When looking for rental properties, one distinguishing feature between properties is whether the property is furnished or unfurnished. Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, both options have their advantages and disadvantages. For obvious reasons, furnished properties are generally priced higher, being more convenient for tenants without furniture of their own, whereas unfurnished properties allow for greater flexibility.
In this article we’ll look at what furnished and unfurnished properties have to offer from both a landlord and tenant’s perspective, to help you decide which is best for you.
Which is best for tenants?
For tenants, choosing between furnished and unfurnished properties often comes down to personal circumstance. Many first-time renters will not have furniture of their own and so may be more likely to opt for a furnished property, saving them thousands of pounds as well as the hassle of buying and moving it all in.
The cost of items such as bed frames, mattresses, sofas and cabinets will mount up quickly and will be unaffordable for most people to pay in one go.
Some properties may be listed as part-furnished and will include more essential furnishings such as beds and sofas, allowing a greater degree of flexibility when it comes to choosing less essential items of furniture. This option is preferable for tenants who may have rented once or twice before and have things such as tables and chairs but lack the larger, more expensive fixtures.
Unfurnished properties are normally more suited to tenants who have rented multiple times in the past and have accumulated furniture of their own. If you own a lot of furniture alreadyyou would most likely not consider moving into a property where you would not be able to fit your own possessions. Unfurnished listings will usually be cheaper too, so it makes sense to save money where possible and make use of your furniture.
Which is best for landlords?
The answer as to which is best is not as straightforward for landlords. You will be able to get away with listing your properties for higher if it is furnished, however you will also have to burden the upfront cost of paying for all the fixtures.
One thing to consider is the area in which your rental property is located. You want to appeal to renters in your area, so if your property is in a buzzy, up and coming area popular with young professionals, you may want to opt for furnished as these people may be less likely to own lots of furniture.
If you decide to go down the furnished route, you will also have to ensure that fittings such as sofas are in line with fire safety guidelines and have the relevant tags attached. Furnished properties should generally include sofas and/or armchairs, dining table and chairs, tableware, wardrobes, beds, and kitchen appliances such as a washing machine and fridge.
Going unfurnished will initially be cheaper for landlords however you will not be able to list for as high compared to if it was furnished. Fixtures and fittings can often get damaged during a tenancy and if this happens, it is the responsibility of the landlord to fix or replace damaged items. Having an unfurnished property could therefore save you on repair costs.
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