Property Investment Q&A #1: To Furnish or Not to Furnish?

Property Investment Q&A #1: To Furnish or Not to Furnish?

Should you furnish your rental property? This is a question a lot of developers, like the Heaton Group, are asking themselves.

Traditionally, a lot of developers stick to non-furnished, but for a lot of them the progression of their business into developing and renting high spec HMOs and apartments has led to the question being raised by many.

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Do tenants expect furnished? Are tenants moving into small, less expensive accommodation on a short contract less likely to have their own furniture? Will furnished properties let more quickly?

And ultimately, will the initial outlay be recouped in the long run, or will furnished rooms just cause a headache in Property Management?

Questions as far as the eye can reach – or the developer-mind can think.

Furnished properties have strong appeal to first time renters, those who want to move quickly and those who are on short term lets. Additionally, photographs of furnished properties undoubtedly look more attractive for marketing. Online letting agent Upad advertised a single flat on Rightmove furnished, unfurnished, with professional photographs and with amateur photos.

The furnished flat received more than triple the enquiries of the unfurnished, the furnished flat with professional photos generated six times more enquiries than the initial ad!

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No-brainer? Not really, as furniture is also costly, needs maintenance and causes additional administration whilst managing the property. And on top of that, a larger landlord is also likely to need to store furniture which further racks up the expense.

Making the change from unfurnished to furnished when developing property therefore needs to be a decision that is made wisely.

Developer Heaton Group, for example, has weighed up the pros and cons and decided to now give furnished a go for some of their brand-new HMO studios, in the hopes to increase enquiries and speed up turnarounds.

The only challenge left? Choosing furniture and suppliers!

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