The ‘furnished or unfurnished’ question divides landlords across the country. With some championing the financial benefits of letting a furnished property, and others celebrating a decreased workload when providing tenants with an unfurnished home, it’s simply a case of choosing what’s right for you and your situation. In this post we’ll weigh up the benefits of each option to help you make a decision.
Furnished properties are often high in tenant demand. With many renters looking for flexibility and affordability, you may find it easier to attract tenants if you provide them with a property that’s furnished. Many will appreciate having the opportunity to move in and get settled straight away.
You can often earn more for a furnished property. Although you’ll have to factor the initial cost of furnishing the property into your budget, since you’re able to charge more for a furnished property, you could consider these costs to be an investment.
It can be tempting to buy cheap pieces of furniture in case they get damaged, but good quality furniture is likely to last longer and withstand more wear and tear.
Benefit from tax exemptions. When letting a furnished property, you’re permitted to deduct a ‘wear and tear allowance’ from your profits when filing your self-assessment tax return. The 10% wear and tear allowance covers a variety of furnishings such as beds, sofas, fridges, and curtains but it’s important to familiarise yourself with the exemptions.
You could also claim for a tax deduction to cover the cost of replacing like-for-like furnishings. This is known as a renewals allowance.
Tenants may stay in the property longer. Tenants that prefer to buy their own furniture often do so because they like the idea of making a place their own.
By giving them the flexibility to furnish the property as they please, you may encourage them to stay in the property for a longer period of time.
You won’t be responsible for updating or repairing furnishings. When you provide tenants with an unfurnished property, you’re not responsible for the furniture they put in it. If something breaks, you won’t be obliged to replace it yourself.
Decrease the likelihood of deposit conflicts. If you provide tenants with an unfurnished property, you won’t have to go into as much detail when carrying out the initial inventory at the start of the tenancy. As a result, you’ll reduce the likelihood of any disagreements over the deposit. After all, if you don’t have any of your own furniture in the property, it can’t become damaged.
If you’re struggling to decide whether to furnish your property or not, you could choose to ‘part-furnish’ it. It’s completely up to you what you include, but many landlords choose to provide the essentials such as white goods, blinds and curtains. You’ll be providing tenants with some items while still giving them plenty of freedom.
Before making a decision whether to furnish your property or not, think about your market and the type of tenant you’d like to attract. Students are likely to want a furnished property while families may favour one that they can furnish themselves and live in for many years.
Have a close look at your budget and assess your schedule. On the one hand, furnished properties can attract a higher rental yield each month and allow you to make the most of tax exemptions. On the other hand, an unfurnished property can be far less time consuming while also minimising the likelihood of void periods due to longer tenancies.
New to the world of Buy-to-Let? Take a look at our guide to a successful property investment as a first-time landlord for more information.