Furnished or unfurnished: Which is best?

A big question for many landlords is whether to let furnished or unfurnished?

Whether a property is furnished can decide the type of tenant, throw up different types of problems for landlords and bring in different rents.

Then comes the question of how far does furnishing go – like what counts as unfurnished?

Landlords can decide which the better option for them is by making a list of the pros and cons of each option. This guide will help landlords get started:

Furnished

Furnished generally means the landlord supplies everything for the home except the tenant’s personal possessions.

Some of the benefits of furnishing a rental property are:

  • Saves tenants money
  • The home may let quicker as many tenants generally prefer a furnished property
  • The furniture remains the property of the landlord at the end of the tenancy
  • Landlords can claim wear and tear allowance to cut income tax

Some of the downsides are:

  • Landlords are responsible for ensuring that furniture is safe
  • Furniture comes with a lot of maintenance and repairs – and squabbles with tenants over who caused the damage and who should pay
  • If tenants do not want some of the furniture landlords have to put it in storage

Unfurnished

Some landlords misunderstand the scope of unfurnished – generally landlords supply carpets, curtains, lamp shades and white goods, like cookers and fridges, while the tenant provides the rest.

Benefits of unfurnished properties include:

  • Tenants may stay longer and be happier as they have their own furniture around them
  • Landlords are not responsible for the safety of furniture, insuring it or keeping it in good condition
  • No need to put furniture into storage if tenants don’t want it

Drawbacks of unfurnished properties include:

  • Rents are generally lower
  • Some tenants may not want the inconvenience of having to buy and move their own furniture

Tax liability

Landlords can claim a 10% wear and tear allowance – the 10% is charged as a percentage of net rents for the year, not the value of the furniture.

Article courtesy of LandlordZone

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