There is no right or wrong answer to this question as there are pros and cons whether you let your rental property furnished or unfurnished. Furnished and unfurnished properties both play an important role in the lettings market. Tenants’ circumstances vary and a property that is perfect for one tenant can be completely wrong for another. Which option is best for you as a landlord will depend on a number of factors.
- Whether your property is currently furnished
- The length of time you are planning to rent your property
- The type of property you are letting
- Where your property is located
- The type of tenants you are hoping to attract
- The rent you hope to achieve for your property
Letting a Furnished Property
Smaller properties in city locations are more likely to be let furnished. This is because the rental market for this type of property will generally be younger in age. If the property is furnished this will attract prospective tenants that are likely to be first time renters who have just left home or students and young professionals who are not looking for somewhere long term to stay. Moving into a fully furnished flat is usually a good option for this type of renter. Renting a furnished property means the tenant would not need to supply their own furniture and will be able to move straight in with minimum fuss and effort.
- Attractive to younger tenants who don’t want the expense or hassle of having to buy furniture
- Usually easier to let as the market for this type of property is bigger
- Tenants move in faster so you start receiving rental income faster
- Well-furnished flats can usually command a higher monthly rental value
- If your property is already furnished you don’t have the hassle of emptying it and paying for storage
- Furniture is subject to wear and tear and you will need to replace items as and when required
- Properties with worn out or scruffy items of furniture may actually be more difficult to rent than an unfurnished property
- Many tenants will expect certain standards and styles of furniture
- A detailed inventory of the contents of the property will need to be undertaken before and after every tenancy
- You will need to take out proper contents insurance to cover the cost of your furniture
Letting an Unfurnished Property
Larger flats and houses are more likely to be let unfurnished. However, the actual definition of an ‘unfurnished property’ can vary. In general, items that a tenant would expect in an unfurnished rental would be, carpets or flooring, curtains or blinds, kitchen fittings, white goods (fridge, freezer, washing machine etc.) This type of property tends to attract more mature tenants with or without families. This type of tenant may be looking for unfurnished because they are more likely to have acquired their own furniture over the years and will wish to rent a property where they can use it to furnish and personalise their new rental home.
- Attracts tenants with their own furniture so you don’t need to buy items to furnish the property
- Less hassle for you as a landlord as you don’t have to worry about furniture wear and tear
- You don’t have to pay to insure your furniture
- You have a significantly reduced liability for council tax during periods where the property is unoccupied
- More likely to attract long-term tenants who will rent the property for longer
- Preparing your property between tenancies is easier
- It can take longer to let this type of property depending on the area
- Can be harder to achieve a higher rental value
Furnished or Unfurnished?
Before deciding whether to let your property out furnished or unfurnished, it is also a good idea to spend some time investigating the demand for each, in your area. Go online and check out how properties, similar to yours, are being let in your area and how much rent each option commands. This is where employing a good local letting agent like Western Lettings can really help. They will have experience of the advantages and disadvantages of both options. They will be happy to use their intimate knowledge of the letting market in your area, along with your own particular circumstances to help make the right choice for you.
If you are looking to let your property and need some help, Western Lettings is an award-winning letting agent in Glasgow. We know the local property market inside out can help you decide on the best way to let your particular property to attract the best tenants. We also provide full property management services. Please get in touch or give us a call on 0141 357 0436