Should I rent my investment property furnished or unfurnished?

I often get asked by prospective landlords if they should rent out their investment property furnished or unfurnished. The answer will change depending on property type, length of lease and what your investment goals and objectives are.

An important thing to remember about renting your property fully furnished is that you are responsible to ensure that all of the inventory remains in good working condition. This basically means any item in the house will need to be repaired if it stops working which could become quite expensive especially if the furniture, electrical items and whitegoods are ageing.

Holiday rentals are an easy one. These properties should always be fully furnished as holiday makers expect everything to be in place when they arrive including kitchenware. Bedroom and Bathroom linen do not always need to be included depending on the type of holiday property.

Short term permanent rentals generally suit a furnished property as the lease length is around 3 or 4 months. These properties are often owned by landlords that are planning on returning back to their home. They may be away for work or holidays for 3 months and wish to earn an income instead of leaving the property empty. Furnished short term rental properties often attract higher rents and appeal to people from relationship breakdowns, interstate relocations, people in between the sale and purchase of a new property and people waiting for their new home to be built.

Traditional permanent rentals normally have a lease period of 6 or 12 months and in our experience over 90% of these prospective tenants are looking for unfurnished properties. The exception to the rule are unusual properties or executive properties where the tenants work locally and have their main home in a different location.

In conclusion if you are not offering your property as a holiday home then it is recommended that you make it available unfurnished. This will appeal to the largest segment of the market at make it easier to rent quickly. If you have no choice but to leave the property furnished, then consider a short term lease and give the tenant the option to stay on longer if they need to.

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