tenant has to organise the logistics of moving a sofa, TV, bed, bookshelves, microwaves, etc, from one property to another, they might be more willing to stay put for longer. This will reduce voids for landlords and provide landlords with regular rental income.
  • As a landlord, you won’t need to worry about damage caused to the furniture or having to replace an item of furniture.
  • You won’t need to take out Contents Insurance on furniture owned by a tenant.
  • The property inventory you draw up for the tenant will be less involved and complex than it would be if you had a fully-furnished property.
  • If you decide to sell the property, you won’t have to arrange and pay for the removal of furniture.  

The cons of unfurnished properties

  • Unfurnished properties tend to appeal more to families who have amassed their own collection of furniture. If you want to rent a property to a young professional, corporate tenant, or overseas student, provide them with a furnished rental solution.
  • By not furnishing your property you’re effectively making it not as desirable to a large portion it generally won’t appeal to corporate tenants, some young professionals and overseas students.
  • Completely bare properties can be unappealing to prospective tenants.  

What about partly-furnished?

What does this mean? Well, as a landlord it can mean what you want it to mean. You could offer the potential tenant a good degree of flexibility and allow them to choose what furniture they might like from any furniture you might have (this is more relevant for landlords with multiple properties), or you could install a bookcase or shelving, or additional racks in the kitchen. You could even choose to furnish the property in full but without including beds. A flexible approach from the landlord at an early stage will be received positively by any potential tenant.  

Seek advice from a local letting agent before deciding whether it’s best to let your property furnished or unfurnished. It’s important to note that tenant demand for furnished or unfurnished rental properties will vary from area to area, so it’s always wise to consult a local agent before making a formal decision.  

If you want to let your rental property – furnished or unfurnished – get in touch today. 

Neil Jennings

Neil is the Operations Director at Assetgrove Lettings, London's Leading Rent Guarantee Company, providing Landlords with no voids, property maintenance, fee-free property management and stress-free service.

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