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Tips for landlords: furnished or unfurnished?

If you’re thinking about renting out your property, one of the key decisions that you will need to make is whether you are going to let it furnished or unfurnished. While there are no legal obligations for you to furnish a property, you should be aware of some of the pros and cons.


Furnished lets
Furnished lets might include basic items like carpets, curtains, fridges, cookers, wardrobes, chairs, dining tables, sofas, washing machines, TV’s, cutlery and sometimes decorative items.

In general furnished lets tend to be more popular than unfurnished ones with studies showing that landlords can expect their properties to let quicker and to be able to charge more rent for the property.

Tenants looking for a rental property tend to have less furniture than someone who is looking to purchase a house outright. They might be a young couple living together for the first time, students or people just starting in their first job, or they may be new to the area, and in which case would prefer to move in to a property that already has expensive items that can be hard to come by and to transport such as sofas, fridge freezers, washing machines and other similar items.

Another positive from the perspective of the landlord is that the items are owned by you and should you incur any costs purchasing them then you can deduct a percentage from your tax liabilities.

Unfurnished lets
Unfurnished lets include far less items than furnished ones and would usually only have the bare essentials such as carpets, curtains and perhaps sometimes fridges, freezers or washing machines. 

While many tenants may be looking for a property that has all the essential items they will need that will allow them to move in quickly, really it all comes down to the tenants’ individual needs.

You might find that some tenants looking to move in to your property might already have all the furniture they need, whether from a previous property or that they have been able to source from friends and family.

Additionally, you should already beware that landlords have lots of responsibilitieshttp://www.hudson-moody.com/news/articles/What-are-my-responsibilities-as-a-landlord--114462.aspx, one of which is to ensure that the items in their rented homes are fit for purpose and meet fire safety standards.

Part-furnished
Part-furnished properties would include essentials like carpets, curtains and some white goods, but they might also include some extra furnishings like dining tables and wardrobes.

Having your property listed as part-furnished is a favourable option for some landlords as it takes less preparation than a fully furnished letting but still allows the tenant to be able to move in and start paying rent quickly. It also allows the tenant to be able to bring in some of their own furniture if they wish to do so.

Other considerations
When it comes to tax, landlords with unfurnished properties can apply for exemptions during any void periods which depending on the council can mean that you may be eligible for some taxation reductions. This can be particularly helpful for properties which have been on the market for a long time.

When it comes to making a decision over whether you should furnish your property or not you should think about the type of tenant you are trying to attract and whether they are likely to want a furnished or unfurnished property.

For more tips and advice for landlords, please click here, or alternatively call us on 01904 650650 to find out how we can help you effectively market your property.

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