Renting A Furnished vs Unfurnished Property – Pros and Cons

unfurnished property for rent

Whether you’re a prospective tenant considering renting a property or a landlord thinking about letting one out, you’re probably aware of the furnished vs unfurnished debate. This question can be more complicated than you might think because the demand for furnished or unfurnished property can vary greatly from area to area. As can the expectations of prospective tenants. We take a look at furnished and unfurnished property for rent, and the implications this decision has for both tenants and landlords.

What exactly are unfurnished and unfurnished properties?

The first thing to note here is that there isn’t an official definition of the words ‘furnished’ and ‘unfurnished’. This means that the furnished vs unfurnished question all comes down to common sense. If you’re a landlord, you understand why you can’t let a completely empty property. If you’re a tenant, you’re most likely to choose a rental property with the basics you need for daily living. Here’s a list of what you might reasonably expect to see or provide even if the property you’re letting or renting is unfurnished.

Unfurnished properties should include:

  • Bathroom fittings including toilets, basins, showers and baths
  • Kitchen fittings including cupboards and sinks
  • White goods including washing machines, cookers, fridges and freezers
  • Flooring including carpets and hard floors
  • Window furnishings

If you are a landlord, it’s good practice to let your tenants know if any of the above aren’t available when advertised. In the luxury property market tenants have high expectations so make sure all fittings, fixtures and furnishings are quality items that have been selected to please.

Remember, happy tenants are easy to work with, and more likely to stay for longer. Disgruntled ones aren’t.

furnished vs unfurnished

If I’m renting furnished property, will it have everything I need?

The simple answer to this is no. It would be impossible for your new landlord to know your exact requirements. For example, if you’re looking at a furnished flat for rent, you might need multiple bookshelves for your literature collection, or a desk for home working. Your landlord might not provide these. However, as a general rule you can expect your furnished rental property to have the basic items listed above plus at least the following.

Furnished properties should also include:

  • Beds to suit the number of bedrooms
  • Comfortable seating such as armchairs or sofas
  • A table and chairs suitable for eating at
  • Storage furniture such as drawers, cupboards or wardrobes

If you’re a landlord, it pays to be really clear with your tenants about which furnishings you’ll be providing. That way moving-in day will be a happy occasion for both parties. Your tenants will have a hassle-free experience, and you’ll avoid answering lots of tricky questions.

What are the tenants’ rights for furnished or unfurnished property?

Whether you are a tenant or a landlord you have a certain set of rights and responsibilities under UK law. These are no different for a furnished property for rent than an unfurnished one. Just like the property itself, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to make sure all furniture included in the rental complies with current safety regulations. It is good practice for landlords to include an inventory of furnishings with the tenancy agreement, and for tenants to inform the landlord if any issues occur, in the same way they would with repairs related to the building itself.

furnished flat for rent

I’m a landlord. Is letting unfurnished or furnished property better for me?

Although you might have fixed ideas in the furnished vs unfurnished debate, what really matters here is what your tenants are likely to want. An empty property will provide zero returns so it pays to offer tenants a rental bundle they can’t refuse.

Tenant requirements will differ depending on work opportunities, local amenities, and the type of area. Luckily one of the most effective ways to find out about what tenants in your area really want from their rental property is also one of the easiest.

All you need to do is talk to your local property management specialist.

They will be able to tell you which type of tenant to expect. Furnished properties are often rented by people who are looking for a quick and convenient move. In a popular city location, you may well find there’s a strong market for both furnished and unfurnished property. Shorter term or overseas tenants might prefer the convenience of having furnishings included, whereas professionals with children might choose to select their own furniture and fittings to suit family life.

The benefits of letting a furnished property include

  • Your property will attract a higher rental income
  • You’ll be able to charge a higher security deposit
  • Your property might let more quickly
  • You won’t have to move any existing furniture out

The disadvantages of letting a furnished property include

  • You’ll have higher initial costs
  • You might end up with shorter term tenants
  • You’ll be responsible for furniture maintenance or replacement
  • You’ll need to consider content insurance as well as buildings insurance

renting furnished vs unfurnished property

I’m a tenant. Is renting unfurnished or furnished property better for me?

Whether you choose a furnished property for rent or an unfurnished property for rent is entirely up to you. As the tenant, your needs really matter. How you feel about your home is important. However, it’s also important not to reject a property just because it doesn’t meet your initial furnishing requirements. Most landlords are open to negotiation so be prepared to have a friendly chat.

Whilst it can be really rewarding fitting out a new home to suit your tastes and requirements, it will probably be your circumstances that make the furnished vs unfurnished decision for you. If you want a quick, easy move with relatively little hassle, renting furnished property might suit in the short term. If you’re looking to settle in, and really enjoy your new location, you might prefer the choice that renting unfurnished property can give you.

Before you make any firm decisions as to furnished or unfurnished properties, have a conversation with a local property expert. They will have plenty of experience and understanding about the local property market, and will be happy to talk you through your options.

The benefits of renting a furnished property include

  • You’ll be comfortable in your home as soon as you move in
  • You’ll save money on furniture removals
  • You’ll be able to move out again quickly and easily

The disadvantages of renting a furnished property include

  • You might not feel quite as relaxed and comfortable without your own furniture
  • You’ll probably pay more rent than you would for an unfurnished property
  • You might worry more about your rental deposit

Whether you’re a landlord looking to let or a tenant looking to rent, it’s important to find a property rental solution that suits all parties. With the right advice, moving house or letting a property doesn’t need to be stressful. Our expert team at Arlington Residential specialises in supporting clients through the necessary decision-making processes. With many years of experience in the North West and Central London property market, we understand what our tenants are looking for, and we know how to support our landlords. Get in touch today for professional help and advice.



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