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Should I rent my property Furnished or Unfurnished?

System - Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Property Management Blog

We are often asked by property owners interesting in renting out their homes or a condominium is whether they should or could rent their property furnished as opposed to unfurnished. This is often due to a transfer out of town and not wanting to put the furnishings in storage. 


While there can be some advantages to leasing a furnished property, there are many reasons not to.






1. The potential market for a furnished unit is drastically smaller than an unfurnished one. Furnished housing represents less than 1% of the rental market! This means, finding a tenant can take much longer and vacancy rates will be much higher. This may mean longer periods that your property remains unrented and empty.


2. Tenants attracted to furnished units may not desire long term leases but short term ones such as 1 week to usually a maximum of 6 months.




3. Wear and tear of valuable furniture may be accelerated with tenant use versus owner use.



4. A detailed inventory is necessary prior to tenant moving in and following tenant move out to ensure contents of unit do not disappear.




5. Furnished units may produce an increased number of calls for malfunctions – not only appliances but items such as TV, stereo, even the toaster!



6. Condominium associations and owners resist long term rentals let alone short term. Most have do not allow short term leases or install high move-in/move-out fees per transaction.





1. The unit can generate greater daily rental revenue, sometimes as much as 50% more income. 


2. You are prone to attract higher quality tenants, for example those that are on assignment in the city through their work and that have higher salaries and corporate support from their companies.


3. No need to sell furniture at steep discounts or have them placed in storage.



4. Ideal for temporary no hassle relocation of owner to new geographies or a new home, without the need for a moving truck or large moving expenses.



Bottom Line



Unless your property is located in a weekly vacation destination, our suggestion for most owners is to bite the bullet and either bring your furnishings with you or put it in storage. Trying to lease your furnished property is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Don’t count on it.



In terms of demand, do you want 1% of the market or 99% of the market?


Please contact us at Dave Poletti & Associates if you have any questions about how to respond to emergencies, or if you’d like more information on how we take care of our landlords and tenants in these types of situations. 


Dave Poletti & Associates
1200 Westlake Ave. N #1001
Seattle, WA 98109

Phone: 206.286.1100

Email: info@davepoletti.com

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