Furnish or not to furnish
I get asked this question ALOT and the answer is not so simple. There are many factors to consider so lets take a look at a few…
We specialise in the single let rental market. This means we have 1 contract for the house and it’s normal a family, couple or single person living in it. For these properties we advise not to furnish them. This is due to a number of reasons…
1/ This tenant type normally have there own furnitures and white goods.
2/ If any of the items break you, the landlord are responsible for repairing/replacing (more cost and more stress).
3/ It does not increase the rent much if at all.
What we do say to our landlords is to fit blinds or curtains, light fittings/shades and add some shelves and pictures. The reason for this is tenants are going to want blinds or curtains in all windows so instead of the tenant trying to fit them and perhaps not doing it to the standard you want and potentially damaging plaster and decour. The lighting should be finished as this helps market your property and really doesn’t have to cost a lot. The shelving and picture frames are a unique touch that allows tenants to make the house a home without putting wholes in the wall.
Lets take a look at the HMO market. This stands for ‘House of Multiple Occupation’ which means it’s a group of 3 or more people sharing the house which are not related (normally renting out a bedroom with shared kitchen/living communal areas). You normally see 2 types of HMO’s, students and professional. These are 2 very different markets but for the furniture they are very similar. HMO’s have to be fully furnished. The reasons why…
1/ This tenant type are usually younger people that haven’t yet bought furniture
2/ This tenant type tends to move around a lot more than a single let tenant so not having to move furniture makes this type of living easier
3/ It’s easier for the tenant to budget as the rent includes everything from the room, to the furniture, to the bills.
4/ Due to including everything in the rent landlords can charge a premium for this type of property. Meaning an HMO landlord can charge multiples of what a single let landlord can (There are of course some negatives to this model which we will talk about at another time).
The HMO market is changing very quickly in the East Midlands and the standard of many HMO property’s are incredible. They look like boutique hotel rooms. All the tenant needs to do on move in date is bring them selfs and there belongings. Everything else is there ready for them. A very easy way of living.
Serviced accommodation property’s are a different type of furnishing all together. These property’s whether you are renting them out to holiday makers, contractors, or hen party’s, will need to have everything you could think of in them. Why…
1/ If you went to stop in a hotel you wouldn’t expect to take towels, hair dryer etc
2/ You are competing with very big hotel chains, and aparthotels so you need to give the same or better service than them.
3/ You have to think of the details
The type of person stopping in these types of properties vary a lot more than people think. These properties need to be treated like a hotel including cosmetics, towels, cleaning, linen, kitchen accessories the list goes on. This is a fantastic way of making a small property bring in a lot more cash per month if you do it right. Obviously you have a lot more costs going out but its a great model when done correctly.
So as you can see the question is ‘’Do i need to furnish my investment property?’’ is not simple. The first thing you must decide is your tenant type and what the property is going to be used for. Then you can answer whether the property needs furnishing or not. Remember what the property has in it when the tenant moves in is your responsibility to up keep so don’t put it in if it doesn’t need to be there but on the other hand don’t cut corners. If the standard has moved on and for example HMO’s are being tenanted with a sofa area in each room you have to do the same otherwise you get left behind.
Top tip… Base your decisions on what the market is and not what you like in your own property. Whether you have 1 investment property or 40 you have a business so treat it like one.