We meet a lot of new landlords who are unsure whether to offer their property furnished or unfurnished. Some have been living in the property they plan to rent out and need to decide whether to take their furnishings with them to their new place. Others have bought an investment property and are not sure whether to spend money on furnishings or to leave the property unfurnished. The truth is that it depends on the property. The majority of properties in Edinburgh will rent better if they are fully furnished but this is not the case with all properties. Here’s why:
What type of properties are best furnished? – generally-speaking, 1-2-bedroom properties work best as furnished. Tenants looking to rent 1-2-bedroom properties tend to be more transient and so look to let a property they can move into, and out of, easily with furnishings in place. Student properties (HMO properties with 3+ bedrooms) are also best furnished as these tenants tend to stay for 1-3 years during their studies (HMO properties should also come with a desk in each room).
What about unfurnished? – Family homes normally let better if they are unfurnished. Most families have gathered their own furnishings over the years and want to move their belongings with them as they move from property to property. Time To Let (TTL) on unfurnished properties is longer than a furnished property (2-3 weeks for furnished properties, 4-6 weeks for unfurnished) and rents for unfurnished properties are a little lower (approximately 10% less). Unfurnished tenancies will also last longer due to the longer lead times involved and the wear and tear for the landlord is less since they are not responsible for replacing or the upkeep of the furniture.
Standard of furnishings – To attract the best tenants at the optimum rent, it’s worth furnishing your property with good-quality, matching furnishings. We would recommend IKEA-standard or above and it’s worth spending a little more to really set your property apart. We work with a couple of furniture suppliers including GetFullyFurnished who use their experience in furnishing rental properties to know what works best. They offer rental property furniture packs which they will supply, deliver and install on your behalf and they can tweak their packs depending on the property layout. If you provide good quality, matching furniture you’ll attract quality tenants at the highest rent and it will be easy to monitor condition and replace any damaged items like-for-like between tenancies.
A furnishing guide – even with a furnished property it’s best to leave the ‘bare bones’. A lot of tenants will have some furnishings of their own so will bring some of the more homely-touches. Here’s a quick guide to our recommended basic furnishings;
It’s not necessary to provide things like bedding (except mattress protector) and vases, ornaments and other more personal items as the tenants will usually bring these (albeit they can help in marketing photos).
A few other things
- We do not recommend providing a TV or AV equipment. If these items break or have a problem then the landlord must replace or repair them. In both furnished and unfurnished properties, there’s an expectation to provide white goods, window coverings and light fittings.
- Make sure all kitchenware (plates/spoons/etc) match. Mismatching kitchen sets make the property appear cluttered and disorderly.
- Hall cupboards should be clear of clutter and odd items that will not be used by the tenants during their tenancy.
If you’re looking for more advice on whether to furnish your rental property, please just get in touch and we’ll give you our advice relevant to your property size, layout and timescales.