Top tips for furnishing a buy-to-let


Posted on Monday, December 14, 2020

Top tips for furnishing a buy-to-let

Here at FSS we help lots of property investors start their buy-to-let journey. Just as we give home staging advise to sellers before they list their property with our residential sales team, we also help landlords make the most of their properties to secure a good quality tenant.

Rental demand in Harrogate is particularly high at the moment. Read our article about tenants waiting for good properties to find out more about the local letting market.

It is worth remembering that over 95% of our demand from tenants is for unfurnished property. 

If you’re new to the buy to let market, you might be wondering how much money to spend on decorating and furnishing your property and whether your investment will pay off in terms of rental income.

How to decorate a buy-to-let  

Before you start thinking about furnishing your buy-to-let investment property, choose a clean, bright and neutral decorating scheme as a backdrop that any tenant can add their own style to.  

  • Avoid trends and bold features
  • Focus on light colours to give a sense of spaciousness
  • Choose practical colours for soft furnishings
  • Take time to make any outdoor spaces usable and attractive 

Why furnish your buy-to-let? 

The simple answer is that you don’t have to – and there are lots of tenants looking for unfurnished properties. There are also some that want a property that has everything in place, such as short-term tenants who are putting their own belongings into storage, those coming from overseas and professionals moving to the area for a project or contract. Good quality fixtures, fittings and furnishings can increase demand and yield.

Accessorising an unfurnished buy-to-let

If you decide not to furnish your buy-to-let, there are still things you can do to make it more appealing. Think about accessorising the bathroom and hallway with mirrors to increase the feeling of light and space. Bar stools in the kitchen allow people to visualise themselves relaxing in the property and simple, understated light shades always look homelier than bare bulbs.

Take time to tidy up paintwork and replace worn carpets, add extra storage where possible and make sure gardens and outdoor spaces are neat and tidy.

What furniture and furnishings should you include in a buy-to-let?

Whether you are furnishing your property or not, you will need to fit appliances such as fridge-freezers, cookers, dishwashers and washing machines. Curtain tracks, blinds and bathroom fittings are also nice touches that make the property feel ready to move into.

If you are furnishing from scratch then it is worth thinking about beds, wardrobes, lamps, dining furniture and sofas as a minimum.

Extra touches might include rugs, curtains, crockery, cutlery, a vacuum cleaner and side tables.

From a legal perspective, furniture must conform to the legal fire-resistant standard - all fabric furniture such as sofas and armchairs must have labels proving that they meet this standard.

Insuring your buy-to-let

We will make a detailed inventory of everything in the property before a tenancy starts and check it again at the end of the tenancy. We also carry out regular checks during a tenancy. However, it is advisable to protect your contents with landlord insurance.  Talk to us about this next time you call or read our advice on buy-to-let landlord insurance.