To furnish or not to furnish

I am often asked by landlords and prospective landlords about whether it is best to furnish a rental property or to leave it unfurnished and it is an interesting question. 

Over the past 12 months there has been an increase in those looking for furnished properties with ‘furnished’ rental searches rising by 19%, compared to the year before. So where do you start if you are thinking of furnishing your property?

Furnished will usually mean white goods such as an oven, washing machine, fridge and freezer and basic furniture like a sofa, table and chairs, beds, bedside tables, drawers and wardrobes and certainly in some areas the profit to be made on a furnished property is significant. 

But you do need to know the areas and type of property that will benefit from being furnished as getting it wrong can also mean that the rental value for furnished can quite surprisingly be lower than unfurnished. I would definitely suggest doing your homework and getting some advice too. 

Much depends on the type of tenants you are likely to attract with the kind of property you have or are looking to buy. With a home that will appeal to families it is much more likely that your tenants will already have the furniture they need, so they will be looking for unfurnished. If your property is smaller and in an area that would appeal to somebody moving with their work or maybe those renting for the first time, furnishing may work well as it provides a home ready to move into. 

Factoring in the expense of furnishing is obviously important and there is also the time and responsibility to consider that you’ll have for buying and installing the furniture along with the ongoing general upkeep. 

It is also interesting to note that those in furnished properties on work placements or similar may well look to move on more quickly than a family in a rented property. Therefore there could be an increased turnover of tenants coming through your property which may also mean increased wear and tear.

In addition, there will be insurance considerations to include contents as well as the usual buildings insurance cover a landlord has. Plus you will need to ensure that the furniture complies with regulations and meet fire safety standards. Any electrical goods you provide will also need portable appliance tests (PAT) to make sure they are working correctly.

With a wealth of experience of what works well with different types of property in different locations in our local area, at Pennington we can help you with any advice you need on whether to furnish or not. We can also advise on what regulations you will need to comply with if you do decide to furnish and help with inventories and the associated processes too.

If you would like any advice on this or anything else on the local property market, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Robert Ulph
Managing Director / ARLA Propertymark Advisory Board


Tel: 01394 337590