Furnished properties in London are more likely to be let quicker than unfurnished ones, according to one of the capital’s leading letting agents.


Benham & Reeves found that around 80% of the tenants on their books prefer fully-furnished properties.


Their research showed unfurnished properties can take 30% longer to let than a furnished equivalent, including new-builds and existing lettings.


Managing Director, Anita Mehra said furnishing a property could inject character into an otherwise uninspiring rented flat and could help a prospective tenant feel at home there as soon as they walked through the door.


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She said: “A new apartment may be a blank canvas but it lacks character – that homely feel. When a new building launches, there is a lot of competition from virtually identical units, so stylish furnishings allow a property to really shine and stand out from the crowd.


“If applicants can picture themselves living in the apartment, they are more likely to fall in love with it and make a swift offer” she said.


While most landlords understood the power of fixtures and fittings, it was important for them to factor these into the initial costs, an outlay that could be offset by making the property more attractive to tenants and so cutting down on the likelihood of void periods.


The cost of furnishing a flat or house would depend on the property’s target market, but Mehta said a rough guide would be approximately 1.5% of the value of the property. This budget would not only include sofas, beds, wardrobes and other large pieces of furniture but also accessories like lamps and even kitchen utensils.


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A professional with a good accommodation budget will expect “stylish, high quality furnishings to match their aspirations and reflect their status,” according to Mehta.


In contrast, Mehta said students will probably be content with a good, but more basic standard.


“If renters are paying top dollar, they expect their apartment to offer that luxury lifestyle – a sophisticated home where they can simply unpack their belongings and get on with their life” she said.


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