Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Pros and Cons of Letting a Furnished House

Rental homes can be furnished or unfurnished. Some tenants prefer furnished homes; others want
the option to take their own furniture into the property. There are no rules, so ultimately it is up to
you as the landlord whether you let a furnished home, or not. So what are the pros and cons of
supplying all of the furniture for your rental property?

Save Tenants Money
Tenants on low incomes will find furnished homes very attractive. This type of tenant has very little
money and furnishing a home is an impossible task. They will be actively looking for furnished rental
properties, so you should have no shortage of eager would-be tenants queuing up around the block.

Recycle Furniture
Because you own the furniture, it is yours to move around if you choose. When a tenant moves out,
the furniture stays and can be re-used for the next tenant, but if you subsequently decide to move
back into the property, you won’t need to refurnish it. You can, if you wish, remove the furniture
and use it in your own home. You can even sell it on if you decide at a later date to let the property unfurnished.

Tax Deductible
Buying and maintaining furniture in a rental property is a tax deductible expense in some cases, so
any money you spend on furniture can be used to off-set your tax bill at the end of the financial
year. The rules do change from time to time, however, so make sure you consult an accountant to
find out up-to-date information before completing your annual tax return.

The Disadvantages of Letting a Furnished Property
Providing furniture in a rental property is not all plain sailing and in some cases it can be a real
nuisance. Tenants may also be put off by a property crammed with unattractive furniture, so do bear
this in mind, but here are the main disadvantages to letting a furnished home.

  • Wear and tear – Furniture in rental homes is subjected to a lot more wear and tear than the average home, so it will need replacing more often. You will also not be able to charge the tenant the full cost of replacing items if they are damaged during the tenancy, so you could end up seriously out of pocket.
  • Less choice – A lot of long-term tenants prefer to bring their own furniture and won’t want your unwanted items cluttering up the place. Letting an unfurnished property means you are more likely to attract long-term tenants who are going to take care of the place.
  • Insurance – If you let a furnished property, you will need extra insurance cover to protect the furniture, fixtures and fittings.
  • Fire Safety – Landlords have to adhere to strict safety standards. All furniture, specifically upholstery, has to be made from fire resistant materials, so be prepared to pay extra for furniture with a fire safety label attached.

Deciding on whether to let furnished or unfurnished will probably hinge on what type of tenant you
are hoping to attract. But whatever you do, remember to include the condition of the furniture on
your property inventory from