Renting out a furnished flat

If you were one of the many thousands of people who did a buy to let in the early 2000s and now have a flat sitting idle as there are just too many rental properties out there, the best thing you can do is get it let as quickly as possible.

If your flat has been vacant for a while, when others in the same area seem to get new tenants, there must be a reason. When did you last go round there and look at it with a stranger’s eyes? You may have decorated it really nicely a decade ago, but does it still look good, or is it tired and in need of a little TLC?

Potential tenants have so many places to choose from that they would be foolish not to choose the best decorated and cleanest flat that they see. And if they’re looking for a furnished flat, they won’t want to make do with somebody else’s cast off furniture.

Cast a critical eye over what you’ve got in your rental property, and if you find it hard to objective, ask someone who you trust to be candid. Anything that needs replacing should be binned rather than repaired. There is plenty of cheap furniture available today – there is a lot of competition amongst retailers and there’s always a sale on somewhere. Cheap furniture can still be reasonable quality. The important thing to remember when picking furniture for a rental flat is to choose robust items that will take a bit of wear and tear. Tenants can’t be guaranteed to treat the landlord’s furniture with kid gloves.

A leather sofa can be a good choice for a rental flat. They’re pretty hardwearing and retain their shape well. Any spills can be wiped up with a cloth and, unlike fabric sofas, they are less likely to get stained.

Once you’ve kitted out your flat with some new furniture, given it a spring clean and repainted it, you should find that a new tenant will snap the property up, meaning you can start to earn money from the place again.