Should You Furnish Your Letting Property? Things to Consider
Take a look at the listings for rented accommodation across the major towns, cities and conurbations of the UK and you’ll see a range of different property types, each slotting into one of two categories: Furnished or Unfurnished.
So, which is better?
It’s the question that many a landlord has had to consider when putting a property on the lettings market. Do you outlay cash for a fully furnished house or apartment, ready for any willing tenant to simply walk into; or do you leave the property empty to those tenants wishing to bring their own earthly delights out of which to make a home?
The reality is that there’s no correct answer. Both furnished and unfurnished properties have their place and their own degree of demand – and indeed, their own drawbacks. There will be those looking to rent a property that’s fully equipped from beds and wardrobes to sofas, dining table, washing machine and microwave. And for every one of those people, there will be those who wish only for bare floors and walls, a blank space to be filled with their own removal van load of furniture and knick-knacks.
Attraction for an Unfurnished Property
- Potential for long-term rental – whilst we may be in danger of generalising a touch, common sense suggests that someone who is moving with all their own furniture is less likely to want to go through the process on too regular a basis. This might allow for some financial stability as you attract tenants looking at staying with you for longer periods
- Less things to worry about ‘in house’ – If the tenant has all their own furniture then the likelihood is you have a few less things to concern yourself in relation to maintenance and repairs. No need to replace that creaking bed – because it’s not yours. Furthermore, when the tenant decides to move on, there is no furniture needed to be repaired or replaced through general wear and tear or depreciation.
- Less Insurance – As you are not supplying any furniture with the property then there is no responsibility to insure it; that particular issue being the tenants concern.
Attraction for a Furnished Property
- Occupy the property quickly – Providing a fully furnished property does tend to allow you to get tenants in pretty quickly. As a rule the market looking for furnished property is greater and moving in is straightforward.
- You have a stock of furniture which you own – It might sound like a statement of the obvious but the furniture in the property is yours and as such it is an asset. You can use it, move it or sell it on as necessary at the end of any tenancy agreement.
- Tax Benefits – any furniture which you have purchased for an income generating property can be partially deducted from your tax bill. Naturally, speak with HMRC or your accountant for full clarity on what you can and can’t claim.
And then there’s the compromise – the part-furnished option.
This is a popular halfway measure with many letting agents as it can provide a best of both worlds ideal. Essential furniture items in situ for easy moving in, yet with enough free space to allow the tenant to bring their own possessions as well; adding their own personal, homely touch.
The Property Type Can Determine
The type of property you are letting out can play a part in your decision-making process as to whether or not to furnish. As a general rule, landlords offering larger properties, family houses and such like, often tend towards unfurnished, whereas city centre apartments will often lean towards furnished options.
There really is no hard and fast rule here and as a landlord the decision is ultimately yours.