One question that we get asked by almost every new landlord is if it is best to let a property furnished or unfurnished. There really is no right or wrong answer, we have put together our thoughts on both options below.
If you are wondering if you should let your property furnished or unfurnished the main points to consider are:
- Is the property already furnished?
If the property is not already furnished we would recommend holding off on buying furniture until suitable tenants are found. This can save time and money as ‘good’ tenants might come along looking specifically for an unfurnished property. In recent months we have seen a large increase in the number of applicants looking for unfurnished properties so by keeping it unfurnished you are appealing to a wider market.
- Do you have good quality, matching furniture?
If your furniture is mismatched having accumulated over multiple tenancies, or has simply seen better days, a vacant period before new tenants move in could be the ideal opportunity for a refresh. Providing quality furniture can make a big difference to maximising your rental income, and also helps to attract quality tenants.
- Is your property an HMO?
If your property is an HMO, or is marketed specifically at students, then applicants will expect it to be furnished. In addition to the items below, tenants renting HMO properties may expect additional items such as desks.
- What type of tenants are you aiming to attract?
Both furnished and unfurnished properties will appeal to different groups of tenants. For example, students and young professionals may lean towards furnished properties, and families may favour unfurnished.
Furnished properties, especially one and two bedroom flats, are currently in high demand across Edinburgh. However, we are finding that applicants are increasingly seeking higher spec furnishings.
What to include in a furnished property:
This list will vary depending upon the size of your property, please contact us if you would like property specific advice.
Kitchen: All white goods, oven, hob, kettle, toaster, microwave
Note: It is not necessary to provide crockery, cutlery, pots or glassware as most tenants have their own. If you already have a good quality matching set then it is fine to include these, but it is best to remove older items.
Living room: Sofa/ chairs, coffee table, side table
Bedroom: Bed, mattress, mattress protector, headboard, bedside cabinets, chest of drawers, wardrobe
Additional items: Vacuum cleaner (must be in good condition with clean filters and empty bag), curtains, blinds, light fittings
Top tips for furnished properties:
- Remove all personal items, tenants will want to have their own pictures, decorative items, books etc. so they can make it their home.
- We do not recommend including electrical items such as televisions. Remember, as a landlord you are responsible for replacing defective items.
- Keep it simple, stick to the above list and ensure that additional items left by tenants are removed after each tenancy – these can mount up quickly!
- Let us know if you would like help/ advice on furnishing your property. We have a Handyman who can collect, deliver and assemble furniture from IKEA, or we can arrange quotes from other suppliers.
As mentioned above, the number of applicants looking to rent unfurnished properties has increased in recent months, meaning that there is a larger pool of applicants looking for a smaller number of properties as the majority of rental properties in Edinburgh are furnished.
Tenants who invest in providing their own furniture tend to rent for longer and pay comparable rent to those who rent furnished properties. Tenants are also responsible for all of their own furniture so landlords would not be expected to provide replacements for defective items during a tenancy.
What to include in an unfurnished property:
Kitchen: All white goods, oven, hob
Additional items: Curtains, blinds, light fittings
Top tips for unfurnished properties
- Keep the décor as neutral as possible. This will allow tenants to bring in their own furniture without worrying about how it will look in the room.
- It is a good idea to have pictures of the property both furnished and unfurnished. Some applicants may find it difficult to visualise the property as a home when it is empty.