Whether to provide a furnished or unfurnished property for tenants is usually the first thing that landlords need to focus on. A lot depends on who those tenants are and what they are expecting.
Students, for example, can be a great demographic for regular paying tenants but they tend to want furniture included. Professional tenants who are working regularly, on the other hand, may want to have their own personal things in place.
The Pros and Cons of Furnishing a Property
In some areas like university cities and towns, there are more tenants who are looking for furnished properties than those who want to bring their own. Furnishing a property saves tenants money, of course, because they don’t have to find extra cash to buy chairs and sofas or beds. You may also get a tax deduction as a landlord because the furniture and appliances are part of running your business.
There is undoubtedly some hassle associated with furnishing a flat or house. There’s the issue of damage to or theft of property and the fact you are required to complete a much more complicated itinerary when someone moves in. There may be disputes about the final state of items such as sofas and beds once a tenancy ends and there may be the inconvenience of having to repair or replace items that are damaged. Another additional cost will come from insuring the contents.
Many landlords will simply provide appliances such as white goods for the kitchen and nothing else, while others will consider part furnishing the property including providing wardrobes and beds. Renting a furnished property makes sense for tenants who may want short contracts due to work commitments or students who don’t have their own furniture or spare disposable income to purchase furniture. Furnished properties can also be beneficial to young people finding their first home.
Most letting agents certainly favour either the part furnished or unfurnished option simply because it gives them greater flexibility when trying to find tenants. If you opt for furnished it could mean you need to find extra storage space for items that aren’t needed and which are currently in place. If the tenant has their own bed and wants to install that rather than yours then you will need to remove yours and put it somewhere.
There is less liability associated with a totally unfurnished property. Not only do tenants have their own furniture and appliances but they are more likely to look after your property because they have a greater vested interest. There’s also some evidence that tenants moving in their own stuff tend to look for longer contracts than those who can simply drop everything and move out with little or no notice.
Overall, providing an unfurnished property has the benefit of reducing the costs and hassle of maintaining and replacing furniture. If you are not dealing with customers such as young people looking for their first home or students, it’s sensible to look for tenants who will bring in their own property.
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