All Beach Apartment Management

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I want to rent my unit fully furnished, will this be OK?

In our experience, renting units furnished, except in special circumstances, is a very poor decision. In general, owners who want to rent units with furniture included are costing themselves money through lower rental rates achieved and prolonged vacancy. In our opinion an owner will almost always be better off either simply disposing of the furniture or by making arrangements for off-site storage.

We most often encounter this situation when an owner is vacating a property he/she has used as a "vacation home" and wants to lease it out for one or more years on the premise that he/she may return at some point for occasional use of the property.

Although there are always exceptions to every rule, unless you own a property in a resort hotel setting and are renting it out short-term for vacation use the best tenants have their own furniture and are not interested in storing it or disposing of it so they can use yours. As a consequence units rented out in this fashion are hard-to-lease, often sitting empty for months while a tenant is procured. Worse, the tenants themselves are seldom desirable; after all they are living out of a suitcase and are usually transients who have no long-term potential not matter what stories they tell at the time they enter into the lease. Premature lease termination is very costly to an owner; he/she has paid a brokerage commission to procure the lease based on the entire lease term, the cycle of vacancy begins again, the tenant often simply stops paying rent at the point when he/she no longer "needs" the property and may need to be evicted, etc.

Another frequent "issue" is that once a tenant for a furnished unit has finally been procured the tenant often begins to ask that one or more items be removed and stored piecemeal: they buy a new bed and want yours out, they are given a new sofa, etc. This is quite common and, of course, imposes the same or greater burden than would have been encountered in simply removing all the personal property before offering the unit for rent.

Owners also tend to overlook the real condition of their furniture and their unrealistic view of the condition of the furnishings grows year-by-year. In the hotel industry, mattresses are replaced yearly, units are completely overhauled and all items replaced on a regular schedule. We have never encountered an owner who recognizes the true appearance and condition of his used sofa, bedding etc. This stuff becomes more and more worn and tired-looking as the unit remains in rental while the absentee owner's view from afar is that everything is "brand new" and lovely. So the units become more tired-out and shabby looking over time and as a consequence tenant quality and retention suffers.

Even worse than the "fully furnished" unit is the "partially furnished unit." I am always astonished when an owner thinks he/she can rent out an apartment, often demanding top-dollar from tenants, and then use it to store one or more favorite pieces of odd furniture. Wall units, Murphy beds, a favorite Sofa etc. We have even had owners who wanted to retain use of one or more closets to store boxes of personal items etc. I always wonder whether these owners would ever consider leasing a property for their own use in which the Landlord planned to store some of his own items in a locked closet. Anyway, if it is hard to lease a property "fully furnished" it is murder to attempt to rent an apartment while using it as a storage unit for some favorite item.

In any case, we are no longer willing to undertake management of property offered on a furnished basis.

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Last modified: September 08, 2009
All Beach Apartment Management, Inc.
PO Box 398034
Miami Beach, FL 33239-0034
786-350-7218  (tel)
305-531-6742 (fax)