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What items to include in an unfurnished property


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Hi

We are just completing on 2 new build properties this week which we intend to rent out (they are our first) and both come online at the same time so it's all systems go here.

Can I ask advice on if we have to supply blinds/curtains or just the poles to hang them? Also should we be providing washing machine/fridge freezer if not built in?

Is there anything else we need to consider regarding decor.

Many Thanks

Newbies Zoë & Sam.

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Zoe & Sam hi,

 

Unfurnished is pretty much what it says it is but you are right in thinking that there are some things that most tenants will look to have:  Hopefully the builders will have provided carpets and reasonable paint on the walls, but don't bank on it.  It is very common for new build to use the cheapest materials - particularly floor coverings and this means that they are unlikely to last.  Very often they will also use unpractical colours - ie cream or very pale and these do not last much distance for tenants (or home buyers alike!) - if you still have a choice go for a short pile carpet in a flecked mid-brown as these tend to hide marking and last longer.

 

Carpets need to be at least felt backed or put down a mid-range underlay as it helps the carpet last longer and feels better for tenants.  Again vinyl floors can be very thin and it is better to pay a bit more for a better quality floor as it will last longer.  If you go for laminate floors these are seen as clean and hygienic but they are noisy, slippery and if at the cheaper end of the range they tend to de-laminate at the edges and look tatty very quickly.  Never put carpet in the kitchen or bathroom facilities as they are impossible for tenants to keep clean - always use cushioned vinyl or ceramic tiles

 

In the kitchen I would recommend to only have cooking equipment either separate hob (gas if possible) and fan oven or a stand alone cooker.  In my opinion the separates are better as they are cheaper to replace individually when they wear out.  Again, try and avoid the budget ranges as they do not last and look shabby very quickly - always go for a known brand name and go mid range pricewise.  Ceramic hobs look better for longer as the metallic rings quickly look scabby.

 

Associated with cooking is an extractor fan - not all builders provide them in a kitchen and this will significantly increase the moisture levels in the property and can lead to mould formation and faster deterioration of the internal decoration.  Mould is a significant problem in many many rented properties.  An extractor fan needs to exhaust outside to remove the moisture from the property.  Check where the fan exhausts to as very often they can only be recycling units removing the fat particles in the filter but not doing anything about moisture removal.

 

Make sure there is space for a fridge freezer and if there is no utility room there needs to be the space and fittings for a washing machine (don't forget to make sure there are suitable holes in the side of fitted units for the pipes to be connected.  Depending on the market you are catering for there should also be space for a dishwasher.  I try to dissuade landlords from adding additional white goods as there is no tax benefit to it and once in place the landlord is responsible for replacing broken items.  Most tenants travel with fridges and washing machines but because so many rented properties have cooking facilities provided they do not have cookers and so not to have one can be a negative factor in attracting tenants.

 

If your property has a utility room you need to have space for a washing machine and a tumble dryer.  Like extractor fans you need to have ducting available to exhaust the moist air from the property.  Contrary to popular belief the condensing tumble dryers do not remove all the moisture from the air they exhaust and are a significant source of extra moisture in the property - if you can I would ban the tenant from having one!

 

The only other must to have is to have as a minimum a shower over the bath so that there is a choice of both.  Bath or shower only is increasingly a negative feature although shower I think is better than bath only.  As with the kitchen I would also always have an extractor fan in the bathroom and fit one that has a decent air flow.  Again the cheap fans are false economy - you want your tenants to get rid of the moisture as quickly as possible and cheap fans have a very poor flow rates.

 

The other items to provide in a bathroom setting are a wall mounted mirror over the basin and a basic loo roll holder and a towel rail of some sort.

 

A fitting that many overlook are door stops behind internal doors to prevent the handle banging into the wall and damaging it.  So many walls are stud walls and these damage easily. If you have not provided a suitable stop a deposit dispute is likely to side with the tenant as a prevention system was not provided.  They cost pennies and save £££s in damage.

 

Window fittings are always tricky to judge - if you do not provide them most tenants will want some fitted as most people want to shut out the outside world from people looking in. The best option I have seen is to provide vertical blinds in all the over-looked windows and a curtain pole with hanging rings (plastic tracks do not seem to last the rigours of tenants!) so that they have the option of putting up their own curtains if they wish.  The absolute minimum is to have wooden battens fitted over window openings so that the tenants can put up poles of their choice.  If not you will get all sorts of weird holes in and around the window openings!

 

Outside I would provide the following:

 

Outside storage - either a garage or storage shed as most tenants have "stuff" inc bikes tools etc - and if there is a garden there needs to be somewhere for mowers, tools etc. If buying a shed make sure the door fittings are tamper proof and any windows have a grill over them - I had a landlord provide a shed with normal hinges and burglars simply unscrewed the hinges leaving the padlock in place and removed the contents.  The first thing the tenant knew about it was when he opened the door by the padlock and the whole door fell out of the hole! :huh: the screws were neatly lined up just inside the door :D

A washing line facility - wall fixings, stand alone poles or rotary will do depending on space - and don't forget to order wheelie bins from the local council.

 

I hope this helps - good luck with your new venture

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Wow Thanks Tim for the detailed reply. Some great points we'd not even considered but totally make sense.

Both of our new properties have completed now so it's full steam ahead with getting them advertised and tenant ready.

Could I also ask about the following: one of the properties has 2 bathrooms. One has a shower cubicle and the other has a bath with a hand held shower head attachment but no shower screen. Would the general consensus be to take out the mixer tap/shower head or keep it and put up a shower screen?

Many thanks

Zoë & Sam

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Zoe & Sam

 

Happy to help - regarding the bath shower attachment, certainly don't take it off.  The budget option is to put up a shower curtain pole

It does however depend on the type of tenancy you are offering - if you are looking towards the top end of the rental market I would recommend preparing the properties to the standard of tenant.  

 

A well presented property is always going to rent faster and be attractive to good tenants - but you will still need to make sure you reference check the applicants properly. This is a critical area too many investor landlords skimp on and regret later.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Agree with Tim especially regarding bathroom and kitchen extractors.

If you are fitting them install ones with humidity sensors that work automatically. Tenants have a habit of turning them off so an inconveniently placed isolation swich is a good idea.

I always supply curtail poles/rails. If you dont tenants will fit their own and remove them at the end of the tenancy. This leaves you with a mess to fix and a deposit argument. Same logic goes for bathroom fittings. Providing these will be looked upon favourably by most tenants.

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  • 1 year later...

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