Furnished or unfurnished?

by Ed Firmin

Posted on Wednesday, December 30th, 2015 at 10:00

Furnished or unfurnished?

furnished house, unfurnished house

As a landlord, one of the first decisions you need to make is whether or not to furnish the property. Furnished means that you can add value on to the rent that you charge, but you have to supply the furniture in the first place. Unfurnished means less effort on your part, but less return on your rent.

If you do decide to furnish your property, then what do you need to supply? Did you know, that actually, there is no legal definition of what constitutes furnished, unfurnished, or even part-furnished?

But, whatever furniture you do provide must meet fire safety standards. And any electrical appliances must also be checked to ensure they are safe to use.

What is important is that any furniture you provide is detailed in the inventory, including the condition that it is in at the beginning of the tenancy.

But as a rough guide, a property that is unfurnished means that no furniture is included, but you still need to ensure that carpets are provided, and usually white goods are included.

If you advertise a property as being part-furnished, then you’ll have all of the above, and perhaps some furniture – the staples – so perhaps wardrobe, chest of drawers etc. but not things like the TV or sofa.

Then, finally, as a fully furnished property, you should expect all the furniture that you need to move in straight away and start living, without you having to bring anything with you, except your clothes and any soft furnishings. Things like crockery may be included, but you probably will have to provide your own linen.

You may be able to use the inclusion or exclusion of furniture as a negotiating tool, if you have the flexibility to add or subtract furniture as per the tenant’s request, then that really helps you to secure a contract.

It’s easy when showing tenants around for them to see what the property looks like if you are offering a furnished property. Plus landlords have reported that a furnished property leads to less amount of time when its empty, as tenants don’t need as much time to arrange for the removal or delivery of furniture, another bonus!

It also depends on who you are marketing the property towards, if it’s to students, then they’re probably not going to have furniture of their own, so you should provide this for them. For professionals, it could work either way, their income levels mean they are more likely to own furniture, but they also like the idea of having their freedom, being able to move from location to location.

If you aren’t sure whether or not a furnished or unfurnished property is best for you, then it’s wise to ask a local letting agent, they know the area and know the market.

If you would like advice about properties in Canterbury and Maidstone, then please get in touch, I’m more than happy to advise you.

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