This is one of the most common questions that we have been and in our experience, there really is no right or wrong answer to whether the property should be let furnished or unfurnished.
We believe through experience that this is a case of 1) considering your target market, 2) whether you have the inclination, willingness or budget to furnish the property and 3) whether you were living in the property previously and found yourself with furnishings that you no longer require.
Choosing to let a property furnished or unfurnished will depend on the type of tenant, the market that you are aiming to service and property that you have to let:
Letting to student Tenants.
Chances are that students won’t have accumulated any furniture during their lives at home and so it would make sense for the property to have the bare essentials such as desks, chairs, sofas, bed frames, cooker, oven, fridge freezer etc. (Remember, any furnishings must comply with fire safety regulations and any gas appliances will need to be tested by a Gas Safe Registered plumber).
From the student tenant’s perspective, a property with adequate study facilities such as broadband, computer desks etc. would be far more desirable than a property without those facilities ergo; you let your property out faster.
Always insist that any gas appliances are fitted by your own qualified Gas Engineer and that they are added to the Gas Safety Certificate.
Letting to professional tenants.
If you are letting a big 5 bedroom detached home in the heart of West Sussex, you may be attracting families’ in-between homes (relocating) that have accumulated furniture throughout their lives.
Then again, they may be tenants who are relocating from another Country with work and will require a property that is fully furnished and often fully equipped
Furnished properties attract a tax allowance – speak to your Accountant about this.
If you do let the property furnished, be prepared for the furniture to be subject to wear and tear.
Yes, you may take a deposit for damage to your property however, that deposit will not cover fair wear and tear.
In summary, you should know your target market, are they going to be corporate tenants or families with a need for a furnished property. Are you targeting students or young professionals?
We live by two basic rules when it comes to letting a property furnished or unfurnished:
Rule no 1 - Know the Law regarding Fire Safety with furnishings.
Rule no 2 - Be flexible. If you had a good quality tenant that was looking for a long term let and they needed a sofa – would you be accommodating?