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Furnished vs unfurnished

Posted: September 2014

By Jo Eccles

If you’re a landlord, it’s always difficult to know whether to offer your property furnished or unfurnished. Smaller flats are usually demanded on a furnished basis as many tenants renting one and two bedroom flats don’t own their own furniture. Family houses, on the other hand, are usually rented out unfurnished as many families do already own their own furniture.

We have, however, seen a shift in this over the past six months, with more upmarket one and two bedroom flats increasingly being requested on an unfurnished basis. This is largely due to the number of ‘corporate tenants’ in this price bracket. In other words, tenants who are relocating to London from overseas with their job. They tend to be considered extremely good quality tenants, and are favoured by many landlords.

Not all landlords with furnished properties will consider an offer on an unfurnished basis, though. Some landlords will flatly refuse as they don’t want the hassle of removing and storing, or disposing of furniture. Others will unfurnish the property on request, but only if the tenant pays an extremely good rent and commits to a longer tenancy period of three years or so.

If you’re a landlord and you’ve just bought a property to rent out and you’re deciding whether to furnish it or not, my advice is to market it empty but say that you will furnish it if requested. That way you’re appealing to all tenants. Do bear in mind that properties usually present much better when furnished, so if your property doesn’t get snapped up quickly, you could rent furniture temporarily to ensure that the property looks its best. We’ve done this on a number of occasions with some of the properties we manage for landlords that aren’t being let. In every case we received very high rental offers within one week of the property being furnished.

If you have a question you’d like Jo to answer please email info@sppropertygroup.com or tweet her @joeccles.