Renters do not only face the issue of what type of rental property to live in. They also need to decide whether they want a full furnished, partially furnished or unfurnished rental property.
As the name implies, a furnished rental property includes all furniture and appliances. A partially furnished property normally includes only furniture. An unfurnished property has no furniture and appliances.
Here are a few pros and cons to consider for each option before deciding which one is the best fit for you:
Furnished Rental Properties
The actual items that are included in a furnished property will differ depending on the landlord and what type of property you’re renting, but the following items may also be included:
- Rugs, scatter cushions for beds and couches, linens
- artwork for the walls, centrepieces, mirrors
- cutlery, dining sets, cookware, stemware, knife block
- other accessories
Appliances should include:
- a standard refrigerator
- washing machine and dryer
- air conditioner.
For entertainment, these items may be included in the property:
- LCD TV
- DVD player
- cable and stereo system
- Moving will be easy, especially if you frequently change address. You can move on short notice because most of the cumbersome items like furniture will already be in the furnished rental. It’s less expensive to hire professional movers as they’ll have fewer things to pack and move.
- You don’t need to buy furniture, therefore you save money.
- If you’re moving on short notice, or if you’re relocating to a different state and can’t see your new home on moving day, renting a furnished property will save you a lot of trouble. Your home is ready to move into; all you have to do is show up.
- If you’re not ready to commit to a long-term lease, renting a furnished property is the right one for you. Landlords of furnished properties will often accept a shorter lease as they cater to people who don’t remain in one place for too long such as students, sales representatives and other travelling professionals.
- You can easily access lucrative markets, including the business and corporate travellers, and tourists, which in turn can land you high-quality tenants.
- You can charge about $50 to $100 more in the weekly rental, depending on the location and the quality of the furnishings.
- The furnished market gives property owners more flexibility in pricing, allowing them to adjust rent according to market trends.
- There are tax benefits for furnished rental properties. Property owners can write off furniture and other items as a depreciating asset.
- Furnished rental properties may require a higher security deposit. This is a kind of insurance for any possible damage to the furniture.
- Your liability is greater because there are a lot of items that you can break. You don’t own most of these items, so be careful. Your security deposit may not be enough to pay for all the damages throughout your stay.
- You have no say about the interior design. The looks of the rental property and all the things in it are controlled by the landlord. If you happen to dislike the couch or the bed, you could buy a new one. But what would you do with the old one? Would the landlord allow you in the first place?
- There are not many furnished rental properties out there. Though a furnished property has a competitive edge in the market, it takes lots of hard work on the part of the landlord to furnish and maintain a property. This makes furnished rental properties hard to come by.
- The items in a furnished property vary. There is no guarantee what you’re getting because there is no specific standard for “furnished”, so you have to expect to provide the “missing” items in your rental.
- You may not have a lot of things but you have a few things. If you rent a furnished home, you may need to find room for them. Expect to have some difficulty finding room for the stuffs that you already have.
- Your target market is limited to people who already own furniture and appliances, which can leave your rental property vacant for longer periods of time. The kind of renters that gravitates to furnished rental properties is looking for short-term leases, which means a higher rate of turnover.
- With a lot of items inside the home, wear and tear is higher, which means more to pay for maintenance costs.
- Consider your location in your decision to enter the furnished market. Furnished rentals located in the heart of the CBD, with stylish décor and furniture, will attract more prospective tenants than those in the suburbs.
Unfurnished Rental Properties
An unfurnished rental property is empty. No furniture. No appliances. All items are provided and belong to the tenant.
Majority of tenants are looking at a long-term lease, a place where they can stay long enough to make it their own. This category of tenants is mostly looking for an empty property, or with a few neutral-toned furniture or appliance that they can work around to fit their particular taste.
You are free to decorate the house the way you want it. You may need to ask the landlord’s permission to paint the walls with the colour you like, but you can pick the furniture, appliances and furnishings that match your style.
You can sign a long lease with an unfurnished rental property. This gives you the time to settle in and create a place that you can call home.
An unfurnished house is the perfect way to incorporate your personal style into a place and turn in into a safe haven.
- You’d be attracting tenants who are looking at a long-term lease. This is steady rental income, which means financial security.
- You don’t need to spend money on buying furniture and appliances.
- You don’t need to maintain a furniture inventory and stress over replacing any item that becomes
- If furniture shopping or interior design is not your thing, you’d probably feel annoyed at having to fill up an empty property.
- It is expensive to buy furniture and appliances, and you’d have to deal with bringing bulky house stuffs when you move. You’d be the one who has to move everything and take out everything again when your lease expires.
- It is not likely to attract high paying tenants like transients and travelling executives.
- You’d miss out on the group of renters who are willing to pay more for the convenience of living in a home that is already fully furnished.
Partially Furnished Rental Properties
A partly furnished rental property has a few items in it, such as couches, tables, chairs and white goods like a refrigerator, washing machine/dryer, stove and dishwasher.
Tenants who prefer to bring their own belongings but don’t mind a few items already in the rental property, specifically white goods and furniture, would fit greatly with a partly furnished home.
This is a way for property owners to tap into both the furnished and unfurnished markets. It is even better for property owners who have storage where they can keep the furniture and appliance if tenants prefer to use their own.
For investors, consult with your property manager regarding what is best for your property: furnished, unfurnished or partially furnished. They know the market, what most tenants are looking, and how you can position your rental property to appeal to a broader range of renters.