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Preparing the property

Furnishing property

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If you decide to offer your property furnished, just how far should you go? If equipping the place out with every latest gadget is over the top, how much is the right amount? As with most things in the letting game, it depends on the type of tenants you are trying to attract.

Unless the property is in a serious state of disrepair, it is usually inadvisable to put it through any major refurbishments. You rarely recoup the cost of the work in the rent that you can subsequently charge.

The areas to which you should pay particular attention are the bathroom and kitchen. Tenants will usually want more scope to stamp their own style on bedrooms, which should generally be kept simple and inoffensive by landlords.

If you intend letting your property to the professional market, you should aim to fit out and furnish to high quality standards. Some people may refute this, but our observations, experience and research all indicate that the more upmarket the furnishings and fittings, the better the standard of tenant you will get. While this doesn't guarantee their behaviour or ensure that your property will be treated in the way you want it to, but it certainly can help. It can also help to minimise the length of any void periods, which as we keep reiterating, is one of the key factors in successful letting.

Don't furnish the property with second hand furniture. Not only will it start to look tatty pretty quickly, it is often below the minimum required legal standards.

If you are furnishing the property do not leave anything of particular sentimental value for the tenants. Your grandfather's antique rocking chair or other such item will not have the same emotional value to the tenants, so will probably not be treated as carefully. Similarly, unless you are aiming right for the high end of the market, you shouldn't leave anything of tremendous value in the property. Damage and even theft do occur, and though you may be able to replace it through insurance, you could probably do without the hassle.

Make some changes
You don't have to break the bank to get the best out of your property. There are plenty of things that you can do at relatively low cost, which certainly make the property more attractive to tenants and may even allow you to bump up the rent a little.

  • A power shower - Not always necessary with students (!!!), but most professional tenants expect one of these and will not look to favourably on your property if it does not have one.
  • Minor decorating - A fresh lick of paint needn't cost the earth and can really give a new lease of life to a tired looking home.
  • Painting the front door.
  • Filling in any cracks in walls or ceilings.
  • Thoroughly cleaning the property.
  • As when selling the property, particular care should be paid to kitchens, bathrooms, carpets, upholstery, and windows.
  • Doing a spot of gardening.
  • Maximising the feeling of space in the rooms by altering the layout of furniture.
  • Carry out any running repairs that are needed to the property. Again, this is just the same as when you are trying to sell your property. Click for details.

Get some help
Letting agents are a good source of advice on the style, type and standard of any fittings, furnishings and decoration that you should provide your property with.

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