To furnish or not to furnish? That hasn’t been the question for as long as we can remember - it’s been unfurnished all the way.
Nonetheless, the subject comes up in conversation every now and then, and a recent Zoopla article weighed up the pros and cons of furnished vs unfurnished homes, albeit from a tenant’s perspective.
So we thought it was worth exploring from a landlord’s point of view, particularly if it opens up a new angle and extra income for your buy-to-let business.
Over the last few years, surveys have found that:
Does that mean a quarter of tenants will pay handsomely for a furnished home? And if so, which quarter? And isn’t supplying furniture just an expensive hassle for landlords?
There are plenty of questions, so if you own a rental property in the Wilton & Salisbury area and you’re wondering whether it’s right for a furnished letting, this week’s blog should provide some answers.
Student lets and Homes in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) have long been furnished as standard, but the rest of the private rental sector hasn’t followed suit.
However, we know from the sales market that stylish homes get higher prices, and that busy people will pay a premium for convenience. So here’s what we think the market might look like.
While not every tenant or home suits a furnished letting, plenty do, so check with local letting agents about the requests they receive from tenants to see if there’s a demand worth meeting.
Although there’s no legal definition for what constitutes a furnished letting, tenants will expect at least a sofa, a dining table & chairs, and a bed and wardrobe in each bedroom.
However, there are regulations about the furniture you provide and what you can claim back in your tax return, including:
Our experience is that better quality homes get well looked after by their tenants, and there’s no reason to think otherwise for a furnished rental property aimed at the upper end of the market.
Living rooms and dining rooms are used by everyone in a home, along with their visiting friends, so the furniture needs to bestylish and durable while allowing your tenants to accessorise to their own taste.
When it comes to the sort of home that high-earning tenants would pay extra rent for, one with shared spaces where people love to hang out alone, with housemates, or with friends sounds good to us.
Everyone loves and needs a good night’s sleep, so invest in the correct furnishings that leave your tenants feeling well rested every morning in a room that can store all their belongings with ease.
We’ve all seen - and maybe even had - an unpleasant and hopelessly impractical bedroom. Nobody will pay extra for one of those, so focus on comfort for a premium experience and rent.
You might sometimes get away with not supplying curtains or blinds in an unfurnished letting, but you’ll definitely need to include them in a furnished one, so here are some best-practice guidelines.
Remember that health and safety is a landlord’s responsibility, so include hooks or cleats to wrap the cords for curtains or blinds so they’re out of reach from very young children who can become tangled up.
What’s your next step?
Choosing whether a rental property in the Wilton & Salisbury area is more suitable as a furnished or unfurnished letting isn’t always a straightforward decision, and we’re here to help you make the right choice.
Call us on 01722 580059 or email us a firstname.lastname@example.org for a friendly and expert chat about the best way to attract the best tenants and maximise the income and profit of your buy-to-let.
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