Renting Furnished vs. Unfurnished

If you’re a landlord ready to place a home, condo, or apartment on the market, chances are you might be experiencing that internal debate that tends to go along with it:  “Do I keep it furnished or unfurnished?” It can be a tough decision to make, especially if you’ve already got some furniture to spare. Well, put your mind at ease. Here are a few pointers on the pros and cons of furnished versus unfurnished properties to help you figure out what’s best for you.

Furnished

Pros

Depending on the location of your property, furnished apartments or homes can be an optimal and preferred choice for the general demographic of the area. For example, if you’re living in an area that is home to colleges or universities, chances are that they attract out-of-towners such visiting professors, grduate students, or international students who require apartments to stay in for a while. For the neighbouring financial area, furnished apartments are appealing to travelling businesspeople. These kinds of neighbourhoods can yield the type of clients where having a furnished apartment is most convenient and preferable. The same applies if you own a vacation property, such as a cottage in the Muskokas or a beach-front retreat in Collingwood. Often, it will make sense to offer a furnished option for these types of properties.

In addition, furnished apartments generally yield a slight premium in rent in comparison to unfurnished ones, so if you’re looking for a higher price, it could help to keep the furniture.

Cons

On the other hand, furnished properties do tend to attract tenants that are generally interested in renting for a short period of time. That means more frequent time and effort needed from you to search for other potential tenants.

There’s also the factor of maintenance. If you’ve provided all the furnishings and kitchenware, you’ll be responsible for maintaining them and replacing these items as necessary. You also have to be conscious of investing in furniture that is universally appealing and timeless – modern renters may not appreciate a brown and yellow overstuffed chesterfield.

Another important consideration is that generally speaking, the market for people looking for furnished apartments is much smaller than those looking for unfurnished. So the quality of the tenant and the price they are paying may be great, but it might take a little longer to find them.

Unfurnished

Pros

Rentals that require tenants to provide their own furnishings and belongings means there’s more effort and commitment involved. This means you can attract tenants with the intent to stay long-term. So it’s less effort on your part to go through the hassle of frequently searching for tenants.

This also means that what they bring, they are responsible for. So less stress, maintenance and cost for you. And since the apartment is furnished with what they own, they’ll be more inclined to be respectful towards the property.

Cons

Though the vast majority of homes and apartments are rented out unfurnished, there are a couple of cons to consider. Mainly, unfurnished apartments are generally listed at slightly lower prices than furnished ones on the market.

Also, if you have furniture in the rental unit that you don’t need for personal use, you will have to take the time to try and sell it, or find a place to store it.

So before you decide how to list your property, go through these pros and cons and give your situation some thought. Consider your location, the type of tenants you desire, along with the commitment involved. This will help you narrow down your scope and choose whether furnished or unfurnished is the right way to go for you. If you like the idea of a furnished apartment but don’t want to deal with frequent searches for renters, a property management company in Toronto can handle it all on your behalf.

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