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  • Writer's pictureAlastair Morgan

Furnishing your rental property

Blue velvet sofas in a communal living area of a rental property in Bristol, UK

Renting out your property means making lots of decisions. One of those decisions is whether you should furnish the property or not. You may feel that the cost of furnishing your property will eat into your return on investment. However, furnished rental properties can command a larger rental premium than those that are not furnished. There are many things to consider when thinking about furnishing your rental property, so before you chose to furnish or not, think about some of the things below.

Type of tenant.

Think out the type of tenant you want to let your property to and try to furnish your property with the needs of that particular tenant in mind. Make a list of all the items they may need.

For example, students are likely to require a fully furnished property as it's unlikely that they will have their own furniture. A student rental property will require beds, wardrobes, chests of drawers, desks, desk chairs, a communal sofa, all white goods, even bedside lamps. However, a rental property for a family may only require white goods to be supplied as they are more likely to bring along their own furniture.

If you are in doubt, ask a local letting agent for their advice as to the prominent type of tenant in the area. Knowing in advance what type of tenant will be living in your property will help you to calculate costs and make sure you're not spending out on furniture that isn't required.


Keep your costs low.

When it comes to renting out your property you want to get as much income per month as possible. You already know that a furnished property can return you bigger sums of cash each month, but the style and quality of furniture can also affect the monthly rental price. A property that has been furnished on a budget will more than likely look cheap and will certainly not increase the rental price by nearly as much as one which has had more money and consideration spent on its furniture and decoration.

However, you will need to think about the cost of the furniture vs your return on investment. The quality and practicality of the furniture can have a big impact on the monthly rental price so choosing the right furniture is important. You may find that a larger property for a family or young professionals will benefit from a sofa which incorporates a chaise longue, but the added expense of this type of sofa may not increase the rental value of a property which is being let to students.

Top Tip:

Really expensive items of furniture may grab the attention of potential tenants but will probably not get you the R.O.I you desire.

The key here is to find that happy medium. Buying more affordable items but using a few, well chosen expensive accessories or materials is an easy way to keep your budget low whilst at the same time giving your property a more luxurious feel. Spending a little extra on items such as cushions, lampshades, throws can really change the way a property feels in terms of quality.

Don't forget that a little extra thought about the style and decoration of the property at this point can really help to attract the right type of tenant. If you're in doubt ask a local decorator or interior designer for their opinion on what might work best.


Flat Pack Furniture.

Most furniture on the market today is self assembly, but don't let this put you off. Flat packed furniture is great for your budget as it will save you lots of money over prebuilt, or bespoke furniture. Plus, if you chose the right items and assemble them correctly they can stand the test of time.


Hire an expert to assemble your flat pack furniture. They have the expertise to build all types of self assembly furniture quickly giving you piece of mind that the furniture is constructed correctly, far out lasting poorly assembled items of furniture. Plus, there is the added benefit that you don't have to spend hours, if not days, building the items yourself! A.M Flat Pack Ltd operate throughout Bristol, Bath and the surrounding areas and can quickly put together your new furniture, saving you time and stress.

When it comes to buying furniture, remember, “buy cheap, buy twice”. A cheap wardrobe from the internet will save you money on your initial outlay, but it will ultimately need to be replaced much sooner than a slightly more expensive one from a known retailer such as IKEA. You will need to replace cheap items of furniture more often than better quality items, so quality is key! If you are able to, try to stretch your budget to buy better quality pieces as this will save you money in the long term.

For example, try to choose from some of IKEA's best selling furniture ranges such as Malm, PAX, Brimnes and Billy. These are all very good quality items which won't break the bank but will far outlast similar, cheaper alternatives found on the internet.

Malm, Brimnes, PAX and Billy are affordable and durable but have style and practicality at their heart so they tick all the boxes. Because of this they are best sellers, meaning they are likely to be in production for quite some time. Take the Billy bookcase range for example, it has been in production since 1979! So if you need to replace an item such as the IKEA Malm chest of drawers in a couple of years time you can be confident you will be able to find a replacement matching item.


Fire resistant furniture.

Don't forget to check that the item(s) of furniture you are putting in your rental property, especially the upholstered items such as sofas, chairs, pillows, curtains and even divan bed bases are clearly labelled to show that they have met fire resistance regulations. It is the landlords responsibility that the items of furniture in the property meets the UK fire safety regulations.

Remember to keep a list of the items and their fire safety certificates as you may need to prove their fire resistance to your insurer should the worst happen and a fire break out in your property.


Itinerary List.

Take a deposit from your tenants and make a thorough list of all items of furniture, everything from large items such as wardrobes and beds, down to small items such as toilet brushes. Don't forget to include their condition and note any marks prior to your tenants moving in. Once this list is compiled, get both yourself and your tenants to sign this itinerary list when you hand them the keys.

This way when the tenants move out and hand you the keys back, you will be able to check that everything is accounted for and that nothing has been damaged. If it has, you will be able to deduct the cost of this damage from their deposit. This will hopefully ensure that your furniture is looked after, or at the very least, you are able to replace it for your new tenants without having to foot the bill.

Good luck with letting your property and enjoy shopping for furniture!

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Very informative blog. Every one should read it.

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