Should I furnish my very hard to rent unit??

I have a duplex and the upper level is a VERY small 2 bedroom. It is been very difficult to rent mainly because it would be nearly impossible for people to put their bed sets and couches in there. I am considering furnishing this unit and perhaps mounting a flat screen TV, and providing smaller furniture.
I am hoping that some of you could provide me with your experience regarding furnished units. What shall I do differently in the rental agreement? bigger deposit? Pros and Cons?
Your input is greatly appreciated, as always!

How much is the rent? Unless this is a high rent type of rental, I certainly would not put a flat screen tv in the unit for someone to destroy or steal.


I concur with PM. Is it possible to remodel the apt to make it a 1 bedroom that has a little elbow room or possibly a studio that is completely open? I would think that it would be more cost effective in the long run if you could move or take out some walls and make it more open. Remember that even if a 1 bedroom rents for less money than a 2 bedroom, it is still more than an unrented apartment.


Finally someone who is speaking my language!

propertymanager is correct in that you must be in a middle-income section of town to have a furnished unit.
Otherwise, your market would be poor senior citizens and the 2nd story rules that out. It would be great to put in a dormer or enlarge the space, but maybe not financially realistic just now.

So, if you can rent to traveling workers, nurses, etc. put an ad in the paper and test that market. Also, the local Chamber of Commerce has visitors coming to inquire about rentals. I have had lots of referrals from them.

Definitely go for the flat-screen TV, it’s all we are buying now. You can mount it on the wall on a swivel arm and free up lots of floor space. Put in a queen bed even if it has to touch the wall. No footboard, eats up space.
A round table and 2 chairs on wheels work great. Steal ideas from hotels, they know what they are doing. Furnish everything including dishes, linens. Hang nice art (thrift store). Make that whole little place pop with good wall color, regional touches, plush bath rugs.
I recommend sleeping in the place, showering, etc. It’s how you know what is needed. Sometimes family can be “testers”.

You should be able to get MUCH HIGHER RENT. You will pay utilities of course.

I’d be interested in knowing how it goes. I only do furnished rentals, but don’t know of anyone else doing this.


Just re-read your post. Yes, it may be better to make it a roomy one-bedroom but still keep it furnished. You don’t really want kids anyway.

The rental agreement can be fairly standard. Except your tenant may well be a corporation or agency. So you won’t worry as much about evictions. We have not had an eviction in 4 years with 45 rentals.

I recommend getting a credit card machine for Visa, MC. Your local bank can help you. Remember your competition is not other rental apartments. Your competition is the hotels. Do what they do.

We get $400 deposit on studios and 1-bedrooms, $500 on 2-3 bedrooms.
Or we just keep the credit card on file if it is a repeat customer. We don’t worry much about theft or damage as it is minimal. We just had a TV stolen for the 1st time ever. It was a drugged-out nurse and her boyfriend. Her agency fired her, apologized profusely (I had warned them when I saw her) and immediately paid for the TV, etc. Then they replaced her with another nurse.

What are you going to charge? Make a survey of your local hotels, from fleabag to Marriot. You need to be under the good hotels in price. After all, you don’t serve breakfast. (but do supply your unit with coffee, creamer, sugar for the first days)

Good luck and let us know how your furnished rental goes.

If furnished doesn’t work in your area, or at the rent level of your place, it is often worthwhile to stage apartments that are differently shaped.

That give the applicants a chance to see how the place can be decorated. Often, if they look at a place that isn’t standard, they can’t figure out how to get their furniture into it.

Fantastic to hear from furnishedowner, I think you have a great thing going with the furnished rentals. You got my wheels turning.
I have decided to not furnish this unit being as the area is lower income and I am not going to take my chances. I just love to hear Mike (propertymanagers) advice…so honest.
Thanks again, your advice is always appreciated!