We’ve learnt a lot about furnishing rental property over the past 9 years renting out Properties services in Edinburgh. Badly furnished, cluttered properties, with a mismatch of furniture and a wide range of ‘hand me down’ chipped mugs, plates and personal objects, create problems. When a property is badly furnished there may be issues with;

  1. Finding a suitable tenant
  2. Tenants not looking after furnishings
  3. Issues carrying out a thorough inventory and ‘pointing the finger’ when conducting checkout inventories

If a property is furnished well at the beginning, you will attract the best quality tenants, tenancies will run more smoothly and life will be a lot easier when dealing with tenant check outs and deposit refunds.

So, to make life easier for everyone, here are ten top tips for furnishing your rental property;

  1. Do not clutter! Many landlords choose to rent out a property they have lived in themselves and might leave all sorts of furniture they have collected over the years. Don’t do this! Keep furnishings minimal and matching. Many tenants are collecting their own furniture with a view to buying their own property one day so will bring various items of their own
  2. Furnish a property well – There are some great tenants out there so if you furnish a property well you’re more likely to attract them
  3. Purchase furnishings that are easy to replace. This will ensure that you can change items ‘like for like’ if they are damaged or they deteriorate. We often refer our landlords to David Phillips who are experts in furnishing rental properties and can supply and fit furnishings at 24 hours’ notice
  4. You don’t need to supply bed duvets/pillows/bed linen. While it helps if these items are present during the marketing period (bedrooms will look a lot better in marketing photos with beds made and pillows fluffed), tenants usually prefer to use their own during their tenancy
  5. Remove sentimental objects and furnishings. With the best will in the world items can be damaged, even by the best tenants. So if there is anything you are particularly attached to, remove it prior to letting
  6. Be prepared to replace furnishings after a few years. The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) guidelines are that all furnishings should be depreciated over 7 years so expect some wear and tear and expect to replace some furnishings during the course of holding your property investment
  7. Students deserve good furnishings too! Don’t fill your student property with odds and ends. If you furnish a student property well this will encourage them to look after things! Also, students are here to study (well, some of them are!) so a desk and chair comes in handy
  8. Provide basic maintenance tools for the property including; a set of ladders, a basic tool kit, a radiator key and a plunger – this may help an unnecessary call out!
  9. Carpets, curtains and shower curtain (if required) should be provided
  10. Finally, although not directly related to furnishing your rental property; get a professional clean! It is worth spending the money up front to have your property professionally cleaned prior to the first tenancy. This will ensure you can charge tenants for cleaning at the end of all future tenancies, if they do not maintain standards, as the benchmark has been set on day 1. An invoice from a professional cleaner will provide proof to TDS that the property was cleaned prior to the tenants moving in

Recommended basic furnishing guide

It’s essential not to clutter properties. Here’s a quick guide to some basic furnishings for your rental property;

Living Room

  • Sofa/chairs (3-seater and 1 additional chair, or two 2-seaters)
  • Coffee table
  • Lamp


  • Bed, mattress and mattress protector (preference for double beds or larger)
  • Wardrobe
  • Chest of drawers
  • Bedside table


  • Wall mounted mirror


  • White goods
  • Matching crockery, glasses and cutlery (1 bedroom property requires 4 sets then additional 2 sets per additional bedroom)
  • Basic cooking utensils
  • Basic kitchenware (chopping board, casserole-style dish, baking trays, colander, sieve, measuring jug, washing up bowl, dish drainer, 3 pots, frying pan/wok)
  • Toaster, kettle
  • Ironing board, iron, brush, dustpan & brush, mop & bucket
  • Rubbish bin
  • If dining kitchen provide dining table (4-6 chairs)


  • If you expect the garden to be maintained, basic garden tools should be provided

If you have any comments feel free to leave these below or tweet me @UmegaAndy. Thanks for listening!