Furnished or unfurnished? What does 'furnished' include?

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    #46
    Before you go any further....

    You say you want to rent to four sharers - if so that would make your property an HMO (House (Home?) of Multiple Occupation) which means that all sorts of legislation applies, like fire regs, getting a license, etc etc which may welll be prohibitive for you - read up on all this. If you let to, say, a family, then HMO regs don't apply.

    Furnished vs unfurnished? Difficult to say; there's no easy answer. Depends largely on local conditions; eg if you're letting to students, they are unlikely to have their own furniture, whereas with a long-term let to a family they probably will.

    You might consider you're more likely to get a longer term let if you let unfurnished, as tenants are less likely to want to move on a whim if they need to shift a houseful of gear.

    Have a look in local letting agencies and get a feel for whether most of the direct competition is let furnished or not.

    Also consider fire regs here - any soft furnishings must have the appropriate label to show that they are made of the appropriate fire-retardant material.

    I think it's fair to say that the extra rent you'll take for a furnished let over an unfurnished let will be pretty small - certainly not enough to cover the cost of buying and maintaining a houseful of furniture.

    Personally I let 'part-furnished' which most people interpret as being with carpets and curtains, plus maybe some white goods in the kitchen. Don't consider letting without floor coverings (especially) or curtains, as no tenant is going to want to spend large amounts of dosh on items which will only fit your property.

    Comment


      #47
      Thankyou for your advice. and the link for my questions.
      With regards HMO, i thought the property had to be 3 floors AND 5 or more people? Mine is 2 floors and a max of 4 people. (in Manchester). I have read stuff on this forum re HMO - it is all a bit confusing!
      I do keep seeing different things about whether or not my particular property would apply.

      As for furnishings, the majority of the rooms have varnished floors (with no rugs). I'd like to keep it that way but i guess i need to consider the wear and tear on them.

      Comment


        #48
        What is included in 'unfurnished' property?

        I am currently refurbishing a 2 bed property (Scotland) and plan to rent unfurnished.
        I will have redecorated and have elec and gas tested. there will be a new kitchen installed with oven,hob and washing machine. All rooms will be carpeted and have blinds on the windows.
        Are there any items that would normally be included in an unfurnished rental,
        for example a fridge / freezer?
        Anything I am missing?

        thanks

        Comment


          #49
          I don't know if there are any clear rules, particularly with regard to Scottish law, but it is customary to provide cooker, washing machine and fridge, sometimes fridge-freezer or separate freezer depending on the layout of the property. I have found a dishwasher to be a complete pain in the bum to include in a let, being called to get it fixed when all it needed was for tenants to keep the filter thing clean is such a drag!

          You can be flexible and let prospective tenants know that if they don't want to use your fridge/washing machine if they'd rather use their own that you will move it (but don't offer to reduce the rent, you'll still have to find somewhere to put it in the meantime!) and that they will be responsible for ensuring that it is fitted correctly and doesn't damage the property with leaks, etc in the case of the washing machine.

          Comment


            #50
            Decide what you're willing to provide re white goods but if possible check with tenants as to what they will need/expect. We bought a cooker for one unfurnished property as there wasn't one there and when we found tenants they wanted to put their own in, so we ended up with a brand new unwanted cooker. We will make use of it eventually, but it's a cautionary tale......

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              #51
              Thanks for the replies, one other question, as this property has a garden can I assume correctly that the `tenent` is responsible for the upkeep of the garden and do I have to supply any gardening tools?

              thanks
              Juco

              Comment


                #52
                Originally posted by juco12 View Post
                can I assume correctly that the `tenent` is responsible for the upkeep of the garden
                They are if you make them responsible in the agreement. They probably are even if you don't, but it's best to state these things.

                and do I have to supply any gardening tools?
                Not as far as I know. T is responsible for keeping the property clean as well, but you don't have to supply cleaning equipment. That said, most LLs will supply some equipment (like a lawnmower).

                Peter

                Comment


                  #53
                  With our family (non-HMO) properties, T's look after the garden but we provide a lawnmower where there's a lawn.

                  With student HMO's it's different. The council expects LL's to keep the garden in good order (not overgrown etc) and also keep the front of the property in good repair - no peeling paint etc. It's all part of obtaining the HMO certificate - at least with Rhondda Cynon Taff council. When it comes to HMO's, councils appear to have a lot of discretion about their rules.

                  Personally, I think it's a good idea re the HMOs, as students are poor at keeping up with this type of maintainance, and student areas can go downhill very quickly, knocking a lot of money off all the surrounding properties. In our area the student houses now look better than a lot of the home-owner houses.

                  Comment


                    #54
                    Unfurnished in our area comprises of cooker, carpets and curtains - nothing else. The tenant market doesnt demand additional white goods and this suits landlords who dont have purchase and then maintain fridges, freezers, etc.

                    We also dont supply lawnmowers or any garden tools, although it is a tenants responsibility to look after the garden. If you supply electrical gardening equipment you should ensure that instructions are supplied and the product is Pat tested each year.

                    Best advise is to supply nothing, test the market and respond to the requirements of a good tenant accordingly.

                    Comment


                      #55
                      What furniture is implied in letting 'furnished' flat?

                      as a private landlord are we under obligation to provide a matress for new tenants. i ask this because every six months i have to buy a new matress when the old teneat has left, which to me is costly. and what about washing machine who is liable if that breaks down, common sense tells me its the tenant because they use it and not me. however, legally is it the landlords job to get it repaired?

                      any answers to the above would be nice. thanks

                      Comment


                        #56
                        If you let furnished, it's up to you what furnishings you provide.
                        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                        Comment


                          #57
                          Providing furniture

                          If you provide the white goods - fridge, washing machine etc. - it's up to you to repair them if they break down. The rent you charge should take account of your responsibility to do this.
                          New mattresses for each new tenant, perhaps after only 6 months, is certainly a big cost to take on. I can understand why you may think this is necessary but is it strictly so? After all, even 5 star hotels don't change the mattress for each new customer.
                          In my experience, providing full furnishings for 6 month tenancies is always likely to be uneconomic. You end up replacing worn or damaged items too frequently and for various reasons it may be difficult to recover the cost from the deposit.
                          A problem with less than full furnishings is that you are not strictly eligible for the 10% furniture and fittings tax allowance.

                          Comment


                            #58
                            1. You should buy a mattress protector - rather like a quilted fitted sheet which is machine washable .

                            2. Flats normally have no place for hanging and drying clothes and so a washer/dryer should be installed. You have to leave instruction for proper use in the property otherwise the machine can be damaged too quickly.

                            Comment


                              #59
                              Originally posted by nask70 View Post
                              Are we under obligation to provide a matress for new tenants? I ask this because every six months I have to buy a new matress when the old tenant has left, which to me is costly.
                              Do you? Why do you 'have to'?
                              JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                              1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                              2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                              3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                              4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                              Comment


                                #60
                                I don't think that rendering a mattress unusable within 6 months would be regarded as fair wear and tear so, if your tenants really are ruining the mattresses in your property, I think that you'd be within your rights in deducting the cost of a new one from the ex-tenant's deposit.

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