Is it better to let a furnished or unfurnished dwelling?
Wed 31 Aug 2022
Deciding whether to let a dwelling fully furnished or unfurnished is a decision landlords should base not only on their personal circumstances but on the demand from contract-holders, to ensure minimal void periods.
There is no right or wrong answer and the type of dwelling and location often determine whether it’s best to provide furnishings or not.
A lot of the apartments we let on behalf of landlords are furnished, but less so with houses. This is mainly due to the contract-holder demand; apartments are often rented by young professionals who don’t own furniture and are looking for a modern home, whereas larger homes are rented by families who have accumulated their own furniture over the years and prefer to put their own mark on the dwelling.
These are, of course, very general assumptions and it’s important to seek advice from an experienced local letting agent before you make a decision on whether to furnish your rental dwelling or not. Contract-holder types can vary dramatically from one town to the next.
Often landlords make the decision to furnish their rental dwelling based on their personal circumstances. If, for example, you’ve inherited a dwelling and you decide to let it out you may find it’s already furnished, or if you’re moving away for a while and you want to let out your home it’s often easier to leave the furnishings in place.
What constitutes a furnished dwelling?
There is no legal definition for what constitutes a ‘furnished’ dwelling. However, as a general rule of thumb, if you are advertising a dwelling as furnished contract-holders will expect the following items to be provided:
- A bed, wardrobe and/or chest of drawers in the bedrooms
- A sofa in the living room
- A table and chairs, if there is a dining area
- White goods in the kitchen, including a fridge, freezer, cooker, and washing machine*
- Soft furnishings throughout the dwelling, such as carpets/wooden flooring and curtains/blinds*
*These items are also expected to be included in unfurnished dwellings
If you decide to let a dwelling as furnished, you will need to make sure that all the furniture provided meets legal safety standards, including fire safety regulations, whereby all fabric furniture, such as sofas, must have labels proving that they meet this standard.
Also note that if you advertise a dwelling as fully furnished contract-holders will expect to be able to move straight in, similar to a holiday rental, with items such as crockery, cooking utensils, and a TV included.
The benefits of letting a furnished dwelling
- If you already have furniture in the house it saves you the cost of removal and storage
- It saves contract-holders money as they don’t need to buy their own furniture
- You can often increase the rental price if it’s a furnished dwelling
- Once the contract has ended you still own the furniture, which you could sell or use for yourself
- Your dwelling may let faster than an unfurnished dwelling, depending on the dwelling type, location and demand from contract-holders.
The benefits of letting an unfurnished dwelling
- You save money as you don’t need to pay for any furniture
- It could quickly attract contract-holders with their own furniture who don’t want to pay for storage
- If you decide to sell the dwelling you don’t need to worry about removing furniture
- You are not responsible for insuring contract-holders’ furniture
- You have less concerns over general wear and tear if the contract-holder is providing their own furniture.
To find out more about the pros and cons of letting furnished or unfurnished dwellings, book your free no-obligation rental valuation with your local Moginie James lettings team.