Landlords are often unsure of whether to market their properties as part-furnished, furnished or unfurnished. Whereas short-term and holiday lets, students and HMO (multiple occupancies) prefer furnished, not all renters especially long-term contracts require all furnishings and it is a case of understanding your rental market to achieve the most income whilst minimizing effort and costs. It is important to realise that there will be general wear and tear in all properties and that a good standard of maintenance equates to happy renters who are more likely to stay.
Lets start with part-furnished. This is popular with landlords and a lot of renters. The landlord can choose how much furnishings to provide although generally, some storage and basic domestic appliances such as white goods and curtains are provided (most renters do look for window treatments with all options). This is a more flexible arrangement that can be negotiated with the tenants before they move in. The quality and amount of money spent on furnishings will vary too. A luxury property aimed at professionals will cost more to furnish and upkeep but the rental yield will be higher.
As touched upon above, there is also a high demand for furnished properties (especially in Edinburgh mainly due to the amount of contractors on set term work contracts often returning to their native town / city at weekends).
If you are looking to rent to students or multiple occupancies with shorter leases, you will be expected to provide more furnishings. This will probably include a bed, desk, lamp, drawers and storage in each bedroom. White goods, sofas, tables and chairs, often cutlery and kitchen equipment such as pots and pans, a microwave and toaster. Generally, landlords look for a more practical less expensive but sturdy furniture as there will be more wear and tear.
It is also important to have a detailed itinerary, clearly indicating the condition of the provided goods for when the lease comes to an end. There are companies who sell “off the peg” furniture packages specifically designed for landlords and this can be a good way to get everything from one place which can be easily replaced. Landlords don’t always factor in just how time consuming and fiddly it can be to set up a property.
Professional workers and those relocating in the shorter term for work are often willing to pay more rent for a furnished property although they will expect a higher standard of finish.
Landlords are often unsure of how much furniture and fittings are required and it is a fine line between making the property comfortable/marketable and throwing away money on extras that will not increase yield. In general, neutral colours are best and provide a blank canvas. A tenant may not share the landlords taste so neutral is most appealing across the board.
Unfurnished properties are less common and are probably more popular with tenants who have accrued their own furniture over the years or are coming from another unfurnished property. The Landlord does not have to provide any goods or furnishings and so maintenance costs will be significantly lower. The trend with unfurnished properties is you tend to get longer tenancies after all no one wants to pay for removal costs every 12 month if they have a choice.
So, overall, Landlords must carefully consider their target rental market to calculate whether to advertise their property as part-furnished, furnished or unfurnished. The standard of finish will affect the rental amount and a basic kit out of a flat can cost from £500 to the top-end luxury market which could cost anywhere up to £10,000. There will be upkeep and maintenance costs to factor in too.
Obviously, we can be there to help and advise which category fits your property the most. We are here to guide you.