The Comforts of Home: Furnished vs Unfurnished

The Comforts of Home: Furnished vs Unfurnished

With fewer tenants looking for short-term rental properties in todays market, and more tenants working creatively within a set budget, gone are the days when renting out your property furnished would garner you an extra $1000-$2000 in rent a month. 

Often first to mind, from a landlord’s perspective, are the upsides: convenience if the property is already furnished at the start, avoiding moving and storage fees, quick occupancy and the bonus of tax benefits and the perceived higher rent. When the reality of the current climate is one where tenant prospects are looking for long term leases in a space one can mold to look and feel like home, in combination with slower relocation movement and fewer employees on assignment needing short-medium term accommodation. With so many of us locked down these days, people’s focus has shifted toward a sense of comfort and security, and one of the only things we are realising, we still have full control over is our immediate surrounding…. our home.  As such, we encourage everyone to ensure their home is safe, comfortable and the best is can be. 

Renting furnished also comes with its downsides.  Valuable time spent inventorying between tenancies, higher turnover costs for cleaning, re-staging and laundering of all linens and towels, cost of replacement of inevitable wear-and-tear items such as sheets, towels, linens and small kitchen goods and appliances, and the risk of your property appearing tired or out-dated over time when advertising.   Design decorum changes over time like the super oversized leather sofas and dark heavy headboards which were very common a few years back, which are all factors to consider when deciding which route to go, specifically whether to promote your home as a furnished or unfurnished property.  Often furnished properties are priced to include similar inclusions as a hotel which mean including cable TV, internet and phone… and housekeeping.  Yikes…. these factors alone bring up the operating costs for the landlord, and certainly bring on maintenance calls when something invariably goes wrong.  This could be a slow internet connection to accessing a specific TV channel.

Of course, renting your property furnished doesn’t have to be off the table completely. There is still a market out there. Before you decide anything, take into account your target demographic. Young professionals just getting started may appreciate moving into a space that is already equipped and ready to go, allowing them the freedom to direct their energy and resources on more important things such as work, hobbies and special interests, family and friends. Where a young family, may have amassed furnishings along the way and require the extra space to set up their new home in a way that works for them.  Although fewer in today’s economic climate, there are always employees on assignment who need the ‘home away from home’ whether it be for three months or longer, and the ones who relocate typically need temporary accommodate to fit the gap between moving here to start work and to when they secure a permanent place to live.  Please note the ones on temporary assignment, need lots of flexibility and their stays are often tied to a specific work project where the project’s direction can change quickly in light of the many external events.   

If renting out your space furnished versus unfurnished, you have an option to promote it both ways and then see what tenant opportunities present.  This strategy avoids a dilemma at the start.  This will ensure you’re not limiting your pool of candidates looking to rent. But be sure to have a plan in place, and act quickly to accommodate your tenant’s requirements once they sign that lease!

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