Depending on your target market, some renters will prefer a furnished unit while others won’t care much for it. Both options have their own benefits and drawbacks. S
To arrive at the best decision, you need to study what type of rental property you wish to have. Is it meant for short-term visitors or is it designed for long-term tenants?
In general, long-term tenants want to curate their own furnishings. As such, staying in a sparse rental with little furnishing is more appealing to them. On the other hand, short-term renters, such as those who are visiting during the holiday seasons, will opt for a rental that’s equipped with convenient amenities.
Below is a breakdown of the pros and cons of furnished and unfurnished units.
- Offers a full package
Tenants who are still trying to save money prefer to stay in rentals where appliances and furniture are readily available.
Furnished units are more popular for those who are in transition. This means students and recent graduates just starting their careers. Generally, people staying for the short-term need a complete setup.
- Higher rent to collect
Since tenants only need to move in with minimal belongings, you can usually collect higher rent. The tenant understands that having a furnished unit means they don’t have to spend much and move bulky items. As such, it’s reasonable for the rent to be fairly higher than unfurnished ones.
- Tax cut benefits
When you furnish your units, you can list the expenses as tax deductions. This incentivizes landlords to deck their rental properties with ready furniture and appliances.
In essence, the landlords can set higher rent and enjoy tax benefits simultaneously. A great deal of money is saved when you choose this route.
- Reduced vacancy
Since tenants don’t have to contact a moving van and pile their belongings, furnished rentals tend to be attractive. When you have a vast pool of interested renters, your rental property is rarely vacant. You don’t have to spend a lot of time marketing and maintaining an unoccupied unit.
- Attractive to short-term renters
On one hand, you have a wide pool of interested prospects for furnished units, but be aware they’re mostly made up of short-term renters.
Furnished units attract those who are on vacation and those who prefer not to curate their own furnishings. Vacationers need furnished rentals to enjoy the convenience. Other short-term renters tend to be in a transitional phase of their lives. Either way, turnovers will be high.
- Higher risk for property damage
Owning the furnishing in a rental unit exposes you to property damage. Some tenants can be negligent and won’t take good care of the items. Not to mention, your furnishing will undergo normal wear and tear when used by different tenants.
If your unit is unfurnished, you won’t worry about potential property damages to the items in your rental unit.
- Budget for maintenance costs
Given that the property damage risk is high, you need to budget for property maintenance as a landlord. You want the furniture and appliances to last longer so you schedule frequent cleanings and inspections.
Keep in mind that you must also purchase an insurance policy for added protection.
- Budget for wear and tear costs
Since you own the furnishing, you need to account for the normal wear and tear costs. Items have their life expectancy. When they pass their life span, you will be purchasing for replacement or scheduling a repair. There is a repetitive cost for furnished rental properties.
- Attractive to long-term renters
Unfurnished units inspire tenants to curate their own furnishings and personal decor. If the tenants are choosing unfurnished units over furnished ones, they have likely accumulated a large number of belongings. Otherwise, they would be spending a large amount by purchasing appliances and furniture to enjoy their living quarters.
Long-term renters like unfurnished units since they’re not looking for a temporary space to move their possessions. They intend to stay for a while.
- Promotes a sense of home
When tenants furnish the unit on their own, they are building the rental space to fit their personality. This leads to familiarity and wanting to stay longer. A sense of home is easier to cultivate when you furnish your own space rather than stay in a furnished rental property.
- Low maintenance responsibilities
Your regular inspection will be focused on the plumbing, heater, air conditioning unit, roof and other major parts of the home. You don’t need to worry about replacing or repairing appliances and furnishings.
Additionally, documenting the property for potential damage won’t be a painstaking task since the furnishing is not part of the inventory. It’ll be easier to refund the security deposit without the added scrutiny of each furnishing inside the rental space.
- No need to mind the wear and tear issues
You get to transfer the responsibility of managing normal wear and tear to the tenants. The furnishings are not yours so it will be their duty to replace and repair anything broken in the rental home. You save on repairs and concentrate your efforts more on the HVAC aspect of your rental space.
- Assigned rent will be lower
Lack of furnishing pushes the tenant to invest in items needed for the rental. A landlord cannot set a high rent given this condition. As such, the returns are lower compared to owning a furnished rental property.
- Lack of control
Tenants who are given the freedom to buy their own furnishings can have the option to choose anything, whether it’s bulky or not.
Landlords are put in a position of uncertainty since limiting tenants’ freedom can be problematic. It won’t bode well for a good landlord-tenant relationship. A landlord can only hope the new furniture will be installed smoothly and damage-free.
Whatever you decide, it’s neither right nor wrong to furnish your rental unit or not. All it takes is evaluating your target market’s needs based on the rental property you own!