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How much does it really cost to furnish a rental property?

£5,632. You’d be questioning me if I said that, right? Of course, the answer is a touch more complex than that.

However, you can easily calculate how much it costs to furnish your rental property by using the formula below.

Write a list of what you need

You will need different items based on your ideal tenant. For a very basic property aimed at short-lets or students, you might be alright with just a dining set, a sofa and a bed for each bedroom, given that you have some built-in wardrobes already.

If you want to let your property long-term, you need to make sure your tenants are comfortable and give them a bit extra.

Think coffee and side tables, a floor lamp, an armchair and a rug for the living room, and bedside tables and lights, a dressing table and a stool as well as a chest of drawers for the bedroom.

Finishing touches

If you're trying to set yourself apart from the competition, aiming for a premium on the rental income or if your property is in an upmarket area, you should consider adding accessories.

Mirrors, artwork, plants and cushions can take interiors to the next level and they cost much less than sofas and beds.

How much does it really cost to furnish a rental property?

Spreadsheet love

Set yourself up a spreadsheet and write down what you need in each room so that you don't miss anything out.

At the very minimum, for a suitable look and quality you can get a sofa for £1,200, a dining table for £400, chairs for £100 each, a bed for £800, a mattress for £400, bedside tables for £200 and lights for £75 each.

If you want to save somewhere, think of items that you need multiples of; a £25 saving on 4 dining chairs adds up to £100.

The final numbers

According to the above calculations, you can furnish a living room and kitchen for £2,000 and each bedroom for £1,750, so a typical two-bed would set you back £5,500.

Of course, these are approximate figures and you might be able to get many items on sale or second hand for less. It's also possible that you won't find anything that suits the style of the space and have to spend a little more.

Add some contingency in case an item arrives damaged or in the wrong finish and needs to be sent back.

Go for a package deal

If you don't have the time to shop around, you can opt for a bespoke furniture package. At Temza we offer packages for different budgets, starting from £10,000.

When choosing the package deal consider a few factors: 

- Quality of the items

It might be difficult to check the quality of the furniture you are receiving within the package. If possible, ask your supplier to provide you with the names of the furniture and arrange warranties.

- Flexibility to change some items, materials and colours

With properties being awkward shapes, you need a bit of flexibility in the furniture you choose. One space will benefit from a smaller sofa, another from bold colours. It all depends on the property and your potential tenant. 

- Design and style of the package

Many companies specialising on furniture packages buy items in bulk, which makes it cheaper for them. However, you will notice that the overall design of the package will be outdated and very standard.

Make sure you choose something which is on trend and what will make your property stand out. At the end of the day, the main purpose of furnishing is to increase your rental income and make it rent quicker.

How much does it really cost to furnish a rental property?

You have to spend some to earn some

All things considered, investing more into furniture will mean that it will last you longer, look better in and your property will be let quicker as well.

Tenants appreciate a nicely furnished property and will take better care of the surroundings in general. If the furniture looks outdated and cheap, don't expect them to go out of their way keep the place nice.

Pitfalls

Delivery costs

A couple of things can mess up your calculations badly, so make sure you account for these from the beginning. One is delivery costs, and a good way to avoid it is order to many items from the same company as they usually offer free shipping if you spend a certain amount. Otherwise, just include the delivery costs in your calculations from the beginning.

Assembly costs

The other unaccounted expense is assembly, so check carefully which items come assembled and what needs to be put together.

Try to get an idea if items are completely flat packed or if the legs just need to be screwed on. This will help you to estimate how much time it will take to assemble and how much that will cost you.

*Sonia Pash is the founder of Temza interior design and build

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