Written by Lewis Ridley
Updated over a week ago
Even when it comes to an unfurnished property, it can still be a challenge to know what you need to include. Especially if you’re inexperienced or if this is your first investment property.
To help, this article will run through some of the absolute basics of what landlords should be providing in an unfurnished property.
There are several basic rules and regulations a landlord must follow to make sure the property is habitable and safe for tenants. This involves including a number of items in the unfurnished property before the tenants arrives.
- Basic security, such as door, windows, and gates
- All gas and electric equipment must be checked with safety certificates provided
- Smoke alarms need fitting on every floor
- Carbon monoxide alarms need to be fitted in any area involved in heating and cooking
- Central heating and radiators
- Light fittings (that are maintained by an electrician)
- Clean, hot water and sanitation facilities (toilet, shower, etc.)
- Cooker and a hob
As well as basic objects like smoke alarms, you’re legally required to also provide these for the new tenant(s):
- An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property
- An Assured Shorthold Tenancy contract
- Provide essential information along with the keys
- A government-approved deposit scheme
- A ‘how-to’ rent guide
To ensure you’re providing a safe environment for your tenant to live, familiarise yourself with the 29 hazards listed out by Stafford Council here.
As well as legal obligation, there are a number of items you should probably include to make sure the property actually gets rented out. You don’t want to provide close to nothing in the property because you have to remember you’re in competition with other landlords out there.
You want to be providing as much value as possible, even if the property you’re offering is unfurnished. Here are some things you should include to increase the attractiveness of your rental property:
‘White goods’ is a term used to describe the larger appliances you’d tend to find in a property. These include things like fridges, freezers, washing machines, dishwashers, and more.
It can generally be a good idea to include these in an unfurnished property. Landlords are under no legal obligation to do so. However, having them can greatly increase the possibility of finding a tenant.
When tenants are viewing the marketplace, they’re going to want a property that has the bulky items sorted. White goods tend to be the most expensive items in a house and are a pain to install.
By having them readily available, you make your properties more attractive and rentable. The more you can include, the better.
Curtains and blinds are another item that isn’t required by law to be added to unfurnished properties. However, having them will save a lot of hassle for new tenants.
Curtains and blinds can be expensive to both purchase and install. It is better, as a landlord, to have this sorted before the tenant moves in. Simply pick a neutral tone and include them on each window in the house.
Similar to the white goods, blinds and curtains will make the property more attractive to potential renters, as it’s another thing they won’t have to worry about.
Surprisingly, flooring isn’t a legal requirement. However, you need to have some laid down if you’re looking to attract a tenant fast.
There are a lot of cheap flooring options available, including easy-to-install options like LTV. You can also opt for carpet if you’re looking to kit out the rooms.
Flooring can be difficult to instal and if you leave this to the tenant, they might damage your home. It’s best to leave the heavier work like carpet and floor laying to landlord, where damages can be minimised.
Legally, landlords must provide an oven and hob. However, there is no legal obligation to provide kitchen fittings and appliances. However, it is something you should definitely consider before advertising your property.
Including simple appliances like a kettle, toaster, and a microwave can go a long way when you’re looking for a tenant. Additionally, plenty of cupboard space is also attractive, especially as the individuals looking at unfurnished properties are likely to be young couples and families.
With bills on the rise, it’s important to make sure your home is as eco-friendly as possible. This will both help your tenants save money their bills but also make it more attractive, helping it to rent.
You can include things like double/triple glazed windows, adding a combi saver on the boiler to heat water quicker, and even installing a new boiler. There is also a Green Homes Grant you can get to help pay for these helpful extras.
Try investing more in green and bill-saving accessories. The environment and your tenants will both appreciate it. If you’re looking to learn how to make your rental properties greener, see our knowledge centre.
As well as items you must and should add, there are also optional extras that will just make your tenants lives so much easier. These tend to be smaller items that would a tenant might need from day one.
- Dustbins and Recycling Bins: When your tenants first move in, chances are high they’ll have a lot of new furniture and purchases on the way. This means they’ll have a lot of rubbish. Provide a bin and sort out the recycling bins from the council to make sure they don’t have to do any tip runs.
- Doormat: Although a simple thing, a doormat will prevent any mud or dirt getting tracked into the house. Thus, protecting your flooring and keeping the tenant happy.
- Cleaning Supplies: Things like a mop, bucket, and brush are going to be needed. They also help keep your property clean. By helping the tenants keep the place clean, you build a good relationship early and it reduces the need for cleaners when they move out.
- Bathroom Mirror: A bathroom mirror is often forgotten, despite them being a pain to install. Provide one for your tenants or offer to put theirs up. It’ll prevent them having to manually install it, reducing damage.
- Hoover: Although this is something a tenant might bring with them, it’s nice to have to help them clean up any mess whilst they’re unpacking.
There are a ton of nice gestures you could do to make your tenants transition into your property as smooth as possible. You could even buy a few essentials, like toilet paper or kitchen roll, to build rapport early.
The above, however, will be fine if you’re starting out as a landlord for the first time.
An unfurnished property shouldn’t be left as a hollow shell. You need to add a few essentials by law, and kit it out with white goods and other important accessories if you want to make sure it rents.
The above tips will help you rent your unfurnished property, making sure nothing is missed. If you need further advice on furnishing a property, see our knowledge base now.
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