One of the most common questions we get with investors or homeowners looking to rent their property is whether or not they should leave their property furnished or unfurnished. There are many factors to think about when making your decision. We’ll break down the pros and cons of furnishing your rental.
Typically, long-term rentals (9-12 month leases) are unfurnished, however based on your situation or the property, unfurnished can sometimes make sense. It’s really up to the owner on what they are willing to leave behind for the tenants, and where the property is located. Property Managers will almost always require leaving behind appliances such as microwaves, washer & dryer, refrigerator, etc. Actual furniture items are a different story.
✓ Pros of Furnished
Potential Higher Rent & Savings
While the cost difference between furnished and unfurnished rentals varies across the country, generally speaking, you will not see a huge increase in rent for a furnished place. Keyrenter Denver has seen homes rent for $50-$100 more a month when furnished, however, typically it isn’t much. In some cases, you can even write off your furniture costs (as long as it’s $2500 or less). You’re also saving the headache and money of storing the furniture in a storage unit and perhaps the cost of movers.
Less Damage during Moving
Because tenants are not having to move furniture so often, there is sometimes less damage on the home. Moving a couch or a bed frame can cause scratches on the walls and flooring – so landlords can see less damage.
❌ Cons of Furnished
Typically, property management inspections do not include furniture inspections, so it’s up to the owner to decide which is replaced and when and who is responsible. If there’s a scratch on the dining room table, who’s to say who will pay for the damage and where will you take it for repairs? What if a leg to a chair is no longer sold in the furniture store? Will you replace the entire dining room set? Can the tenant say it’s normal wear and tear? Additionally, you might not be able to recoup the replacement cost for destroyed furniture or appliances if it exceeds your tenant’s security deposit.
In markets such as Denver, the demand for furnished long-term rentals is very low. Property Managers in Denver see that furnished rentals tend to sit on the market twice as long as unfurnished, resulting in the owner forking up extra cash to cover the mortgage. Long-term renters prefer to bring their own furniture, having the flexibility to have that credenza or end table that they value and have had for years.
✓ Pros of Unfurnished
When you choose to rent your property unfurnished, it allows tenants to make this home their home, adding their own style and personal flair and setup. Tenants that effectively want a fresh blank slate can just move in with their own items. Showing the place unfurnished also allows tenants to use their imagination – which can be fun for most prospective tenants.
Unfurnished properties tend to have less maintenance to furnished. As stated above, inspections don’t typically cover furnitue which means it’s one less headache the owner will have to worry about during move-in/out inspections. No calls about broken tables or bed frames mean less maintenance. You’ll also have more space to update, paint or turnover a property when it’s vacant.
❌ Cons of Unfurnished
In some larger cities such as New York City or San Francisco, tenants don’t want to worry about moving furniture up and down elevators or upstairs in apartment or condo buildings – making furnished units much more attractive. An unfurnished condo in markets like these cause logistical headaches for renters – especially millennials who like the ease and simplicity of moving.