14 Feb 2011
A common question I get asked by investment property owners is whether or not it is a good idea to furnish their rental property.
Furnishing your rental property does seem to offer some benefits – you can charge higher rent and you may be able to get extra depreciation allowances. But whether or not furnishing is a good idea depends on the type of property you have. Sometimes furnishing a rental property can be more trouble than it’s worth.
First of all adding furniture can actually put-off some tenants. When there is furniture in a property you are renting then the furniture is getting judged just as much as the property itself. If the television isn’t big enough or the furniture isn’t new or trendy enough than it can turn potential tenants away.
So to attract tenants you may need to keep updating your furniture, which will take money away from your investment.
Another big issue with furnishing rental homes can be the types of tenants you attract. In general furnished rental properties attract transient tenants who may not be looking for somewhere long term. It is much easier to pack up and go when you don’t have to take your furniture with you.
Also having furniture shows some level of responsibility on behalf of the tenant. It is good to know that they’ve managed to save up enough money to be able to afford their own belongings.
There are instances where furnishing is recommended though. If you have a short-term rental property than you will probably furnish it, but this is a different kind of market to the average rental home. The short-term rental market generally applies to serviced apartments and holiday homes where there is normally a property manager onsite to help maintain the furniture.
So before you go to furnish your rental property weigh up the pros and cons and decide whether furnishing is the best option.