29th October 2016
There is no legal definition of furnished, unfurnished or even part-furnished in the UK – these are terms that have come about through industry custom and practice, in reality there is no exact specification or industry standard. What is defined, is that certain furnishings supplied must meet fire safety standards; and it’s in your interest as a landlord to ensure that your furniture and furnishings meet legal requirements.
Landlords and tenants should be aware that what is present and accepted by the tenants at the viewing and on entry is what is to be provided, unless otherwise agreed. If the landlord promises extra items or to carry out extra work, then this must be complied with as it forms the basis of the contract. Failing to provide promised items or services could result in the tenancy agreement being set aside on the grounds of misrepresentation. The inventory records the items provided and their condition; many inventories now provide a photographic record. It is then signed by both parties preventing later disagreements, as the tenancy is then based on those items actually provided and accepted as part of the contract.
A landlord guide:
Unfurnished – many tenants prefer unfurnished (or part furnished), they bring their own furniture and prefer to use their own items, particularly beds. Even unfurnished generally means that carpets, curtains and some white goods (i.e. fridge, cooker) are included.
Part-furnished – here you would expect to see the basics as above, but with perhaps the addition of items such as wardrobes, dining table and chairs etc, but not beds, three-piece suites, TV, dish washers, washing machines etc.
Furnished or Fully Furnished – this is according to the landlord’s discretion, and to some extent by negotiation, as to the standard and amount of furniture required by your target tenant group. In a fully furnished letting you would expect to see similar to the above with the addition of beds, three-piece suites – in fact everything needed to make a comfortable living home: crockery, cutlery, towels, bedding etc.; however even with fully furnished, high end lettings may be subject to negotiation and some of these items might not always be provided. When you have viewings of a property, while still tenanted, point out to the potential new tenants exactly what is to be included and excluded and discuss requirements then. If you are willing to be flexible as a landlord, for example removing and storing unwanted items or adding additional items as required, you will increase your chances of letting quickly, thereby increasing your annual rental income.
Allow our lettings team to guide you through the furnishing regulations and requirements; we can arrange to have apartments furnished or even unfurnished in a matter of days.