Choosing to rent out your property is a big step, requiring a lot of consideration. On the one hand, you can earn a decent income from rent; on the other, finding the right people to occupy your space and respect your belongings can be a real challenge.
You'll find renting your house much easier when you furnish the space. Still, you have to be extra diligent when renting out a furnished place versus an unfurnished room. Why? Well, when you rent out your home or apartment fully furnished, there's a big chance your tenants won't take care of your furniture as well as you could. Still, there are many upsides to renting furnished properties, so we'll go over some of the best tips to help you make sure your furnishings endure your tenants. We'll start by finding the right renters.
Suppose you've ever rented out a property before. In that case, you know that finding qualified applicants for your rental property can be a slog. During the screening process, you'll find several quality options only to learn some not-so-pretty marks on their past upon closer inspection. You'll feel tempted to give people a shot, but you have to remain diligent. Screen your applicants thoroughly to ensure you're renting to someone that will value the furniture and other property in the space you're renting out.
Let's face it; you aren't going to enjoy going through rental applications. Many landlords during the application process do not adequately check the applicant's references. This critical information provides valuable insights into how your renters will behave in the future in YOUR contract. As much as we dislike calling on references to check their history, this type of background check may save you thousands of dollars and hours you'd waste on terrible candidates.
To narrow the list of applicants to those ablest to cover damages, add an income requirement to your application. You'll sort through fewer applications and feel peace of mind knowing that your prospects can replace any damaged furniture should it happen. To solidify this point, add in a replacement clause to your lease agreement so that if the tenant damages anything of value, they are solely responsible for replacing it. As with any law binding contract, it is a good idea to have the contract drawn up by a lawyer and follow all landlords and renter laws in your state.
A security deposit is another excellent way to protect your rentals from your occupants. A deposit will allow the landlord to charge an upfront fee that guarantees anything goes wrong with the rental. The renter's deposit will pay for it. A deposit is usually the amount of the first month's rent. Still, you can require another separate deposit for the furnishings. Considering your furnishings' depreciating value beforehand will save you a significant amount of time and money over time. However, you should return the security deposit to the tenant if they manage to keep your furnishings pristine. Keep in mind that you'll need to consult with a lawyer before proceeding to make any rental contracts or rent agreements with lessees.
A short term lease agreement allows you to set a rental timeframe that works best for you. If your property's area has a high rental turnover because it is near a university or the area receives seasonal traffic, short term agreements work well. Also, with month to month leasing, the chances of your property becoming damaged lessen. People who rent month to month are typically people there in town for business or moving to a new city. They usually don't need a place to stay every long, and renting a fully furnished apartment is cheaper than staying in a hotel. While looking for new residents can be a hassle, at the same time, shorter-term agreements give you more security over your property. Another great thing you might find when renting on a short-term basis is that you will have plenty of opportunities to spot a good tenant. Since needs change, you can always change the agreement to a longer lease if necessary.
We mentioned previously how important it is to screen your tenants thoroughly before they move in. Still, we haven't yet covered how your property's perceived value might affect how your tenants treat the furnishings within the unit. Renters may place judgments based on the lot size, vicinity to shopping, the crime rate, the length of the commute to work or school, and or tons of other different factors. These factors may even affect how much landlords can charge for rent, especially in a low-income housing area. When you think it's time to rent out your home, think about the real estate market that your property belongs. If your house is in a good market and is favorable to the buying conditions above, then you should have no problem renting your home out. Additionally, if you decide to furnish the house, expect its perceived value to increase even more!
Taking out a homeowner's insurance policy on your included furnishing is a smart investment. As a landlord, you have to do your part to provide quality furnishings to make your tenants happy while also protecting your property from damage caused by tenants. With the proper insurance plan, your property is taken care of no matter the circumstance.
While nobody likes to think about the aftermath of a natural disaster, fires, or flooding, among the most common reasons for needing to protect your furnishings has nothing to do with your tenants at all.
If you've done your proper due diligence, you may not encounter horrible tenants, but the risk still applies. The hard truth is, anything can happen to your property, so having insurance is crucial in covering yourself from losses caused by any of the above.
There are other forms of insurance you should take as well, which don't involve paying a middleman a hefty sum. For example, a great form of insurance is to capture high quality, detailed photos of your items to guarantee the property's quality before the tenant first enters the home. When tenants are the reason your items show damage, your photos provide proof of the action in the event you need to settle in court.
To provide a little extra protection, you can also require your tenants to take on a renters' insurance policy on their property. Assuming you make this a requirement, you could add this cost as part of the rent to cover all items, even the tenants'. An agreement in which you both have skin in the game will improve your relationship and build trust with the tenant.
Part of building and maintaining trust with your tenants involves checking in on them periodically. While this may seem a bit obvious to some, many landlords do not wish to engage with their tenants because they may fear doing so will result in costly repairs. Even with this risk, make sure you communicate regularly with your tenant, and they'll stick around for longer durations.
Many housing authorities perform monthly to annual inspections to ensure tenants are following designated rental procedures. You don't need to go as far as this. Remember, you want your tenants to treat your property with respect, so don't give them a reason to hate you. Think about the number of HOAs that people like.
As a landlord, you may want to email or text your tenants with ample time for them to prepare for your arrival. Tell them you are doing a quarterly or annual property damage inspection to log any damages that need repairs for the tenant's benefit. You can also take this time to ask the tenant if there is anything they've noticed that needs attention. When it comes to real estate property, acknowledging and tackling early problems can prevent costly repairs later on.
Keep in mind that before you tack on any costs to the renters' bill, check with your lawyer to see what he/she says about this from a legal standpoint.
One great way to see how your property is doing without causing tensions with your tenant is to pay for a cleaning service on behalf of your tenant. You can instruct your cleaners to take photos of the property and report back to you anything that is noteworthy. Not only will you learn the state of your furnished home, sending in a cleaning service to the house will improve your relationship and communication with your tenant. You want your furnishings to outlast your tenant, so it's essential to have a cleaning service maintain your property routinely. Once you have a cleaning service established, let the tenant know before the cleaners enter the apartment/house. A monthly or quarterly cleaning service can be added to the lease contract or included as part of the application. If you choose to take on cleaning and maintenance costs, you'll have leverage over other landlords. But you can also tack on the fees of cleaning to the monthly rent outright should you choose.
The first thing to decide is what type of furnished rental to proceed with.
A "turnkey" furnished rental includes all basic move-in ready essentials, but with added benefits such as bedsheets, silverware, and things like plates.
A basic or regular furnished rental includes necessities like an oven, microwave, and refrigerator, and other comfortable living things like sofas, beds, dining room table, and chairs. It will not include bed sheets, towels, silverware, cookware, etc.
A "turnkey" rental method will get you, tenants, faster. It will enable higher rent amounts compared to a basic furnished rental. Still, both are more attractive to tenants than renting out an unfurnished barebones rental. Most renters looking for move-in-ready rentals flock to a "turnkey" rental because it means they don't have to buy as much to begin settling in.
A great way to add value to a furnished rental property is to add luxury items like a television or additional kitchen appliances like a coffee maker or blender. For some great ideas on types of luxury items, you can add that won't break the bank, check out your market's local Air BnB listings and see what they include within their rentals.
Wise Landlords who rent out furnished apartments know that quality furniture matters. High-quality furnishings outlive the tenants who rent from the apartment, room, or house in most cases. Providing quality furniture does not have to mean it has to be expensive. There are plenty of affordable places to buy, or even rent, useful quality items that won't break the bank.
When it comes to looking for high-quality furnishings like a sofa, for example, start with the frame. The sofa's frame is essential since it will support the person using it: the heavier the structure, the more robust the furniture. Beyond a sturdy frame is the outer material. If the couch feels and looks aesthetically pleasing, the tenant will treat it with more care. However, accidents do happen, so it's usually best to choose sofas with easy to clean and maintain materials on the spot.
When considering what types of furniture to place in your furnished listing, you'll have to think about how easy it is to clean and maintain. Fortunately, slipcovers make protecting your couches and chairs a no-brainer. Slipcovers not only look great, but they are also easy to clean and are aesthetically pleasing. What's more, you or your tenant can easily swap out a couch cover when the mood strikes, like for holiday decor or an open house. There are even slipcovers made to protect from pets, as well.
At Miracle Sofa, we have a wide selection of styles and options sure to suit anyone!
If you are a landlord, investing in slipcovers is a great way to showcase a furnished apartment and include it to make sure your furniture endures your tenants.
Our slipcovers look fantastic in any living room and dining room. They are great to use on futons in guest rooms, so they are perfect for protecting rentals' furniture. Our slipcovers are also machine washable to make clean up a breeze.
To get the best experience with our slipcovers, check our sizing guide to make sure it fits perfectly.
As a landlord who's renting out a furnished home, you'll need to learn innovative ways to make sure your furnished items last longer than the tenants who rent from you. There is no greater satisfaction than not having to worry about damage to your belongings. We hope you found this information useful. If you did, please share it with a friend or colleague who is a landlord.
In this article, we covered ways to help you find the right applicants, that you're covered in the event of a natural disaster, and that you place the right furnishings within your rental property. In addition to protecting your furniture, we hope you consider a Miracle Sofa for all of your future furnished rentals.