One question we get asked a lot from new Landlords is whether they should offer their property on a furnished or unfurnished basis.
Depending on the circumstances that have led an owner to let out their asset, they could have anywhere from a completely empty property to something fully furnished with all crockery, linens and soft furnishings included.
The first thing to consider are the fundamentals that should be included when letting a property, that can fall under “furnishing”. While you can rent out your house or apartment “unfurnished”, the following items will almost always be expected to be present by an incoming Tenant:
- Lampshades (for ceiling lights, unless recessed spots)
- Flooring (i.e. carpet, wood flooring, laminated flooring)
- White goods (either built in or freestanding)
- Sanitaryware (toilet, basin, bath etc.)
- Wardrobes (only if fitted/built in)
An unfurnished property will generally need to include all of the above as standard. A fully furnished property will include the above as well as the following items as a minimum:
- Bed and mattress in each bedroom
- Freestanding wardrobes (if fitted/built in ones not present)
- Dining table
- Dining chairs (no. dependent on size of property)
- Coffee table
- TV stand/media unit
Additional items that Tenants may request for a fully furnished property can include:
- Bedside tables
- Chest of drawers
- Side tables
- Additional seating (smaller sofa, arm chair etc.)
It may be agreed for a property be offered on a part-furnished basis, where the fundamental items are included, along with a selection of the additional items. This may depend on what is in the property already, or the specific requirements of the tenant.
As previously mentioned, your property may be in any one of those states (furnished, unfurnished or part furnished) when it comes to marketing to find a new tenant. There isn’t a right or wrong answer as to which is best and there are positives to all 3.
If your property is fully furnished, this will generally present the best in marketing photos and on viewings (providing the furniture is in good condition). It will allow prospective tenants to get a good understanding of the size and layout of the property with the furniture in place. Also if you are seeking Japanese Corporate Tenants, you will find the 9 times out of 10 they will be looking for a fully furnished property.
A part furnished property will have some of the benefits of providing a sense of scale as with a furnished property but will allow for tenants to bring in some of their own items to create a personal touch. This setup also puts you a in a good position to be quite flexible regarding tenants requests. If, for example, a tenant who has made a good offer wants the property furnished, this may mean you only needing to buy 1 or 2 additional pieces to supplement what is there. Likewise, if they want it unfurnished and you’re happy with their offer, there is not much furniture to remove.
This provides a complete blank canvas for a prospective tenant. A lot of tenants have their own furniture which they like to bring with them, which is also an indicator someone will want to stay longer term if they are going to the trouble of moving all their items in. Alternatively, a Landlord can arrange a furniture rental pack to provide brand new furniture just for the duration of the tenancy. This is something that we can assist our clients with and guide them on what level of furnishing would be suitable.
To summarise, the best scenario in terms of furnishing is to have some flexibility as a Landlord, whatever furnishing level your property is currently in. There are benefits to all aspects and that is where a good agent is crucial, to present your property in the best light and negotiate the terms of the offer to suit both parties.
At Excel, we have decades of experience dealing with all manner of properties and are well versed in the various requests from prospective tenants. If you are thinking of renting out your property and are not sure what level of furnishing is suitable, don’t hesitate to get in touch to talk to one of our experienced Lettings Team.