It is no secret that furnished flats and houses fetch higher rental prices than their unfurnished counterparts.
However, how you furnish your rental property also has a big impact on the price you can command and the tenants you attract. As the verb suggests, the biggest factor will be the furniture you place inside the home, both in terms of cost, design and practicality.
Sure, a lavish plush sofa may grab the attention of potential tenants, but will this investment payoff at the end of each month?
Have a specific tenant type in mind
It might seem odd.
We are advising you to adjust your property to the needs of a tenant you have never met, but really decide early on what types of tenant you want living in your flat or house. The reason for this is to set the rent price correctly, so the person renting the flat knows what they are getting for their money.
Tip: Ask a local letting agent for their advice on the prominent tenant type in the area. You don’t want to rent out property fully furnished and then realise that the primary demographic in the area is families – who have their own furniture – who are attracted to the local schools.
Similarly, if you plan to rent your property to students, then your property has to be furnished accordingly. A family will probably bring in a lot of their own furniture, so you needn’t spend extra money on wardrobes or bed frames. Knowing in advance who will live in the flat helps you better calculate the total cost of furnishing the home.
Keep the expenditure low
Successfully furnishing a flat doesn’t have to set you back tens of thousands of pounds. A better solution is to find the golden mean between furniture quality and showroom prices. Shopping with IKEA, utilising sales, or bulk buying are just some of the options to help you save money. Always try to stretch your budget to buy good-quality items that will last, even if that means spending slightly more. Here’s some top advice from Portico London estate agents on the furniture tenants appreciate in rental properties, according to a survey they sent out:
- 41% of prospective tenants preferred simple, modern furniture in neutral colours. Contemporary laminate flooring was the preferred choice.
- 38 % of tenants appreciated homely touches such as painted walls, unique pieces, and comfortable leather sofas.
- 12% of survey participants loved the look of a quirky space with a wooden floor, neutral furniture, a few fascinating objects, and a fun feature wall.
- Only 9% of prospective tenants longed for minimalism, where bright white walls, simple blinds, and chic but minimal furniture was on offer.
As these results show, not only will prospective tenants appreciate the fact that the furniture and the appliances are new and modern, but you will have to spend less on maintenance in the long run. A rickety second-hand bed might be a bargain, but what’s the good buying it if it breaks apart after several months of use?
In terms of design, go for a contemporary design to appeal to the millennial population.
The benefits of flat packs
Speaking of investing in good-quality furniture, wouldn’t it be ideal that such pieces came at an affordable price? If you have ever perused through IKEA’s catalogues and brochures, then you probably already know about all the benefits of flat packs.
This ready-to-assemble furniture is easy to move around, as shoppers can drive them from the store in their own passenger vehicles, thus saving money on delivery costs.
At Flat Pack Mates we can assemble everything for you – so there’s no need to take the day off or hire delivery men to lift the heavy furniture up and downstairs! We operate within the M25 zone, so can help with your furniture assembly needs in Croydon, Bromley, Barnet and other areas within the zone.
The deposit and the tenancy agreement: Steps you should not skip
Some landlords who are renting out their property for the first time fail to list a deposit as a mandatory stipulation. However, not taking and protecting a tenant’s deposit is risky business as you don’t want to risk your furniture getting damaged but then not being able to replace it for your next tenants.
This is not something a typical tenant is surprised by as it is a standard request on behalf of landlords. After all, this money is given back at the end of the tenancy if everything goes as planned.
Another crucial stage of renting out your property involves the signing of a tenancy agreement. Basically, this is a legal document that sets on paper everything that the landlord and his/her tenant have previously agreed on. Signing this agreement helps protect both the rights of the tenant and the property of the landlord.
Having mentioned maintenance and protecting personal property, the furniture you equip the house with should be fire-resistant. This is the landlord’s legal requirements.
In fact, UK’s flammability regulations recognise the legal term and definitions of a “tenant,” “agent,” and the “landlord,” so you could be held accountable in case of a fire and danger to human life.
Luckily, it is easy to find fire-resistant furniture, as furniture shops gladly attach labels to those pieces resistant to fire. However, if you have reason to doubt the retailer’s estimate, you can always contact the manufacturing company to double-check the safety standards of their products.
Avoid void periods
One of the biggest reasons behind furnishing your property is to let it as quickly as possible as avoid void periods. If you are forced to look for new tenants every six months, then you risk going through several void periods when you are not only not making money from rent but actually losing money on utility bills that you have to cover and the mortgage. With a bit of luck, a well-furnished flat should attract serious tenants straight away, who want to stay for a long period of time.
Now that you know what makes up an optimally furnished apartment, you are ready to welcome the first tenants. Remember, the basic notion between landlordship is to balance the luxury the furnished home offers prospective tenants and the money necessary to achieve it.
We believe assemblage of flat pack furniture should be quick and easy. However, the reality of it is even a skilled carpenter will meet difficulties with products from IKEA and other ready-to-assemble furniture retailers. If you need help setting up the furniture in your rental property/properties, give us a call today on 020 3404 4600 or get a free quote!