Furnished or unfurnished? What does 'furnished' include?

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  • Furnished or unfurnished? What does 'furnished' include?

    Hi there,

    I have a friend A who lives in a flat owned by her father, and she currently shares it with another girl B, who is a friend of hers. As such she has no contract with her (I did try to tell her!) and she has a problem - I thought you might be able to help.

    The flat is let as unfurnished but Friend A has bought all the furniture for all the rooms, with the exception of Friend B's room, which has a double bed but no other furniture. Friend B used the double bed provided and bought the reamining furniture herself when she moved in recently. However, this Friend B found the mattress to be uncomfortable and as such bought a new mattress, and said she would store the original mattress until such a time as she moved out. Friend B is now saying she doesn't want to store it and it has been in the lounge area for a couple of weeks; she says it is the responsibilty of Friend A to sort it out.

    Who is in the right here? It doesn't seem very clear cut at all and they have no contract to fall back on...

  • #2
    If she is just a lodger then your friend can do what ever she wishes. As the two are living together it's a good idea for them to remain friends or for your friend to ask her lodger to leave.

    It's hardly worth the fuss over a mattress, just take it to the tip.


    • #3
      It's hardly worth the fuss over a mattress, just take it to the tip.[/QUOTE]

      That's not an option, it will be needed as part of the bed when B moves out and isn't very old! Legally she's not really a lodger though is she, if the flat is owned by A's dad?


      • #4
        If the friends "contract" is with your friend then yes she is a lodger. She would be a tenant if the contract is with the Dad.

        Why couldn't the new mattress be left when she moves out ? They don't cost much to replace.

        The alternative is to create friction between the two which is best avoided.


        • #5
          I think we have to assume that finances mean that neither of them wants to be in a situation where they are out of pocket/having to buy new stuff when the tenancy ends. Neither has anywhere or means to store the mattress. What I want to know is, where they each stand legally on this, as they are unlikely to resolve this amicably, sad but true.


          • #6
            Read what Zoe said, if the agreement is with Friend A then no problem but if it is with Dad, ouch. You say that there is no contract between them, is this the usual arrangement between friends, that is, no written agreement with anyone? If so then friend B is a A's lodger and A is the boss, B has few if any rights.


            • #7
              Furnished or unfurnished? What does 'furnished' include?

              Advice please we are about to relet our house to a new tenant, she is working but gets her money made up by working tax credit, she doesn't mind furnished or not, it has been suggested that she will get a greater allowance to her rent if the property is let unfurnished , any ideas please.gary


              • #8
                Apart from curtains and carpets, I avoid furnishing a property like the plague! Apart from checking that the furniture meets the fireproofing regulations, and additional efforts are needed in providing an inventory, I have, in the past, had tenants who are grateful for a furnished property then, half way through their tenancy promptly want my furniture removed so that they can move their own in! In addition, there is much more effort involved in moving furniture in and out of a property so I hope that this induces my tenants to stay for a longer period.

                Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.


                • #9
                  If you find someone willing to move into an unfurnished property, then do so. Reasons:

                  - As PP says, tenants moving into unfurnished property tend to stay for a considerably longer time, as they have some kind of tie to the property.

                  - Again, as PP says, prevents some paperwork with inventory etc. Also, limits your liability to less items in the property, almost to just structural issues and certain fittings. You don't have to replace/repair/maintain white goods etc.
                  Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.


                  • #10
                    Let flat: is it part-furnished or unfurnished?

                    We have been living abroad a little over a year and we are already into our second tenancy. Without consultation, our letting agent decided that this time round he would advertise our flat as furnished. In our first tenancy it was let unfurnished (or rather part-furnished); but we left a few items behind at the request of the tenants. We left 2 sofas, a few bookcases, a buffet, a glass case; microwave, freeview box etc. There was however, no table and chairs and no bed.
                    The agent says contractually there is no difference between furnished or unfurnished, which is why we did nt know of this change- ie it was not noted in the contract. The definition of 'furnished' according to the agent is: a place to sit, a place to store and a place to sleep. He says that there was enough furniture in the flat to deem it furnished. Our new tenants don't agree: they believed it was fully furnished having seen it with the previous occupants things and now want to move. Who is at fault?


                    • #11
                      What furniture is in the flat now then? You said in your first tenancy there were no beds supplied, is this still the case?
                      Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.


                      • #12
                        Hello there and thanks for replying. Our first tenancy was unfurnished but we left a few things for the tenants ie book shelves buffet sideboard, glass case, and two sofas etc...but no bed and no table and chairs. The management company later at the end of this tenancy advertised the flat as furnished even though there was no bed and no table and chairs. The letting negotiator seems not to have known what stuff was ours because the company has lost the inventory. This we only learned at check out time. The new tenants believe they have let a fully furnished flat. Our agents say they probably won't stay long. At the changeover these poor folks were checked into to a dirty flat ( this is actually confirmed by the checkin report itself. ). It also appears the leeting compamy asked the former tenants to leave their bed, which they did. This bed was according to the new tenants dirty etc.... We had no idea this was going on. The agency told us a bed had been left in the flat and that we should charge the former tenants for the removal. It's a b..... mess, and we feel the agency should be held accountabler for not informing us of the missing inventory, and for representing the flat as furnished without consultation. We now have to travel to the UK to meet up with all irate parties, which includes us. Thanks for any advice. Gayle


                        • #13
                          Well....quite a complex little situation here! The tenants want to move out, this is the first thing to deal with. They may have little actual legal backing to do so, as there is no difference, legally, between a furnished and unfurnished flat. However, it could potentially fall under false advertising laws. But....legally and morally are two completely different things, and I believe that in this situation, you should agree to let them cancel the AST and move out. Then persue this financial loss against the agent, as I believe they are almost totally at fault.
                          Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.


                          • #14
                            Thanks for your help. The tenants are also going to sue the Agency; and I have decided to part ways with the agency too. This will entail a lot of learning I suppose...my main aim would be to keep the agency and their manegment co from taking/keeping any of my money. to start....Thanks


                            • #15
                              Just a small point sidam. Unfortunately for you, if the tenants are going to sue anyone it HAS to be yourself as the landlord - this they will find out either when they consult with a legal professional, or attempt to sue the agent and have it thrown out. The agent and tenants have no ties, in effect. All legal responsibility falls upon you as the landlord with regards to the tenants. Of course, this does not mean that you cannot subsequently sue the agent for these losses.
                              Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.


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