Furnish your Rental Apartment to Attract the Ideal Tenant
Whether you are new to real estate investing in Vancouver, or have been renting out your apartment or townhouse for years, it’s important to know what should be included in a furnished rental suite. Prospective tenants looking for a Vancouver furnished rental will expect a certain level of service and quality. In this competitive market, your unit needs to be tastefully decorated and fully equipped with more than the standard appliances and basic furnishings in order to stand out. Erika Weimer, President of Rent it Furnished Realty, guides us through the ideal furnished suite room by room (photos courtesy of our listing at 833 Homer Street).
Kitchen: The tenant should be able to easily cook for the number of occupants who are living in the suite, in addition to occasional guests. This means the kitchen must have a full set of pots, pans, and cooking utensils, as well as less obvious items, such as oven mitts and tea towels. In a luxury apartment rental, you may also want to provide cheese knives, martini glasses, and serving plates to best accommodate your tenants. Other items that are sometimes overlooked are a coffee maker, toaster, and blender. A good rule of thumb is to provide a set of 4 dishes, cups/mugs, and place settings for a 1 bedroom apartment rental, or a set of 8 of the same for a 2 bedroom. At the beginning of a new tenancy, it is also important to remove any food items from your suite. This includes all condiments, although salt and pepper could be acceptable.
Living Room: The living area should be clean, uncluttered, and tastefully decorated with neutral tones and modern furnishings. Aim for the feel of your favourite boutique hotel, but be careful to choose comfort and tasteful home decor that will appeal to a broad spectrum of clientele. When renting a furnished apartment, your tenant will be looking for a modern, clean, and comfortable living environment that includes a television, cable box (PVR recommended), DVD player, and radio/stereo. Good lighting, a few plants, candles, and a throw blanket can add a special touch and make your tenant feel as though your furnished apartment is their home away from home.
Bedroom/Bathroom: At its basic level, each bedroom should have 2 sets of bed linens, 2 pillows (4 is preferable, with some throw pillows for extra pizazz), and at least one duvet/comforter. The room should be outfitted with a nice bed frame, side tables, lamps, and an alarm clock. Remember that if the room doesn’t have a closet, it isn’t a legal bedroom, but it can still function as a guest room or a den with sleeping quarters. Add a few extra touches with art and decor to make your suite stand out. Each bathroom should be stocked with a nice set of 4 towels (bath sheets, hand towels, face cloths) and everything your tenant might need for the first week or so of their stay, including toilet paper, hand soap, and cleaning supplies. Also, remember to provide a vacuum cleaner, some laundry detergent, and an iron/ironing board.
In conclusion, Vancouver furnished rentals should also include hydro/electricity, hot water, internet access, basic or premium cable, and local phone service (optional). This allows for an easy transition for shorter term stays and provides your tenant with all the comforts of home as soon as they take possession. It is also a good idea to provide your tenants with a detailed information sheet, including any special instructions regarding the building, electronics, security systems, and emergency contact numbers. Finally, it is highly recommended that you complete a move-in condition report with each new tenant. This protects both you and your tenant in case any damages occur in the suite.