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View Full Version : Furnished or Unfurnished??



shining light
25-12-2011, 21:41 PM
I am hoping to return to the UK next month and buy a rental property and would like the opinions of you experienced landlords as to whether to go furnished or unfurnished and why.

I seem to recall reading somewhere that when the property is vacany the L/L is not responsible for Council Tax? If unfurnished, then the L/L can't claim a certain allowance?

Also, is the demand for furnished greater than unfurnished?

Any other benefits/negatives either way?

Thanks

LesleyAnne
25-12-2011, 22:48 PM
Unfurnished usually allows the LL 6 months Counci Tax free during voids - you have to apply for this. Furnished will not allow any exemption.

All furniture must adhere to fire safety regs, portable electrical items should be annually PAT tested (not compulsory but recommended), and you would be wise insuring the "contents" you provide in case of loss or damage.

I have always let my 1 bed apartment unfurnished and never had a problem getting tenantns in 11 years. When I started out, agent advise there is little difference in rent between furnished and not, and the extra hassle of insuring and replacing/updating (tenants expect a certain standard not just 2nd hand shop cast offs), its not worth it.

mind the gap
26-12-2011, 08:47 AM
Hello.

Just scroll down to the bottom of this page, where you'll see a section headed 'Similar Threads'. It has several threads exploring this very issue (furnished v. unfurnished).

Sad S
26-12-2011, 09:48 AM
All furniture should adhere to fire safety regs,

Yes

portable electrical items should be annually PAT tested (not compulsory but recommended),

It's advisable that ALL electical items supplied by L, including cookers, washing machines etc, be PAT tested.

[There is a misconception: "portable", as in "portable appliance testing", refers to the testing kit, not the appliances.]

An incorrectly earthed item, such as a cooker, can deliver a lethal shock. L could be liable.

and you would be wise insuring the "contents" you provide in case of loss or damage.

I have always let my 1 bed apartment unfurnished and never had a problem getting tenantns in 11 years. When I started out, agent advise there is little difference in rent between furnished and not, and the extra hassle of insuring and replacing/updating (tenants expect a certain standard not just 2nd hand shop cast offs), its not worth it.

Most tenants these days expect white goods to be provided, in my experience, even though they may otherwise be prepared to furnish.

Faisel Balti
26-12-2011, 11:17 AM
Furnished!
but, of course, it depends.
I manage several of my own properties but also use LA's for a a few others. Regarding the latest one - a 2-bed house, the LA advised furnished as an extra £150 per month would be achievable and it turned out to be the case. In this particular area there are many people from Eastern Europe who are more inclined to want furnished accommodation, and being some way away from my own area took the LA's advice. They were spot-on - it was let within a few days at a lot more than I had been receiving previously as unfurnished.
I use a supplier to landlords for the furniture - so they know exactly what to put in. Prices are reasonable for pretty decent furniture. With all white good installed, and all paid for within one year by the extra rent.
In 4 of my flats, and over 3 years not one item has needed to be replaced - only one bed and sofa were 'dumped' due to new tenant wanting her own put in. And of all the white goods (fridge freezer and w/machine) there hasn't been a single breakdown.
Touch wood, I've been quite lucky but my message would be to ask one or two LA's what their views are - they should have a good idea of the demand in your particular area.
FB

boletus
26-12-2011, 12:38 PM
Unfurnished usually allows the LL 6 months Counci Tax free during voids - you have to apply for this. Furnished will not allow any exemption.

Sorry to be pedantic, but councils usually allow a 10% discount for furnished.

All mine are unfurnished, but if I were liable for a furnished void property, I would try applying for the single persons 25% discount. Or is this not allowed? If not, why not?

LesleyAnne
26-12-2011, 14:11 PM
Sorry to be pedantic, but councils usually allow a 10% discount for furnished.

All mine are unfurnished, but if I were liable for a furnished void property, I would try applying for the single persons 25% discount. Or is this not allowed? If not, why not?

Sorry to be pendantic myself, but I was talking about "exemption" - ie up to 6 months totally free of council tax. There may be other discounts available, but councils vary on their terms.

As for single persons allowance, how can you qualify for that when NO-ONE is living there? You would need to prove that someone is in residence to claim a discount - either providing a tenancy agreement or similar. Either you claim to be living there yourself - obviously fraud, or the place is empty - you cannot have it both ways! Besides, I assume council tax payable during voids is still an allowable expense against income tax?

boletus
26-12-2011, 15:34 PM
Sorry to be pendantic myself, but I was talking about "exemption"

Ahh, you are indeed the superior pedant.
I am merely a 'saucy pedantic wretch'* by comparison.:)


*John Donne

shining light
26-12-2011, 16:06 PM
Thanks for the responses, some interesting points were highlighted.

I did read the other posts but wanted to get some more up to date and/or alternative thoughts.

It seems as though the rental demand and achievable rent do fiffer from area to area so seeking the advice of a good LA would be the sensible thing to do. thanks again.

midlandslandlord
27-12-2011, 11:58 AM
Far too many definite answers here!

My experience: it depends on area, market and type of tenant.

Around here longer term Ts tend to have their own furniture, and we don't normally even supply a cooker unless requested.

OTOH you can always find (younger or transient?) Ts who want furnished.

You could always have a decent shed, store the furniture there during voids, and still claim the CT exemption !

It would be worth spending time looking at all of the 487 properties for rent within 5 miles of your target area on Rightmove and other portals.

ML