The danger of letting furnished

Whether to offer your property furnished or unfurnished is a very common question to be asked mainly by newer or less experience landlords. I write this article after a recent situation with a landlord who recently let his property furnished with us.

The property in question was a lovely apartment set close to the town centre.   Suitable for a young couple.  The property was used as a holiday home for the client and he enjoyed coming to the area for weekends with his young family.  As a result, it was furnished with settees, beds and a few other items essential for those lovely weekends away.  The client however has a demanding job and with all the general demand of life generally, he found that he couldn’t visit with the same regularity and rather than leaving it empty he decided it was a good idea to let the property and gain some return on his investment.

We found him a tenant at a reasonable rent and setup the tenancy.  The tenants passed referencing with flying colours and we proceeded to move them in.  The tenancy continued for almost 2 years but due to a change in circumstances, the tenants asked to leave the property due to some personal issues and duly handed notice in accordingly.   On vacating he property, we went and visited and did our usual move out inspection and formulated our view on potential deductions.  This was agreed with the tenant and processed.

Once the property was vacated, the landlord was unable to visit due to his demanding schedule and took our advice.  However, they retained friends in the area and so the property was visited by a good neighbour who reported to the landlord the absolute “state “the property was left in.   Of course, you can imagine his distress as we had made recommendations as to the condition considering fair wear and tear and his neighbour was painting a far darker picture.  At this point, I would visit the property to look over the situation.

During the visit, I looked over the place and there were scuff marks up the wall, some markings on the carpet and a faint smell of smoke in one of the rooms.  In addition to this there was some small elements damage to the furniture along the way.   Overall, the tenants hadn’t left it in bad condition.  I’ve certainly seen a lot worse!

The reason I tell this story is about expectations.   The client in question is an absolute gentleman.  His family are lovely and having rented themselves before, they have left properties in a far better condition than they first took it.   As a result, they were disappointed with the way their former home had been left.   Looking over the property with an independent view, there was no doubt that the tenants had left it in a poorer condition than they took it.  However, when letting a property, furnished or unfurnished, the landlord is obliged to allow for “fair wear and tear” This is quantified by the number of occupants along with the length of the tenancy.

In this case, the landlord has been put off letting the property further, which is a shame as it would provide a very good income for him if he were to continue.   But it served to remind me that letting their home isn’t for everyone.  And to some people, the prospect of earning an extra income isn’t worth to them, the stress of managing tenants.

Tags: Estate agents, buy to let, tenant, furnished
Category: The danger of letting furnished
Paul McGuirk - 12/01/18
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Parkland Estates are members of The Property Ombudsman scheme, The National Association of Estate Agents, The National Federation of Property Professionals Client Money Protection Scheme and complies with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme using MyDeposits. These memberships ensure we adhere to strict codes of practice and provide sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants with an assurance that they will receive the highest level of customer service.
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