The Inside Edge
In a competitive rental market, every landlord will want to do the best they can to ensure an attractive rental rate. A key issue to consider is whether it’s worth furnishing a property – or not. It’s no small decision of course, furnishing a property requires a major commitment, and a lot of cost – so it is really worth doing it? We weigh out the pros and cons to help you decide what the best way forward for you is.
Why furnish – the pros
Presenting a fully furnished property immediately creates an attractive first impression – one that tenants can imagine moving into straight away. For many tenants, a furnished property is a cost-effective solution, as they don’t need to invest in providing their own furniture themselves – in fact, most tenants will look for a furnished property as a priority when selecting a place to live. As a result, furnished properties are often let a lot sooner than unfurnished properties, saving both the landlord, and the tenant, a lot of time and hassle.
Furnishing can be a costly endeavour – but with careful thought and planning, this can be a worthwhile investment. After a tenant leaves, the furniture still belongs to you, and you can use it yourself – or choose to pass it on to future tenants. To ensure longevity, it’s worth investing in high quality staple furnishings, that are both attractive and practical. Key items include those that will receive the most amount of wear and usage, such as a good quality chest of drawers, bedding, and living room furniture. Rather than going for trend-led designs, classic styles that can easily be adapted to individual tenant’s tastes are a better choice.
What are the cons?
While furnishing a property creates an attractive first impression, for some tenants and landlords, choosing to keep a property unfurnished is a better option. The advantage of this is that it can attract tenants who wish to stay on a longer term – for tenants who invest in their own furniture, they may prefer to avoid the costly and complicated process of having to move again.
Letting tenants choose their own furniture also removes the hassle of checking for wear and tear, by leaving the responsibility to tenants themselves. By allowing tenants to pick and choose their own surroundings according to their own tastes, they’re also likely to be less problematic, as they’ll be happier with their home.
Is there a middle way?
The middle option is to leave it ‘part-furnished’. This gives both you and your tenants the flexibility to invest in key basics which they might not want to source themselves – such as beds, wardrobes and heavy kitchen units. This allows your tenant the choice to select other items which they can choose according to their own tastes and styles, giving them a feeling of involvement in their own home – without being forced to invest extensively in furnishing the property themselves.
However you choose to furnish your property, it’s important to protect both you and your tenant. Ensure that all furnishing and appliances meet up to date safety standards – while this is not a legal requirement, it does help to prevent any issues arising in future. It’s also worth investing in insurance for any furniture you buy – again, while it’s not an official requirement, it certainly gives you some practical protection for your property.