Furnish living room of Rental Property?
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Thread: Furnish living room of Rental Property?

  1. #1
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    Furnish living room of Rental Property?

    Was wondering if any landlord or even people who would think of renting consider furnishing a rental unit a benefit?

    Bought a small property in the GTA. Very small. A condo alternative type place. Detached but just 1 floor. No basement (crawlspace). I want to market it in a way where it will make a potential tenant enticed to rent the unit. I've already decided the deck out back is a key seller so I'll be looking to furnish it with a nice, more expensive patio chair set and nice little bbq (i.e. Weber or Napoleon). Will also look to provide a small dining table for the eat in area.

    However, for the main living room, which again is condo sized, I'm wondering if furnishing with a sofa and coffee table is a good idea? The thinking is it would attract first time renters (downside is inexperienced renter will complain more), or those from out of town the hassle of buying something new in a living space that won't be their forever home.

    Or do tenants always have and prefer their own sofa. And if a 2nd tenant comes in, they would not want to use a 'used' sofa.

    I'm thinking of taking pictures, furnished with a small, light set I have. But then possibility negotiating, if the tenant really wants it furnished, and they plan to stay long-term (beyond a year) I'll buy a set for it. I'm not trying to make huge $$ off this rental. More of a long-term carry and hold, with the notion of downsizing to it in older age.

    Any suggestions or perspectives are welcome


  2. #2
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    Considering hygiene, I'd never want to rent or own a furnished apartment. Especially these days where bugs are such a problem.

    Also, it's just more things for them to break, or steal when they leave.

    Better to have a nice place, with neutral modern colours.
    I'm not JustAGuy (without spaces), or Donald, or <insert name here>.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just a Guy View Post
    Considering hygiene, I'd never want to rent or own a furnished apartment. Especially these days where bugs are such a problem.

    Also, it's just more things for them to break, or steal when they leave.

    Better to have a nice place, with neutral modern colours.
    Thanks for the feedback. I think I'll just stick with the patio seating set since people generally don't want to spend alot of $$ on it for a rental as well as bbq.

    Since the eating area is quite small, and would be optimized with a certain type of table which I have in mind, I might throw that in as an option once a tenant has been chosen and seems like they would benefit from it.

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  5. #4
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    If you supply a BBQ and a fire were to occur, you may be found liable. If they store the propane inappropriately, you may be found liable. If the chair breaks and they hurt themselves, you may be found liable...

    Just a few of the ridiculous ways your "good idea" may have unintended consequences. Not that I've ever heard of this happening, but it is a possibility...
    I'm not JustAGuy (without spaces), or Donald, or <insert name here>.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just a Guy View Post
    If you supply a BBQ and a fire were to occur, you may be found liable. If they store the propane inappropriately, you may be found liable. If the chair breaks and they hurt themselves, you may be found liable...

    Just a few of the ridiculous ways your "good idea" may have unintended consequences. Not that I've ever heard of this happening, but it is a possibility...
    So put in a clause that says "no bbq on the premises"? Just looking around, I see many rentals (including vacation rentals, cottage, etc) that include a bbq. Would requiring the seller to sign-off on a waiver help for liability purposes? Maybe I'll build a 'fire' proof encasement to make sure any fire would be contained.

    Thanks for the insight on this though and perspective.

  7. #6
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    When something happens, the lawyers sue everyone and the courts have to sort out liability...the fact that you supply something increases the chance you'll be liable...of course technically you allowed the tenant, so you're already probably liable...
    I'm not JustAGuy (without spaces), or Donald, or <insert name here>.

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    I have had furnished and unfurnished rentals. Furnished tends to attract less responsible, more transient tenants. I went to all unfurnished years ago.

    However, I have no experience of 'modern' things like Air B 'n B which may give you a better return.

  9. #8
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    I was married to a lawyer for a few years and learned a lot. Primarily, I learned that people's idea of the law comes from TV and our TV is American so people don't have a clue. The idea that you can get rich if someone spills a drink on you is decidedly American. We are in Canada. Canada is a common law country. It's tough to get a frivolous suit past a pre-trial, although it happens occasionally.

    If your furniture is in good condition and it is reasonable to think it is safe and appropriate to the task, you will be fine. For someone to successfully sue you, they will have to prove negligence and damages.

    The only thing I have stayed away from is renting a house with a hot tub. There are too many opportunities for hot tubs to go rancid. Renters can't be trusted to turn the outdoor hydrants off in the fall, never mind keep pool chemistry under control to keep from killing themselves. I've considered going with executive rental and maintaining the hot tub myself but decided against it, despite my lawyer telling me there are no specific problems. It isn't just about the law. Some ideas are simply not that great. ... so I have a spare hot tub in storage.

    Tenants are weird. I had no idea people are so weird until I got a bunch of rentals. This phase of my life will be over in a few years and I'll be glad when that day comes. One guy will think your sofa is fantastic and the next guy will want to burn it in place.

    The only thing I know about what renters want is they all want a beautiful home, even if they are crack heads who are moving from their last rental which they completely ruined in 30 days. Have a look at their car when they come to view a house. If the tires are bald and the passenger seat is full of fast food containers, keep looking.
    Last edited by TomB19; 2017-03-07 at 10:31 AM.

  10. #9
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    For the most part, I was thinking about insurance claims when it came to liability and excuses for them to deny coverage not so much the lawsuit aspect of things.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just a Guy View Post
    When something happens, the lawyers sue everyone and the courts have to sort out liability...the fact that you supply something increases the chance you'll be liable...of course technically you allowed the tenant, so you're already probably liable...
    Agreed. Thanks for pointing that out as one of many things to consider. I haven't closed on the house yet, so still lots of time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty O'Toole View Post
    I have had furnished and unfurnished rentals. Furnished tends to attract less responsible, more transient tenants. I went to all unfurnished years ago.

    However, I have no experience of 'modern' things like Air B 'n B which may give you a better return.
    That is a worry too as people who don't want their own furniture for a rental are a different type of breed. Since this place is suitable for about 2 people, if it was a young person just moving out or someone from out of town, that seems professional, and responsible, I was just thinking of ways to make it easier on certain items if again, their intent is to stay longer-term. But as noted, if they're serious and desireable renters, they'll be responsible enough to want and get their own coffee/kitchen table, sofa.

    Quote Originally Posted by TomB19 View Post
    I was married to a lawyer for a few years and learned a lot. Primarily, I learned that people's idea of the law comes from TV and our TV is American so people don't have a clue. The idea that you can get rich if someone spills a drink on you is decidedly American. We are in Canada. Canada is a common law country. It's tough to get a frivolous suit past a pre-trial, although it happens occasionally.

    If your furniture is in good condition and it is reasonable to think it is safe and appropriate to the task, you will be fine. For someone to successfully sue you, they will have to prove negligence and damages.

    The only thing I have stayed away from is renting a house with a hot tub. There are too many opportunities for hot tubs to go rancid. Renters can't be trusted to turn the outdoor hydrants off in the fall, never mind keep pool chemistry under control to keep from killing themselves. I've considered going with executive rental and maintaining the hot tub myself but decided against it, despite my lawyer telling me there are no specific problems. It isn't just about the law. Some ideas are simply not that great. ... so I have a spare hot tub in storage.

    Tenants are weird. I had no idea people are so weird until I got a bunch of rentals. This phase of my life will be over in a few years and I'll be glad when that day comes. One guy will think your sofa is fantastic and the next guy will want to burn it in place.

    The only thing I know about what renters want is they all want a beautiful home, even if they are crack heads who are moving from their last rental which they completely ruined in 30 days. Have a look at their car when they come to view a house. If the tires are bald and the passenger seat is full of fast food containers, keep looking.
    Thanks for the tips on that. That's what my initial perspective was. But at the time, you just never know. Why increase the odds. Since this is a lower cost place, I'm willing to wait for the right tenant. It's not a 3 bedroom house that would attract a family. I'd be looking at it for someone who wants a detach/own space, responsible professional (don't we all want that). In the GTA in general, it's a bit easier to find from my understanding. The house next to us sold last year and is also rented out. We haven't met the renter, but in the driveway, was a company car (some kind of engineering firm) that my wife's company is a client of. Likely has to travel around to different sites. Definitely higher on the pay scale. So I would hopefully be able to target similar, or a public sector worker in the area might find it suitable. I have friends in the area (Durham) and also have one who's friend is at the Pickering Power plant who can post up the ad in their workplace. I'll see how that goes getting the word out.

    Oh yea, anything to do with water, I definitely would not have considered. I'll ask the insurance company as well or do some research on that regarding liability, coverage, etc.,


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