Buy to Let - Home Furnishing

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Unfurnished, fully furnished or semi-furnished - if you are doing a Buy To Let, then to what extent should you furnish a property that you want to rent out ? If you intend to use a letting agency then they may have a view on this, but most will leave the furnishing issue to you.

1. Some advise NO furnishing - rent your house out bare. Many prospective tenants may not like your furnishing tastes anyway, and some will already have their own furniture.

2. Others advise FULLY furnishing. This does save some prospective tenants the hassle and expense of doing their own furnishing, though some may have their own furniture already or their own ideas on home decor.

But the reality is that if you want to get the best tenants to pay the best rent, semi-furnished is the most successful. Semi-furnished is generally the best at getting tenants and the best at getting higher rents. And it will cost you less than fully-furnished, since you have less furnishings to provide and to maintain. Unfurnished is generally harder to let, and gets lower rents.

Your semi-furnished house should include carpet, curtains, lamp-shades, cooker, fridge-freezer and washing machine. If you have a garden, then a mower and a BBQ are an idea. And having a couple of framed paintings on key walls maybe also. These items should all be listed on a house inventory, and your letting contract should include something like 'vacated property to be in good condition including inventory items or equivalent replacements'.

(IF you intend renting to students, then offering an optional cheap desk and sofa may work well.)

Generally do leave all soft furnishing and rugs to tenants. And if you decide to allow tenants to redecorate, then require that it is done to a good standard. If you have the property well decorated, then most tenants will be happy with that and any who do want to redecorate will want to make it better !

PS. You may have some particular tenant market in mind, but renting market conditions can change and may sometimes mean increased or reduced local demand from the elderly or from young professionals or occasionally from students.

new kitchen picture

A kitchen that anybody would really love - but forget the table and chairs ?!

PS. To get a real grip on BTL money issues, we do recommend our buy to let profit calculator !
(Note that to use this needs access to a computer with Microsoft Office Excel.)

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