Rental Property:
Furnished or Unfurnished?

Should You Furnish Your Rental Property?

Should I rent my property furnished or unfurnished? This is the one question asked by almost every new landlord; there really is no right or wrong answer. We look at the main considerations for furnished and unfurnished properties to help you choose which is best for you.

Furnished rental properties

Furnished properties – especially one- and two-bedroom flats – are in high demand in Edinburgh. Tenants are increasingly demanding high spec furnishings; providing a high quality furnished property can increase your probability of finding a good tenant quickly, whilst maximising your rental income.

What to include in a furnished rental property

This is a general list of items that most tenants will expect to find in a furnished property. What you should include is largely defined by the size of the property. We can provide a list tailored to your property following the rental valuation.

Kitchen: All white goods, oven, hob, kettle, toaster, microwave. A dishwasher and tumble dryer are attractive to tenants if you have space.

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.

Dining area: Dining table with chairs.

Bedroom: Bed, mattress, mattress protector, headboard, bedside cabinets, chest of drawers, wardrobe.

Additional items: Vacuum cleaner, curtains, blinds (consider blackout blinds for bedrooms), light fittings and pendants, television aerial, ladder (to allow tenants to change light bulbs and test alarms).


Tips for renting your property furnished

  1. All personal and decorative items (e.g. photo frames, books and ornaments) should be removed before tenants move in to make space for their own possessions. These items are great to include in marketing photographs.
  2. Properties with good quality, matching furniture tend to rent faster, encourage tenants to rent for longer, and can command a higher rent. Although the quality of the furniture is important, you do not have to spend a fortune. IKEA has some excellent furniture ranges that last well (and look good) in rental properties.
  3. We do not recommend including electrical items such as televisions. Remember, as a landlord you are responsible for replacing defective items.
  4. 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!

Contact us if you would like advice on furnishing your Edinburgh rental property.

Unfurnished rental properties

The number of tenants looking for unfurnished properties to rent in Edinburgh is growing. Most properties are currently available furnished, creating a pool of tenants viewing a relatively small number of unfurnished properties, providing a great opportunity for landlords.

Tenants who invest in providing their own furniture tend to rent for longer and pay comparable rent to those who rent furnished properties. The tenants are responsible for their own furniture so you would not be expected to provide replacements for broken or damaged items during the tenancy.

What to include in an unfurnished rental property

Kitchen: All white goods, oven, hob. Again, a dishwasher and tumble dryer would be great additions if you have space.

Additional items: Curtains, blinds (consider blackout blinds for bedrooms), light fittings and pendants, television aerial, ladder (to allow tenants to change light bulbs and test alarms).


Tips for renting your property unfurnished

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Providing a floor plan will help prospective tenants work out if their furniture will fit and where it can be placed.


Furnished or unfurnished: Questions for landlords

When deciding if you should rent your property furnished or unfurnished, ask yourself the following questions:


Is the property already furnished?

For most, this is a good starting point from which to base your decision. If the property is not already furnished, we would recommend holding off on buying furniture until after marketing. This will allow you to gauge the market and possibly save unnecessary expenditure if ‘good’ tenants come along who are looking for an unfurnished property. You can use the property advert to advise prospective tenants that the property is available either furnished or unfurnished, increasing the appeal of the property to a wider market.

However, before following this advice you should also consider:


Does the property photograph well without furniture?

Some properties photograph better than others without furniture. If your property has small or unusually shaped rooms, it may be worth purchasing furniture before marketing. This will help prospective tenants visualise living in the property, making it more appealing and securing a higher number of viewings.


Do you have good quality, matching furniture?

When it comes to furnishings, tenants are (mostly) looking for good quality pieces that add to the overall look of the property. Holding on to mismatched furniture that has accumulated over multiple tenancies will likely deter tenants looking for a home where they can settle long-term. If your property is furnished with old, low-quality furniture, we would recommend either replacing it or marketing the property as unfurnished. Providing quality furniture can make a big difference to maximising your rental income, whilst ensuring you attract the best tenants.


Do you have a student property or HMO?

If your property is an HMO or is marketed specifically at students, applicants will expect it to be furnished. Student and HMO properties will most likely also require additional furniture items such as desks.


What type of tenant are you aiming to attract?

Furnished and unfurnished properties will each appeal to different groups of tenants. Students and young professionals, for example, maybe more inclined to rent a furnished property, whereas families (especially those with young children) may favour unfurnished properties. Before marketing you will have a good idea of the type of tenant your property will attract – usually dependant on property size and location – so you can use this as a guide as to whether you should rent the property furnished or unfurnished.

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