The number of properties let part or fully furnished across England and Wales is increasing, accounting for 31% of properties let over the past year, up 3% year on year.
The proportion of apartments let furnished remains over twice that of houses. Across London, two-thirds of apartments and half of houses are rented either part or fully furnished, significantly higher than any other region.
Furnished apartments, on average (excluding London), rent for £78 more per month, equating to just under £940 more per year, offering an 11% premium over unfurnished lets. Based on an estimated cost of £2,000–£2,500 to functionally furnish a two-bedroom apartment, for those renting it would take two to three years of living in a property to recoup the cost of self-furnishing.
Furnishing your rental property to a good standard will inevitably attract those tenants who want hassle-free renting, such as:
- Mobile professionals wanting to live in trendy, affordable or commutable locations
- Corporate tenants
- Short-let tenants
- Tenants from overseas
- Lifestyle’ renters
What are the pros of furnishing your rental property?
- Your property may rent faster depending on location and demand
- Your property may appeal to a wide range of tenants such as young professionals, those from overseas and 'lifestyle renters'
- You may be able to increase the rental price (see above), however, this will depend upon the quality of the furnishings.
What are the cons of furnishing your rental property?
- Your Furniture may sustain damage or ‘wear and tear’ during a tenancy and needs replacing (although this is tax deductible)
- Tenants may have their own furniture creating the need for costly storage solutions
- You will need a professional inventory and have this maintained throughout the rental period
What do I need to provide in a furnished property?
Whilst there is no legal definition as to what constitutes a ‘furnished’ property, it will usually fall into 2 catagories:
1. Standard Furnishing:
- A bed and bedroom furniture such as a wardrobe or chest of drawers Table and chairs
- Soft furnishings throughout the property such as carpets/flooring and curtains/blinds
- A sofa or comfy seating
- Kitchen appliances including a fridge, freezer, cooker and washing machine
2. Fully Furnished:
- All of the above, plus:
- Cutlery and kitchen utensils
- Garden furniture and items for gardening
- Probably all electrical goods such as TV, vacuum cleaner, iron & ironing board etc
What is the legislation for a furnished property?
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety Amendment) Regulations 1993:
This is an important legal requirement, and not following it could result in serious injury or even death for tenants. Since the legislation was changed in 1993, you NEED to make sure that all furniture is fire resistant and complies with current regulations. If it does not, you could be liable for prosecution.
Even if you store items in a shed, garage or cordoned-off section of the loft, these items MUST still adhere to the legislation and it is NO GOOD ‘selling’ the items to the tenant, they still HAVE TO COMPLY with this legislation.
The following items must comply, and have a safety label STILL ATTACHED (unless stated otherwise). For those items without a compliance label, receipts showing purchase date for all items manufactured after 1 March 1989:
- Furniture intended for private use in dwellings including children’s furniture
- Beds, headboards and mattresses (mattresses and bed bases do not require the label to be attached but must still comply)
- Sofa beds and futons
- Nursery furniture
- Garden furniture, if suitable for use in a dwelling
- Scatter cushions and seat pads (do not require the label to be attached but must still comply)
- Pillows (do not require the label to be attached but must still comply)