Prospective tenants: furnished or unfurnished lets? - Fife Properties
Fife Properties

Prospective tenants: furnished or unfurnished lets?

Furnished properties can vary in the level of furniture and furnishings offered. It is extremely important for prospective tenants to find out exactly what is being included in furnished properties before signing any contracts. When viewing rental properties on the market, remember that the furniture and decor may all belong to the current tenant, and so shouldn’t be the sole decider for signing the contract. An indicator of varying levels of furnished property is if it is advertised as “part-furnished”. This will often mean that white goods are included which are the essential appliances needed to live in a home. These include a cooker, washing machine, fridge, and freezer. When a property is advertised as fully furnished, this would usually include the white goods as well as basic furniture such as a sofa, bed, and wardrobes. However, this is not a consistent list so please always check this information with the landlord or agent so that you are clear on what is on offer.

The advantages of taking a property that is already furnished are that it’s ready for you to move straight into. This makes the often stressful experience of moving house hassle-free with no additional costs of hiring transport to move furniture. One downside for some can be that it takes longer to make the house your home because the furniture is not owned by you. Another thing to consider is that as you will be responsible for the furniture, any damage or faults to this at the end of your tenancy will be taken off your deposit. So, look after it as you would your own.

With unfurnished lets, you can make the space your own as all the furniture that you move in will be yours. If you have the financial means this can be more exciting when you move in, but also requires a lot more coordination. However, if you are saving to purchase your first house, you can take your new furniture with you which can keep your costs lower later down the line.1 Buying new furniture when buying your first home is the second most common home improvement new homeowners focus on, so starting to gather furniture earlier on can be a wise decision.

But which is more popular? There are no rules or specifications that landlords must follow when listing a property for rent. It is entirely up to them what, if any, furnishings to include. General insights show that furnished properties are more attractive to younger tenants who often are yet to buy any furniture of their own. Furnished properties can have great competition between prospective tenants so be prepared for these properties to be popular. More mature tenants or families tend to move into unfurnished properties. It can be an indication that the tenants are set to stay for longer due to the investment they have made. One thing worth noting is that landlords are not obliged to take out content’s insurance (unless it is a contractual condition such as in buy-to-let schemes). It is up to tenants to take out contents insurance to cover their own furnishings. It is entirely dependent on the circumstances of the landlord and prospective tenant. What is desirable for some, won’t be for others which is why there is such diversity across the rental market.