Property Management Blog

Furnished vs. Unfurnished Rental, Which One Should You Choose As An Owner?

Uptown Properties - Thursday, August 1, 2019

Furnished vs. Unfurnished Rental, Which One Should You Choose As An Owner?

For many owners thinking about renting their property, the question of whether having it furnished or unfurnished can be a tough decision to make. There are some pros and cons that come with either choice you make, but weighing these against one another in your situation can help you decide which route you should choose.

It is important to understand what a furnished apartment encompasses. A furnished apartment typically drives in higher rent compared to units that are unfurnished. 

  • A furnished living room should have a couch, table and lamp.

  • A dining area/room should have a table, as well as chairs. 

  • A kitchen should have utensils, dishes, glassware, and other items that you typically see in a kitchen.

  • A bathroom should have a shower curtain, wastebasket, and floor mat. 

  • A bedroom should have a bed, nightstand, and a dresser. 

There are tweaks that one can make to this, as an owner can market their property as a fully furnished, or semi-furnished. A fully furnished apartment means that someone can move into your apartment and live comfortably without having to buy anything for the apartment. This does not include things such as food and clothing. An owner can also choose to semi-furnish their apartments, which usually means includes big, essential furniture, such as couches and beds. 

For an owner, there are many pros that may come with furnishing your rental unit. Foremost, as I mentioned earlier, furnished apartment typically drive higher rent prices, as it diminishes the amount of work a tenant must do when they move in/move out. Owners are also able to charge a higher security deposit with furnished apartments. In some areas, owners are only able to charge a certain maximum deposit with unfurnished rentals. This higher security deposit from furnished apartments can help protect the owners items and furniture. 

With the positives mentioned above, there also comes some cons to having a furnished property. There is a higher potential for damages when furnishing your unit, this means that if there happens to be a tenant that damages or destroys your furniture, repair and replacement costs will add up quickly. This can be partially offset by demanding a higher security deposit at the beginning of the lease. Another possible con of having a furnished apartment is tenants who seek furnished apartments, often look for shorter-term leases, so there tends to be a higher turnover rate which can lead to higher vacancy rates. Students, young professionals, singles, and young families that move frequently are often people that seek out furnished apartments due to not having very many material goods. Lastly, if a prospective tenant decides that they do not want to have the property furnished, and that they have their own furniture and items, owners are responsible to move these items out of the apartment. This could cause the owner to incur storage costs. 

Ultimately, the owner must weigh the pros versus the cons and understand the target market to make an educated decision on whether or not to furnish their apartment rental.