If you’re are renting your house or condo in Ottawa, chances are at some point you’ll be considering a furnished vs. unfurnished lease.  Each option has its pros and cons. 

The bottom line is that most places will perform better unfurnished because almost all potential renters already have their own furnishings.
Most tenants will also want to make their leased property their home by decorating and furnishing it themselves.  There are exceptions, and you should do your own market research to determine which is best in your situation.

We, as your REALTORS® would always recommend that you consider renting your property unfinished, and here is why:

  • Much smaller pool of potential tenants: Generally speaking, the market for people looking for furnished apartments is much smaller than those looking for unfurnished. So the quality of the tenant and the price they are paying may be great, but it might take a little longer to find them.
  • Potential damage to furniture: Furnishing an apartment means that there is more potential for damage, which means a greater financial burden if tenants do not take care of the property and the furnishings inside it. That would lead to higher likelihood of Landlord – Renter disputes.
  • Higher maintenance costs to deal with furniture cleaning between tenants and furniture life-cycle replacements due to normal wear and tear. Repair and replacement responsibilities increase with a furnished apartment as landlords must watch out for actual damages and stay ahead of normal wear and tear. If you’ve provided all the furnishings and kitchenware, you’ll be responsible for maintaining them and replacing these items as necessary.
  • More complicated move-in and move-out inspections covering furniture condition. You would need to do a complete and detailed inventory of every single thing that would remain in the unit.
  • Furnished properties do tend to attract tenants that are generally interested in renting for a short period of time because they are more likely to be transitory, due to job transfers, school graduation or life changes.. That means more frequent time, money and effort needed from you to search for other potential tenants.
  • Every Tenant has its own taste and style so you need to rent a property with furniture and accessories that are universally appealing and timeless – modern renters may not appreciate a brown and yellow overstuffed chesterfield.

In summary, rentals that require tenants to provide their own furnishings and belongings means there’s more effort and commitment involved. This means you can attract tenants with the intent to stay long-term. So it’s less effort on your part to go through the hassle of frequently searching for tenants. This also means that what they bring, they are responsible for. So less stress, maintenance and cost for you. And since the apartment is furnished with what they own, they’ll be more inclined to be respectful towards the property. That’s why we recommend the rent your place unfurnished, if possible.

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