Should I rent my property furnished or unfurnished is one of the big questions Glasgow landlords need to answer before finding tenants. While there are pros and cons to both approaches, the key to whether it’s better to rent out property furnished or unfurnished lies with your property type, location and the tenants you want to attract.
If your property is a Glasgow city centre flat aimed at young professionals, furnished might be your best options. On the other hand, if you’re renting a larger family home in the leafy west end, your target market is likely to prefer an unfurnished place. To help answer the question, ‘should I rent my property furnished or unfurnished’ we consider the pros and cons and talk about some of the other issues you need to consider.
What is the difference between renting furnished and unfurnished?
A fully-furnished property comes with all the appliances, furniture and fittings that mean a tenant can move straight in without bringing too many items of their own. Typically, it should include:
- Dining table and chairs
Some properties, including corporate lets, go further including items such as tableware, cutlery and decoration.
An unfurnished property means just that, an empty shell that your tenant can furnish with their own belongings and to their own taste. In the UK there are certain items that you’d expect to find in an unfurnished property including:
- White goods – fridge, freezer, washing machine
- Bathroom and kitchen fittings
- Carpets or floor coverings
- Curtains and light fittings.
This is a half-way house between furnished and unfurnished, which could include the main items – but not all – allowing tenants to bring some of their own furniture.
What are the pros and cons of letting furnished vs unfurnished?
As we’ve said, which is better – furnished or unfurnished – should come down to the needs of the type of tenant you’re looking for. However, there are some pros and cons to bear in mind regardless.
Pros of renting out a furnished property
- You may be able to ask a higher rent – recent figures showed that furnished properties go for around 20% more than unfurnished ones across the UK and an average of 13% more in Glasgow.
- If you get your targeting right, you should attract more tenants – people ready to move straight in with minimal fuss.
- You can reuse the furniture with subsequent tenants.
- You may be able to claim tax relief on any replacement furnishings you need to buy.
- If you own the furniture already – because you’ve inherited the home or are moving in with a partner – you won’t need to get rid of it or store it.
Cons of renting out a furnished property
- You’ll need to pay for the items upfront and for the cost of repairing and replacing them.
- You’ll need contents insurance cover for any items you provide.
- If the furniture isn’t to tenants’ taste it may be a turn off.
- The flexibility of furnished properties means tenants may not stay for as long as those in unfurnished places.
Pros of renting out an unfurnished property
- These properties tend to attract families or more established renters, people who have accumulated furniture and possessions of their own and who are likely to stay long-term.
- You won’t be responsible for replacing or fixing broken items.
- You’ll have shorter inventories and an easier check in and out and less potential for deposit disputes at the end of the tenancy.
- If your tenant doesn’t want your furniture, you don’t have to deal with storage or removal.
- You won’t need to worry about damage to items you own.
Cons of renting out an unfurnished property
- Depending on the location and type of property, you may find an unfurnished property harder to let.
- You may need to charge a lower rent.
Who is looking for a furnished property?
You can’t always generalise but to give you an idea, these types of tenants are usually looking for furnished properties
- Young professionals
- People on short term contracts and corporate lets
- Properties in the city centre and east end of Glasgow
Who is looking for an unfurnished property?
- People looking to rent a house rather than a flat
- Long-term renters
- People looking at houses in Glasgow’s west end or suburban areas such as Bearsden and Milngavie
Things to consider – a checklist
Tenancy agreement & inventory
You need to be clear in the tenancy agreement that the property is furnished/unfurnished and of the expectations on both sides when it comes looking after items. But remember that you can’t charge tenants for damage caused by normal wear and tear. You need to include everything in the property in your inventory so, it will be much more comprehensive for a furnished place.
Landlords are responsible for ensuring that items in the property are safe – this means that furnishings such as upholstery and curtains must meet fire safety standards. It’s advisable that small electrical items such as kettles and toasters pass portable appliance testing (PAT).
If your property is vacant, getting a council tax exemption may depend on whether it is furnished or unfurnished.
All landlords should take out buildings insurance – this is likely to be a condition of your buy-to-let mortgage. But if you rent the property out as furnished, you should take out contents cover for the items in the property too. This is less of an issue for an unfurnished property, though you might wish to consider it for any appliances, fixtures and fittings you supply.
Find out more
If you’re still unsure whether it’s better to rent your Glasgow property furnished or unfurnished, talk to us. Together we can look at your target tenants and weigh up the pros and cons of both options.