Furnishing a rental property

Landlords are faced with many questions regarding the furnishing of rental accommodation. Should you furnish it? How much furniture should you provide? How much should you spend? London is typically a furnished rental market with approximately 75%+ of all long term residential tenants seeking furnished property. Here are a few pointers to help you through the furnishing minefield.

Is it already furnished? If not, don’t rush out and splash out on furniture unnecessarily.  Instruct agents to market F/UF- you never know, the first person interested in your property may want it unfurnished!

What market are you targeting? This is primarily dictated by the size, type, specification and location of your property. What target markets are available to you (students, professionals, families, corporate lets, etc) and which one would you most like to occupy your property? What does that market look for in a property? Talk to your local agents they should be able to advise you on this. Equally, check the internet- what are properties like yours achieving for other Landlords and what sets them apart from one another?

How much furniture should you provide? This is partly dictated by the previous question but is ultimately personal choice. Some Landlords choose only to provide the largest, most essential, items. Others opt to supply everything down to bed linen, empty picture frames and artwork. The choice is yours as both approaches have their pros and cons. Just essential items can be a bit basic but is easy to ‘manage’. A ‘full fit out’ looks fantastic and typically demands the highest rent but crockery breaks, bed linen needs replacing, etc so the year-on-year maintenance is far higher.

How much should I spend? Ideally you want to aim for mid-market furniture where you get a design led piece of medium to high quality without the added price tag that a ‘named brand’ carries. We advise spending around 1.5-2% of your property’s value on furnishings- that is to say, if you have a property worth £250,000 you should look to spend approximately £3,750-5000 on fully furnishing it.

Make sure you shop around. There are a lot of furniture companies to choose from today offering a broad choice of furniture and services. From assemble-your-own ‘Ikea style’ furniture, to high-end made to order furnishings, to items that can be delivered within hours of ordering them! Take your time and choose wisely- a well furnished property can produce excellent results.

Kristjan Byfield at Base Property

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