Furnished or unfurnished? A landlord’s guide to outfitting a property

One of the biggest questions that landlords face is whether it is a good idea to go ahead and buy all of the furniture for their property, or whether it is a better option to allow the new tenants to bring their own.  Purchasing all of the furniture for a property can be very costly so the decision needs to be well thought through.

The most important thing to understand is that there are no laws or rules in place that mean a landlord has to furnish a property.  The decision is left entirely up to you if you want to leave the place bare, or fill each room with everything that is needed, such as furniture, household appliances, kitchen equipment and even carpets.  Your decision to furnish or not to furnish your property will affect the likelihood of you finding tenants and also on the type of tenants you will attract.

Reasons to furnish your property

It will save money for the potential tenants because they will not need to buy new furniture.

It is usually the case that there are a lot more tenants out there looking to rent a property that comes fully furnished.  This means that you will be able to rent out your property more quickly than if you leave it unfurnished.

When the tenancy agreement comes to an end you will still be the owner of the furniture.  You can then go on to use the furniture yourself or leave it in place ready for the next tenant.

You can invest in furniture and appliances that will last for years, meaning that you will not have to purchase new items every time a new tenant moves in.  A lot of landlords do choose to invest in a high quality mattress because it will last for many years.

There are tax benefits to furnishing your property.  If you furnish the property you will be able deduct the total cost of the goods from any tax liability.

Reasons to leave the property unfurnished

If tenants are willing to buy their own furniture when they move in, then it is usually a good indication that they will stay for a long period of time.  If they have taken the plunge and decided to invest in furniture, then they will have planned exactly what is needed for them to live comfortably at your property.  Moving the furniture to another property is always a difficult and costly process.

The tenants that have chosen their own furniture will probably be happier with their selection and less likely to make any complaints.

It takes away the headache of insuring the furniture.  You are not in any way bound to insure the furniture or any other items that are brought in to your property by the tenant.

You do not have to worry about damage to the furniture because you did not provide it.  There will obviously be wear and tear over time but because it is not yours you do not need to worry about replacing it in the future.