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One of the hardest decisions an owner must make is whether to put their property on the rental market as furnished of unfurnished.
For rental brokers serving the (expat) business community, typically around 85% of clients request furnished accommodations and 15% unfurnished. Without a doubt, furnishing your property provides access to a larger pool of prospective tenants. However, although there are fewer of them, clients who prefer unfurnished are typically - although not always - planning from the outset to stay longer in the Netherlands and therefore are prepared to bring their own furnishings. Dutch tenants, families and expats who have already lived in The Netherlands for a while, tend to look for unfurnished accommodations.
The following considerations are usually made by owners who intend to rent out a furnished property:
The atmosphere created by a property's furnishings determines its 'rentability' much more than location, size or layout. In other words, don't skimp on the interior if you want to appeal to the upper end of the market.
And remember, the quality and condition of your furnishings also influences the care with which people treat the contents of your property: if furnishings appear looked after, people are more likely to look after them themselves.
Tenants want to move into clean homes and many are unwilling to rent accommodation with carpets. Not all tenants will have this demand, but installing wooden floors, for example, can help increase your chances of quickly renting your property.
The most frequently stated reason for a tenant to reject a property is lack of cleanliness or simply an presenting an untidy property at a viewing.
When furnishing your property, keep it simple and aim for neutrality. Everyone has different tastes, and a neutral style appeals to a broader audience and can more easily be personalized by new tenants.
Tenants expect modern appliances and conveniences. Flat screen TVs and microwaves are standard. As a minimum, toasters and coffee makers should be new (or immaculately cleaned). Also, select cutlery and other basics that are easily replaceable, as these types of things often go missing or get broken.
The Dutch housing market is highly regulated and the points system allows property furnishings to be depreciated over 60 months. The type and quality of furnishings contributes to the total number of points and, therefore, the allowable rental price. Owners are advised to keep receipts for all furnishings, which may be need to justify the furnishing component of the monthly rental charge.
Most tenants want to rent an accommodation that includes working internet and tv. Tenants know that requesting this themselves can be a tedious job, especially if you are new to The Netherlands.
The same goes for gas, water and electricity. The advance payment for the utilities will be added to the rent and is stipulated in the rental contract. When the tenant moves in, meter readings will be noted during the check in of the property. At the end of the contract, meter readings are taken again and your rental broker will present a calculation of the actual usage of the tenant. When the tenant has used more than the advanced payment, the exceeded amount will be taken out of his deposit.
Some owners put their unfurnished property on the market with the caveat that they will provide full furnishing if a tenant requests it. Although this approach reaches more tenants looking for furnished and unfurnished properties, it excludes the tenants that want to move in immediately or within one week time. It is very important to make clear what quality of furniture a tenant may expect and a precise planning of furnishing the property.
Alternatively, owners who market a furnished property and provide the option for removing furnishings may appeal to more prospective tenants. However, before offering this option, bear in mind the effort involved in emptying a property and storing its contents.
One of our property partners can provide an inventory template for owners furnishing a property to use as a guideline. While not all the items on the list are necessary, it can help to focus investments and furnishing efforts. We also work with third-party stylists who can provide property styling and furnishing expertise (for a fee) to help optimize rental returns.
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