When it comes to deciding which is best for letting a property — fully furnished or without furniture — there is no right or wrong decision. Letting a furnished apartment or allowing tenants to choose how to furnish it depends on the type of renter you hope to attract.

There is no legal description of what constitutes a furnished rental property. Therefore, it’s essential that the tenancy agreement clearly states what is included in the cost of the rent. Also, the rental inventory should list each item of furniture and appliance that will be provided.

What are the primary considerations when choosing to furnish a rented property or leaving it unfurnished? Please read on to find out.

What is a Furnished Property?

A furnished property should be ready to move into without having to hire the removal people. It should contain all the furniture, appliances and utensils to start living there. Ideally, a renter should be able to move in with only their suitcase and personal electronic equipment.

The items typically found in furnished rental accommodation include the following:

  • A bed, chest of drawers and a wardrobe in each bedroom
  • Table and chairs
  • Settee and standard living room furniture
  • Kitchen appliances — cooker, fridge, kettle, microwave
  • Other utensils — cutlery, crockery, lamps

Who is a furnished property for? Typically, young professionals, couples, short-term lets, and corporate and overseas workers. For example, furnished properties in areas like London Bridge, Rotherhithe and Canada Water are popular with young professionals who want a hassle free rental close to Canary Wharf.

What is an Unfurnished Property?

An unfurnished property typically includes basic fixtures and fittings. However, it is expected that a rented property advertised as ‘unfurnished’ has major kitchen appliances, carpets, and kitchen and bathroom fixtures. But a renter would be expected to provide most of the furniture they require to live comfortably. Some tenants even want to bring their own ‘white’ goods, so landlords should have adequate storage space for items supplied the tenant doesn’t want to use.

Who is an unfurnished property for? Usually, families or couples planning to live in the area for several years or renters with furniture.

Advantages of Letting a Furnished Property

Furnished properties attract renters who are willing to move in immediately. However, there is more cost involved in setting up and managing a furnished rental property. So, what are some of the reasons to furnish a rental property?

Charge more in rent

You are providing tenants with the complete rental package; therefore, you can charge more in rent. This option can be helpful if you have a buy-to-let investment and must pay high mortgage premiums.

Fill voids faster

Another advantage of furnishing a rented flat or house is fewer voids, especially in high-ticket, commuter areas. Generally, furnished properties are more popular in areas of London like Southwark, Canary Wharf, and Greenwich. Young professionals and ‘turnkey’ tenants want affordable places to stay near the city centre without the extra expense of buying furniture and appliances.

When considering letting a furnished property, it’s good to remember that you may have higher expenses to cover ‘wear and tear’ damage. However, this could be tax deductible.

Advantages of Letting an Unfurnished Property

Unfurnished properties attract renters who are looking for long-term rentals. This means that, unlike furnished lets, you have less tenant turnover. And even though you can’t charge as much in rent, running expenses for an unfurnished place can be significantly lower. So, what are some of the reasons to let a property unfurnished?

Save on maintenance expenses

The most significant advantage of letting an unfurnished property is lower expenses. You avoid the initial cost of furnishing the place. However, you also avoid having to replace broken appliances or get new furniture. Apart from the financial savings, there are also savings in terms of stress and time.

Attract long-term tenants

Tenants looking for unfurnished places to rent are looking to settle down. So, despite paying less in rent, you have greater peace of mind knowing that they are likely to stay put for several years.

Choose the Right Letting Agent For Your Rented Property

Choosing to let a property furnished or unfurnished depends on the type of renter you hope to attract. At Hastings International, we have many years of experience managing rentals for property owners.

Whether you are looking for suitable tenants or are interested in complete property management services, contact our team of letting experts for the best advice. We can help you maximise rental income from your investment property in South London.