Furnished vs. unfurnished properties

Landlord advice from ESPC Lettings Manager Orlaith Brogan

Landlords are often braced with the decision whether to let their property out as a furnished or unfurnished let. Purchasing furniture can be quite expensive and many landlords and buy to let investors need to consider the various elements of letting their property out as furnished or unfurnished.

There are no strict rules relating to how to furnish your rental property but you must consider your target market, how quickly you wish to find a tenant and where your property is located will be the main influencer when making this decision.

Take our advice

Here I star in my very own ESPC YouTube video which addresses the topic of 'furnished vs unfurnished properties'. Do watch it below and let us know what you think by leaving a comment below the video. We will aim to answer any questions you have there or if you are a landlord or thinking of becoming one, you can contact ESPC Lettings.

 

Furnished

There are quite a few benefits of furnishing your property:

  1. It makes your property a cost effective move for tenants as they do not have to buy their own furniture.
  2. Often furnished properties let quicker as there is a larger market looking for furnished properties and there is less work involved for the tenants moving their items into the property.
  3. There are tax benefits of letting your property out as a furnished let in that there is a 10 % wear and tear allowance.
  4. At the end of the tenancy, you can remove the furniture and use it yourself or keep it in the property for future tenants.
  5. You can alternate between long term and festival rentals (area permitting) with furnished lettings.

However, there are some things to consider when deciding to let your property out as fully furnished. These include things like:

  1. The standard of furniture must meet the expectations of your target market.
  2. If items of furniture break during the course of the tenancy, you are required to repair or replace it.
  3. Less is more! It is better to provide the basic items such as beds, sofas and wardrobes and let tenants bring the other items such as plug in lamps and paintings.
  4. You should insure the furniture that YOU provide as part of the tenancy.

With this in mind there are types of properties that let out well as furnished. These are student lets which is understandable given that students won’t be staying in the city for more than four or five years and won’t want to buy furniture for short term accommodation. Secondly, one bedroom properties to young professionals; these tenants will be looking to move on and up to perhaps their first home so for the most part they won’t be looking to buy their own furniture just yet.

 

Unfurnished

Here are some things to consider when deciding to let your property out as unfurnished:

  1. It may take slightly longer to secure tenants for unfurnished properties.
  2. The tenants may stay longer as they have their own items of furniture and moving involves more effort.
  3. You do not have to insure the tenants furniture as tenants are responsible for repairing / replacing their own furniture and they should in fact have contents insurance if they are letting a property.
  4. The condition of the flooring and paintwork is often more important to the tenants of unfurnished properties

Types of properties that let out well as unfurnished would me modern developments and some family homes.

Some landlords opt to let their properties out as part-furnished. This would depend on the furniture you would like to leave and ensuring that this matches the requirements of your tenants.

In some cases furnished properties can command larger rents than unfurnished properties and as a result landlords like this option. It is important to also consider the initial cost of the furniture and maintaining it over time (and replacing it).

When deciding how to present your property for rentals first consider your target market and then consider whether they wish to rent furnished or unfurnished and go from there.

OrlaithESPC Lettings

Whether you already are a landlord or are thinking about taking your first steps in to property investment in Edinburgh, ESPC Lettings can help.

Our fully managed letting service can help landlords in Edinburgh maximise their property investment, expand their current property portfolio and offers essential information for landlords.

Give me a call on 0131 253 2847 or email me at landlord@espc.com.