Advantages/Disadvantages of Offering a Rental Furnished?

Home Forums Real Estate Advantages/Disadvantages of Offering a Rental Furnished?

Topic: Advantages/Disadvantages of Offering a Rental Furnished?

Real Estate August 1, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Advantages/Disadvantages of Offering a Rental Furnished?

I have a basement unit that I’m planning to (eventually) rent out.  I was thinking about maybe offering it furnished.
Landlords, have any of you offered rental units furnished?  If so, what would you say are the advantages/disadvantages?
My guess is that offering a place furnished might mean that the tenant is likely to be younger and less likely to stay past the initial lease period.  Presumably, the latter would be a disadvantage; from what I hear, it’s difficult enough to find a good tenant that once you have one, you want that person to stay.

5 Replies Add Reply

Oh — I should probably add that I was thinking about offering the unit as “unfurnished for x amount per month, furnished for [somewhat higher] amount per month,” rather than offering it solely as a furnished unit.

Lots of factors play into this.  If the unit is really really nice in a very good location – within say a couple of blocks of a good Metro, and you’re willing to do a little more work, you could furnish it and rent it for probably about 1/4- 1/3 more as a short-term furnished apt.  There is a market for temporary housing for people moving to the area, doing sabbaticals, etc. 1-6 months.  Not as expensive or swanky as “corporate housing” (of which there is a lot) but something in the $2000.00 a month range.
Otherwise I’d go unfurnished.  All my tenants have had furniture, and if they don’t, it’s easy enough to get to their own taste on Craigslist or Ikea.  And renters can be hard on furniture. 

As a landlord, there are benefits and disadvantages.  One, if it’s furnished, you know they aren’t bringing in bedbugs with their upholstered materials, or getting them on craigslist furniture.  And you can get some good tenants who are just starting out and who have very limited furniture.  On the other hand, as someone said, tenants are hard on furniture, especially if it’s not theirs.  I wouldn’t do it with stuff I liked.

I vote furnished.  Big advantages are less wear and tear on the walls, etc during move in/move out time.  I’d recommend buying a good bed and decent linens, but a used dresser, bookcase, desk, chair, etc.  A friend did this with his place and it’s worked out well, but he’s also looking for tenants who are in DC for six months or less and therefore want an alternative to the pricey corporate rental.

Although you can generally charge a premium for a fully-furnished rental, unfortunately you will be responsible for the taxes on that extra income (and it can really add up) – especially if you include Internet, cable, utilities. For example, if you normally charge $1500/mo for an unfurnished rental, but you rent it furnished (ICU) for $2000/mo, you will have to pay the taxes on the $2000/mo.

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)


Reply to this topic

You must be logged in to reply to this discussion. or