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Paul Bennett, Director

A frequent landlord dilemma involves furniture – should the property be offered furnished or unfurnished?  For starters, there are no right or wrong answers. At Behr & Butchoff, we prefer to discuss the topic with our clients on a let-by-let basis, using our knowledge of the local lettings market and type of tenants landlords are hoping to attract to shape the advice we give.

Today’s London furniture demands

Nina Nikiel, a Lettings Executive at Behr & Butchoff, comments: “We are finding that tenants wishing to rent long term – three years or more - are looking for unfurnished properties. This is particularly true of families who require larger homes as they tend to have already acquired their own furniture. Tenants looking for smaller ‘non-family’ homes tend to rent for just over a year and prefer the convenience of a furnished apartment.”


Tenant furniture expectations

Furnishing a rental property is more than a quick online shop. Nina highlights that what you use to furnish the property can have an impact on the amount of rent a tenant is willing to pay. “To attract a good rental price for your property, you should make the property look as stylish as possible, in keeping with the overall look of an area. Generally landlords should aim for fully furnished with modern appliances, with standards being appropriate to the property’s value.”

An overview of furnished, unfurnished & part furnished


  • The definition of fully furnished usually includes beds, sofas and freestanding wardrobes, white goods and small appliances, carpets and floor coverings, soft furnishings, cutlery and crockery, and chairs, tables and shelving units.

  • Ideal for smaller lets - ones that will attract more ‘mobile’ tenants, such as those moving out of their family home, students and freelancers/contractors. 

  • Larger, furnished properties will appeal to people coming from overseas, who are staying in this country on a temporary basis.

  • Tenants will appreciate not having the hassle or expense of buying furniture or paying for removal costs.

  • Generally, there are more people looking for furnished property, so you may achieve a quicker rental and stand a chance of it being constantly occupied.

  • You will need to have building and contents insurance, an inventory, comply with fire regulations, gas safety and an electrical appliance testing for items supplied.

  • As of April 2016, landlords can only obtain tax relief for actual costs incurred when replacing items such as furniture, furnishings, appliances (including white goods) and kitchenware – a restriction that replaced the blanket ‘wear and tear’ allowance.


  • An empty let works well for slightly larger properties and unfurnished properties tend to attract families or older people who have already acquired furniture.

  • Tend to achieve longer lets, especially if a family moves in, as they are likely to be moving for longer-term reasons (education and jobs) and will prefer to invest in their own items.

  • As a landlord, you are not responsible for insuring the tenant’s own furniture or for the fire safety regulations linked to their furniture or furnishings. You will need to comply with fire regulations, gas safety and an electrical appliance testing.


Part Furnished:

  • This is becoming a frequently popular choice as it gives the landlord and the tenant a degree of flexibility.  There are no rules as to what a landlord should offers in a part furnished property but tenants tend to expect large items of furniture, floor coverings and window treatments.

  • Appeals to tenants who are happy to spend on smaller, more decorative goods but not investment pieces of furniture.

  • The landlord will need to comply to all the same regulations as those with fully furnished properties.

  • Provides a quicker, cheaper moving in and out process as no need for professional removers.

If you would like our advice as to which option to take, or would like us to help you get started as a landlord, we are experienced in all areas of lettings. Please contact Nina or Richard at the Behr & Butchoff lettings team today.