To furnish or not – that is the question

When it comes to furnishing an investment home, do the little touches; the comfortable bed, practical sofa and fancy accessories really make a difference in attracting the right tenants?

We recently conducted a study to discover just how many of our landlords choose to furnish their buy-to-let properties and out of 623 people questioned, the results showed that:

Let Furnished: 38%
Let Part-Furnished (white goods only): 33%
Let Unfurnished: 29%.

Truth is, whether you decide to or not, it’s worth considering your target market. Now, without wanting to sound too much like a marketing text book, it’s worthwhile considering who you’re aiming your property at – if, for example, it’s students or professionals wanting a Monday-Friday home, they probably won’t have, or want, to bring their home furnishings with them. Families looking for a long-term let will most probably have accumulated their own to bring with them.

The regulations

Whichever category you fall into as landlord, even if you are supplying minimal furniture, it must be fire resistant and meet the fire resistance requirements in the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended in 1989 & 1993).  Furthermore, always insist that any gas appliances the tenants bring to the property are fitted by your own qualified Gas Engineer and that they are added to the Gas Safety Certificate.

Non-compliance with the above regulations is a criminal offence and carries penalties of a £5,000 fine, 6 month’s imprisonment, or both. In the event of a death, charges could extend to manslaughter.

Beds and mattresses

One home item that is pretty much a given in any property, however, is the bed. Often taken for granted, the humbled bed is something which we spend a large proportion of time in, yet its upkeep can be forgotten – both amongst tenant and landlords.

During National Bed Month we want to highlight why beds can literally become a haven for germs and how, over time, they can even contribute towards putting some tenants off a particular property.

The average UK bed is home to a staggering 10 million dust mites and bed bugs – and because mattresses, duvets and pillows are the ideal territory for these mites it’s no wonder.

To help combat the problem, changing the sheets regularly, cleaning the mattress and keeping windows open should help to keep the number of bugs under control.

Although this can’t be policed when tenants are occupying a property, it’s in a landlords best interest to keep the bed in good condition when it is not being rented out.

If not and it is left unloved, unpleasant odours can often develop – and because first impressions are oh so important when it comes to showing a prospective tenant around, it’s a shame if a perfect property in a perfect location falls down because the scent of a comfortable bed is too off putting.

We’re confident that that our 38 per cent of landlords who do furnish their homes recognise the importance of bed hygiene and will continue to do so to ensure their tenants are bed confident when they climb in for the very first time.

How do you prepare for a new tenant?

It’s disturbing to discover that beds can contain sweat, blood, urine and other bodily fluids, along with mould and mildew so during National Bed Month we’re asking our landlords what steps they take when it comes to preparing their properties (and more specifically their bed(s) for a new tenant.

About Jonathan Daines

As Founder and CEO since 2008, Jonathan’s passion for property, technology and entrepreneurship inspired the creation and innovation of LettingaProperty.com. With the support of a dedicated team of industry professionals, for the past 11 years he has built a digital marketplace offering low-cost services that empowers landlords and tenants to let and rent property with ease.

7 Comments

    March 8, 2016 REPLY

    We’ve added in an option regarding a mattress protector and included both @Kinneret12:disqus and @robertoarendse:disqus votes.

    March 7, 2016 REPLY

    I use a mattress protector and wash it inbetween tenancies.

    March 7, 2016 REPLY

    Hi Hencam, the full results of the study showed: Let Furnished: 38%, Let Part-Furnished: 33% and Let Unfurnished: 29%.

    March 7, 2016 REPLY

    Not sure if it’s just your results that aren’t explained very clearly, but I’m having a hard time understanding how 38% is “the majority”…

      March 7, 2016 REPLY

      I agree, title of the article is ‘TO FURNISH OR NOT – THAT IS THE QUESTION’, so if 38% answered yes, 62% didn’t!

        March 7, 2016 REPLY

        Hi Roberto… Thanks for your comment. Please see my earlier comment regarding the results. We could have chosen to combine Furnished and Part Furnished to show 71% let with ‘some’ furnishings, however, our main interest here is more on ‘soft furnishings’ rather than white goods and in particular, seeing that is it National Bed Month, on beds and mattresses. The study shows that 38% of our landlords let furnished including soft furnishings and we are very interested to learn how landlords deal with such furnishing prior to a new tenancy. Hope you had a chance to enter our poll!

          March 7, 2016 REPLY

          Unfortunately, none of the options on the poll described what I do, which is to replace the mattress topper/protector for new tenancies, so I didn’t respond.

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