Deciding whether or not to furnish your income property is a big decision. There are pros and cons to each choice, and it’s really about knowing who your ideal tenant is.
Considering your location, unit size, and the rent value can help you decide if furnishing your unit will be beneficial or a waste of time.
In general, more people want furnished units because it’s easier for them to move in. However, renting a unit completely furnished won’t be ideal for every property.
Here are the pros and cons of furnished versus unfurnished properties for you as a landlord in DC!
Tenants Likely Plan on Staying With an Unfurnished Unit
Tenants who plan to stay long-term are more likely to want their own furniture. And, renters who buy their own furnishings tend to stay longer, as they don’t want to go through the hassle of moving all their items.
Residents also tend to be happier at a property with their own furnishings. If your tenants usually sign at least a year-long lease, it could be smart to consider leaving the unit unfurnished.
For the right rental market, this situation can be a win-win: tenants are more comfortable with their own furniture, and you won’t have to worry about wear-and-tear on your items.
You Can Charge Higher Rent for a Furnished Unit
Landlords in DC can typically charge higher rent for a furnished property. However, when advertising your unit as furnished, keep in mind that tenants expect it to be fully furnished and include everything they’d need to move right in.
Many renters will pay more for a furnished unit because it’s easier for them. They won’t have to buy or move furniture, and when they’re ready to leave, they can pick up and go without any heavy lifting.
However, furnished units tend to have shorter lease periods because these tenants aren’t looking to permanently settle into a place. Also, the higher the rent, the less likely your resident wants to stay long-term.
On the other hand, a higher price can attract tenants who can afford the unit, and these people may be more likely to be better tenants. If renting your unit furnished, you’ll also need to charge more for the security deposit, as furniture can easily be damaged during their stay.
Not Responsible for Furniture Damage With Unfurnished
One of the biggest cons of having a furnished unit is having to deal with furniture damage. While you shouldn’t furnish with anything you don’t want damaged, all furniture is subject to wear-and-tear over time.
With furnished units, you’re responsible for regular repairs and replacements of the furniture. And with shorter leases, tenants may be less likely to care about the property, meaning there’s more potential for damage.
If you opt for an unfurnished unit, you won’t have to worry about repairing or replacing furniture, and there tends to be less turnover. For many landlords in DC, renting their unit unfurnished means fewer things to worry about!
Minimal Responsibility With Semi-Furnished
You could also choose to advertise your property as semi-furnished, which typically means the unit has all the larger, necessary pieces of furniture, but won’t have other items such as kitchen utensils.
Some landlords in DC like the low responsibility of semi-furnished units. But there is a downside: should tenants want to bring their own furniture, you’re responsible for moving and storing the existing furniture.
Another con to furnished or semi-furnished units is having to move furniture for maintenance and repairs such as painting and carpeting. And, while you can charge tenants if they break the furniture, you can’t charge for regular wear-and-tear.
Find Tenants Quicker With Furnished Units
It’s generally easier to find renters with a furnished unit. People want somewhere where they can immediately move in without hassle, so you’ll need to decide if it’s worth it holding out for the right tenant or filling your unit quickly.
A furnished property could also mean that in times when the market isn’t doing great it’ll be easier to find tenants. Knowing your market is essential when choosing to furnish. For instance, if you’re located near a university and rent to a lot of college students in DC, they’re going to want a furnished property.
Know Your Rental Market!
Knowing your rental market will help you make the best decision when it comes to furnishing your unit. Need help with your income property in DC? Our professional property managers at FAS Management can help you determine your rental market and make your best choice for your property. Call us at (202) 337-5080 today!