Finding it really hard to find tenants for my 3 bed flat in London. WHY?

Hi @ Donna28, thank you very much for your message.
Yeah I fully agree with you, but different people have different preferences.

All of our BTL properties comes fully furnished with average of £8-15k spent on interior designers putting the place together from windows dressing to bathroom mats. We never wanted to spend this extra as it did not add any value in terms of getting higher or above market price in comparison to unfurnished. But the agency convinced us to do it due to the location of the properties and the potential clientele that would attract which is basically mostly working professionals.

But now that we see the landscape changing, we will need to rethink our strategy and would be reconsidering adjusting, doing away with the furnitures for future lets if necessary.

Hi again @Donna28, I’ll like to point out that with regards to the hygiene you mentioned with furnished homes, all of our tenancies start with a professionally sanitised and deep cleaned home with steam cleaning of all mattresses, carpets, sofas, throws as well as deep cleaning of appliances (oven, microwave, dishwasher, water kettle etc).

But unfortunately most tenants never returned the property in the same condition and often refused to pay for the additional cleaning to bring the property to the same standard as they got it.

You need an HMO licence, not a Selective Licence. SL is for singles, couples and family lets.

We gradually changed our strategy from furnished to unfurnished over the past few years across our whole portfolio, by selling, donating or recycling furniture as and when tenancies ended. Renting furnished was a lot more work with no additional value compared to unfurnished, as you have found. This change in strategy has definitely made things a lot easier for us in the long term: no hassle with damage/wear & tear and replacing furniture, tenants not liking specific furnishing etc. Also as you mentioned, tenants will rarely do the additional deep cleaning on furnishings to the same standard as they received it. This topic is definitely a tricky one as there are different market segments with different preferences, I suppose it’s a matter of looking for the best fit for your specific property and locality. I would ask your agent to advertise and communicate to prospective tenants that the furnishings can be removed as per their preference, as this may receive more interest from those looking for unfurnished. Hope the viewings go well.

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Yes you’re right. We have a HMO Additional license for this, not selective

Thank you everyone for your suggestions. Happy to update that after 4 whole months and 4 days of void period, we finally have a signed TA. Not sure how the tenancy would be but we hope it would be good and for a long term. We intend to do all we can to keep tenants happy in their new home so they stay longer with us.

A big thank you to openrent team! After been all over the place with other competitors out of desperation, You “Openrent” are still the best! Thank you!