...When letting a property, that is the question. Whether you fill your rental with furnishings or not can make a major difference in costs, risks, and the type of tenant who will respond to your rental ad. And there are definitely advantages and disadvantages on both sides. So before you make a definitive decision, read on to find out more about the pros and cons of furnishing.
The first and most important point in the pro-furnishing category is that it gives you access to a significantly broader market. Many potential tenants, especially those on a budget, will immediately write off any rental advertisement labelled "unfurnished".
So, furnishing your place gives you access to students and young professionals, who might have less capital than older tenants – but it also means you appeal to the short-term let markets, for which you can generally charge a bit more in rent. If you invest in high-quality furniture, you can also target corporate clients who tend to pay more. Additionally, since unfurnished flats can feel cold and empty, furnishing means that your apartment is going to look a whole lot more homely, which means it will have wider appeal when you show it.
However, a broader market isn’t the only reason to furnish. There is also a tax allowance of 10 per cent against the income you receive for renting, which allows you to offset the costs of wear and tear that inevitably come with letting out a furnished home. On top of that, if you are planning to move into the apartment you are renting out eventually, furnishing allows you to avoid major storage and transport costs.
While there are many good reasons to furnish, it can also complicate things in a number of ways. First of all, decking out the flat with any kind of decent furniture leaves you at risk when it comes to wear and tear and damages, which will need to be replaced between tenants. And since tenants in furnished apartments tend to come and go more often, you may be needing to replace things relatively frequently.
Additionally, agreeing on terms with tenants when it comes to the state of the furniture can be a source of conflict, as can the issue of the deposit when furniture has been damaged. The responsibility also falls on you to make sure all your furnishings meet fire and safety regulations, and given the risk of damage, you are also responsible for insuring the furnishings.
Finally, while furnishing a flat means a wider potential market, the market for unfurnished apartments is often that of long-term tenants. For a tenant, furnishing a property means investing in it, since moving out requires so much work. So if you would like the simplicity of not having to re-let your apartment every six months, leaving it unfurnished may be the way to go.
Whether or not to furnish is a tough decision that no landlord should rush into. But if you do decide to take the plunge, see below for some Stockport and Wilmslow area furniture resources: