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Furnished or Unfurnished – which is the best option for your rental property?

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As a landlord, it can be tricky to decide whether to provide tenants with fully furnished properties or simply allow them to bring their own furniture and furnish the home to their tastes. There are no specific guidelines which state a landlord should or shouldn’t furnish a property for tenants so it is entirely down to individual choice. Here we’re looking at the benefits of both letting furnished and unfurnished properties and some issues to consider.

The Benefits of Letting a Furnished Property

Choosing to let your property to tenants fully or partially furnished has the following benefits:

  • Attractive to tenants as they save money on furniture
  • Easy to let as there are generally more tenants looking for furnished properties in most areas
  • Easy to re-let when tenants move on as you still have possession of all furniture
  • Cost of furniture and furnishings is tax deductible

The Benefits of Letting an Unfurnished Property

Choosing to ley your property on an unfurnished basis also has many benefits including:

  • Chance of longer tenancies as tenants who buy their own furniture have made more of an investment to the property
  • No issues with replacements should tenants be unsatisfied with your chosen furnishings
  • You have no insurance obligations to the tenant’s furniture
  • Wear and tear to furniture is not your concern

Many landlords choose the middle ground and let their premises on a part-furnished basis. This often mans they simply provide everything except beds or they provide a range of options to potential tenants when they view the property, so tenants can make an informed decision on how much or how little furniture they want provided by the landlord.

If you choose to furnish a property to any level it is worth considering your insurance obligations. No landlord is legally obliged to invest in contents insurance for their furniture within a rented property but it is highly recommended. Most landlords take a full inventory of everything in the property before a tenant moves in, to ensure that the same inventory is in place at the end of the tenancy. Should there be a discrepancy at the end of the tenancy, the landlord may be able to charge the tenant for anything missing from the inventory and/or due to wear and tear or damage. The Association of Residential Letting Agents have plenty of information to help landlords considering insurance and further advice about offering furnished and unfurnished properties.

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