Should I Rent My Property Furnished or Unfurnished? Pros and Cons.

Furnished or Unfurnished? This is a common question asked by Landlords everywhere, particularly in a City area where the market is more likely to consist of H.M.O’s or ‘lock-up-and-leave’ properties aimed at the travelling professional.

There is no straight-forward answer to this question, as a lot of the decision comes down to the type of property, the kind of tenant you wish to attract and location, amongst other factors. If you are a Landlord and have found yourself unsure which to choose to make the most out of your investment, then we can help you navigate through your options.

What do we mean by a Furnished property?

If a property is offered to let furnished or part-furnished, this means that when the tenant rents the property, they also rent all or most of the furniture in it. The exact amount of furniture supplied is optional and decided by the Landlord but they tend to include many of the basics: beds, bedside tables, sofas, dining table and chairs etc. However, some Landlords may choose or even benefit from including smaller furnishing too such as: lamps, kitchen appliances, cooking equipment and soft furnishings.

Are White Goods considered furniture?

Some properties will be advertised as unfurnished but still included white goods. White goods are large household appliances including: fridges and freezers, washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers. Again, it is up to the Landlord to include white goods are part of the rental agreement or not.

Pros of a Furnished property

Depending on what you have to offer, a furnished property will be attractive to those who who are looking for a short-term, hassle-free rental. Professionals on work placements want a place that they can move in and out of quickly, students needing term-time stays and first-time renters who have fewer belongings are your likely demographic.

Some Landlord choose to furnish their properties with their own furniture, often spare and has been out-of-use. This is a great idea if you are looking to avoid taking up space at your own home or paying for a storage unit.

There is also an opportunity to increase your rental income. For some properties, if supplied with contemporary, good-quality furniture can fetch more than the market average.

Cons of a Furnished Property

There are some things to consider before you make your decision. If you choose to furnish your property, you must be conscious, especially if the furniture is your own, that they are at risk of general wear and tear or damage. This does mean they will need to be replaced at your expense as they are included in the rental agreement.

You will have to take extra steps to meet compliance, specifically with electrical goods you supply as they will need to be PAT tested to ensure they are working and safe, as well as any furniture with soft fittings that could be flammable will need to meet the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988. Under these regulations, they must have fire-resistant filling, be able to pass a match-resistant test or be fitted with a fire-resistant cover, pass a cigarette resistance test and (if new) be labelled with a fire safety warning.

What do we mean by an Unfurnished Property?

Unfurnished properties come with no furniture. However, this doesn’t mean they come without anything at all. Properties advertised as unfurnished may come with an oven or other white goods, curtains or blinds – but no other furniture. Overall there are more unfurnished properties on the market than furnished.

Pros of an Unfurnished Property

If you choose to go down the unfurnished route, you will open the property to more potential renters. Families, long-term renters or home movers are more likely to have their own furniture already and will be put off by the idea of dealing with additional furniture. It also an opportunity for tenants to put their own stamp on the property to make it feel more like home.

In some areas, you may receive a discount on your council tax if your property is unoccupied and unfurnished, this is the same for furnished and unoccupied properties but it will likely be less. You will need to contact your local council to find out what your exemption rules are.

Cons of an Unfurnished Property

In general, the only cons of your property being presented as unfurnished is if your property is suited for students or professionals on work placements as you could potentially be missing out on additional rental income.

Whichever route you decide is best for your investment, you should make note of any additional furniture or electrical items to include in your Contents Insurance and make sure they are properly detailed on the listing to ensure there is no confusion.

If you are still unsure which option would be best for your property, feel free to get in touch with us and we can offer free, impartial advice.