To furnish or not to furnish?

To furnish or not to furnish? That is the question!

Providing all the furniture for a property can be a huge expense, but offering a property with nothing but plain walls and floorboards can be a deterrent. So what’s the answer? Unfortunately there are no strict guidelines on whether you should provide furniture or not. In fact, it’s completely your choice whether you fill the property with every type of furnishing imaginable, or you present it completely empty.

Nevertheless, choosing to furnish or not to furnish a rental property will make a difference to your chances of finding a tenant, and to the kind of tenant you will attract. With that in mind, your target tenant is a good starting point…


If you want to appeal to students, fully furnishing is usually considered essential. 84% of students we surveyed said that they would only look at furnished properties. In terms of quality, it’s more about practicality with student properties rather than the aesthetics, so go for reasonably priced, functional, hard-wearing furniture. It’s also worth considering that if there is space, students will expect to have a desk in their bedroom.


Families are more likely than any other of the three types of tenants to want unfurnished or only part-furnished properties. Our survey showed that 59% of families would either prefer unfurnished or don’t mind either way, and our research shows that in a lot cases families have their own furniture.  It’s therefore advisable to delay buying any yourself while initially marketing the property so that you can be flexible.

Professional sharers & couples

These two most common tenant groups are equally split in terms of their furniture requirements. The best position to be in is one of flexibility. Start with no furnishings or only basic furnishing (white goods can always be added to, should the tenant require it). It is worth bearing in mind that a large proportion of tenants will be willing to provide their own bedding, cutlery, crockery, etc., so spending money on these kinds of smaller items can be an unnecessary waste of time and money, unless you are specialising in shorter term corporate lets.

If you are aiming at employed sharers or couples, it is worth spending a bit more money than you would for a student let, on attractive yet hard wearing furniture to enhance the presentation of the property. There are a lot of companies that specialise in furniture packages for rental properties, or you can simply order from a standard high street store or website.

Summary of general requirements for furnished properties:

RoomRequired FurnitureOptional Furniture



Chest of Drawers

Bedside Table

Further Drawers or Wardrobes

Desk (usually only relates to student properties)

Reception RoomSofa(s)Dining Table & Chairs

Coffee Table

Television Stand

KitchenFridge / Freezer

Cooker / Hob

Washing Machine







There are, obviously, many more items you can add, depending on your property and tenants, but, generally speaking, it’s better and more cost-effective to start with the basics and then only add further items if necessary.

Let us help

Regardless of whether you decide to furnish or not furnish your property, it’s definitely worth using our experienced letting agents to help rent it out. At Richard James, we’re focused on finding tenants suited to the perfect property. We have a huge number of quality tenants ready to rent; if you’d like us to let your property, give us a call on 01793 431 725

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