Deciding if you want to rent out your property furnished or unfurnished is sometimes a difficult choice. Landlords should take into consideration the market demand as well as their own circumstances, in order to make sure their properties are always rented. There’s really no wrong answer.
However, typically it’s apartments that are furnished whereas larger houses are usually unfurnished. If you have questions it’s never a bad idea to speak with a local rental agent to determine demand in the area. Read on to learn a bit more about furnished properties.
1. What Defines a Property as “Furnished”?
There’s no official definition as to what constitutes a furnished property, but most tenants will assume that a furnished apartment will include:
- a bed, dresser, and/or wardrobe if there’s no closet in the bedroom;
- a table and chairs if there’s a dining room or space for it;
- a sofa in the living room;
- appliances in the kitchen and possibly washer and dryer as well;
- Wi-Fi; and
- curtains, carpets, and other soft furnishings.
If you decide to rent out your property furnished, you need to make sure all furniture meets safety standards. If you advertise your property as “fully furnished,” tenants will expect it to include everything they will need for day-to-day living, like a TV and cable or satellite; cooking utensils; small appliances like microwave and toaster, kettle, and coffee machine; dishes; and flatware.
It’s up to you if you want to offer the bedding and towels, as well. Some landlords might also choose to offer a cleaning service that either comes included in the rental cost or for a fee should the tenant decide to accept the service.
2. Benefits of Renting Out a Furnished Property
If you already have furniture in the apartment or house it is a lot less work since you don’t have to move it all out.
Other benefits include:
- You can usually ask for more money than an unfurnished apartment.
- It saves tenants money since they don’t have to purchase or supply their own furniture.
- Your property might rent out faster depending on demand.
- Once the tenancy is over you will still own the furniture, which you can use for yourself or sell, if you like.
3. Benefits of Rending Out an Unfurnished Property
Unfurnished apartments and houses will attract tenants who already have their own furniture.
Other benefits include:
- You save money as you don’t need to buy or maintain any furniture.
- If you decide to sell the property you don’t have to worry about arranging to move out all the furniture upon closing.
- You won’t have the same concerns about general wear and tear if the tenant provides his or her own furniture and other furnishings.
4. Laws Regarding Furnished Rentals
In Ontario, all additional fees or deposits are illegal except for last month’s rent and for anything like additional keys, key card deposits, a fee for transferring between units if it’s the tenant’s request, or NSF fees for bounced cheques.
Cities have their own additional by-laws and rules that affect suites within houses, which are defined as “self-contained rental units in a detached or semi-detached house.” To be considered as a legal apartment, the landlord has to ensure the apartment meets certain occupancy standards, property standards, zoning requirements, health and safety requirements, and fire and electrical codes.
5. Rent Prices in Toronto
According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, monthly rent prices for condos and apartments in Toronto at the end of 2017 averaged to:
- between $1,676 and $1687 for bachelor apartments;
- $2,036 to $2,083 for a 1-bedroom apartment;
- $2,795 to $2,940 for a 2-bedroom apartment; and
- $3,453 to $4,481 for a 3-bedroom apartment.