The dichotomy between furnishing and not furnishing an investment property is a common one.
Both have pro’s and con’s and indeed in some markets, tenants expect a property to be furnished.
Whilst there are no particular requirements to let properties on a furnished basis, doing so generally improves chances of finding suitable tenants within shorter timeframes, although tenants moving into
unfurnished properties tend to stay for longer periods and are often older.
There are a few things that should be taken into account:
- In furnished properties, sofas, chairs and other soft furnishings must comply with specific fire safety regulations and guidelines and bear the Safety Standard mark.
- Contents insurance is advisable as the costs of replacing some items can be significant, although this is not an obligation. At the start of a tenancy, an inventory clerk will mark the contents and condition of a property and this will be referred back to at the end of the tenancy, with any deductions for repair and replacement taken from the deposit.
- Local authorities often offer a Council Tax exemption for unoccupied properties and rates will vary depending on whether the property is furnished or unfurnished.
- Keeping it fresh is also important and it’s advisable to consider updating and replacing furnishings during the lifetime of the investment.
- Furniture packs geared towards buy-to-let properties are often an easy and economical means to furnish the property, and may also be valuable in dressing a property being sold to attract offers.
Options and Packages
Should you decide to furnish your rental property, you’ll see that some agents will offer a package or referral to a furnishing company offering specially selected buy to let furniture packages with various budget options.
Larger furnishing companies and providers will have a direct to market offering.
The benefit of these packages is that most items will be durable and hard-wearing, and would meet compliance requirements with regards to fire and safety standards.
It is not unusual for private landlords to select their own furnishings and in some instances this might appear more economically advantageous. However, be mindful of the quality and longevity of these products and always be mindful of safety requirements.
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