Furnished or Unfurnished?

When letting a property, there is no difference in price for a furnished property versus an unfurnished property. Rather, it all comes down to supply and demand.

Unfurnished

Unfurnished properties should include white goods (cooker, fridge or fridge/freezer and washing machine), curtains/blinds, carpets if applicable and garden equipment if relevant.

Furnished

There are no guidelines set out for what to provide with a furnished property but the minimum should be beds, wardrobes and a sofa. Bedside tables, coffee tables and dining table and chairs are also very desirable to tenants looking for furnished accommodation as are desks for students. Note: All soft furnishings provided for residential letting MUST comply with current Fire Regulations.

Demand

The demand for furnished properties is always a bit higher than that for unfurnished properties and when deciding what is best, you should always consider the type of property you own and who you are renting it to. Families tend to have their own furniture, young couples just starting out don't, couples who have been living together for a while do, students don't and sharers are usually awkward in that one will have furniture and the other won't!

Do not go out and buy any furniture until you have secured tenants

The main thing to bear in mind is that this is a tenants' market and the tenants know that. Therefore, they tend to be quite demanding. Do not go out and buy any furniture until you have secured tenants and know what they want as you can guarantee that if you put beds in your property, the first tenants who offer on the property will want them removed - it's Sod's Law. Obviously, if you already have furniture then so be it, but don't go to any efforts to remove, replace or add any furniture to your property until you know what your tenants want.

Conclusion

So, it seems that really, furnished or unfurnished, there will be tenants for your property either way so which is best for you as a landlord? The answer is undoubtedly flexibility. In a tough market, if you are in a position to do so, by remaining completely flexible on furnishings, you open yourself up to the whole market. Then, you can see who comes along and what they are offering and decide in turn whether it is worth your while meeting their demands.

My second choice for an easy life would be unfurnished. That way you don't have to buy anything, have it delivered, install it, replace it when it is broken, update it when it is old etc... Having said that, furnished properties are undoubtedly easier to let for the most part.