Furnished versus Unfurnished


on Condo, Landlord, rental, tenant November 8th
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By Lucille Yates

Residential Property Management Inc. has rented hundreds of residential properties during 25 years of doing business in Metropolitan Toronto. As a property manager, I often get enquiries about renting furnished properties.  In my experience the benefits of renting a property unfurnished far outweigh those of renting furnished.

 Ask yourselves the following:

  • Ideally, who is your tenant likely to be?
  • What would be their lifestyle, occupation etc.?
  • Which scenario (furnished or unfurnished) will most benefit to you as the landlord?
  • What are your reasons for choosing to rent furnished versus unfurnished?
  • If you are planning to move back into this property in a few years will you still want the furniture that it was rented with?

 Here are some points to consider if you are renting your property:

Furnished

  • Requires high quality furniture in excellent condition to attract a good tenant
  • Attracts short term tenants
  • Potential for slightly higher rent then unfurnished
  • Owner does not have to pay the cost of storage for furniture if it is left in the property
  • Higher vacancy rate, often 30% or higher
  • Attracts less stable tenants (sometimes even criminal activity). Very few high quality tenants will rent a furnished unit for an extended period of time.
  • Most people prefer to live with furniture that they choose for themselves
  • Less demand for furnished units usually translates into a higher vacancy rate
  • Replacement cost of furniture is high
  • Greater potential for damage or loss of contents
  • Higher maintenance cost as property must be cleaned and touched up between each tenancy and this type of tenancy usually entails services such as cable and gardening to be provided by the landlord.
  • Cost for management is higher as more time and higher level of service is required to manage this type of rental.
  • Potential for a problems increase with the number of tenants

Unfurnished

  • Attracts long term tenants usually staying more than one year
  • Rent may be slightly lower then furnished
  • Close to 100% occupancy as there is lower turnover
  • Attracts stable tenants who want to settle in and stay, making the property their home
  • Cost to rent and maintain property is lower

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