Can I furnish a rental property more cheaply myself with flat-pack furniture?
Unless you have plenty of free time, like DIY and are very good at it, stay clear of the temptations of flat-pack or other cheap furniture.
Discount furniture is cheap for a reason. It is either out of fashion or end-of-line. Warehouse bargains are usually more expensive, item by item, than single pieces in a complete coordinated theme.
Waiting for deliveries can be frustrating. You may wait in all day for something that eventually turns up at 5pm or, worse, you get a last-minute phone call to say that it will not arrive until the next day.
From experience we know that flat-pack furniture is not as robust as fully constructed furniture. It can come apart unexpectedly and will not last as long.
Even the best quality flat-packs can be very difficult to assemble. One of our contractors counted 48 pieces involved in making up a double wardrobe… and it took 6 hours!
Ready-assembled furniture is a better choice, but avoid pine: it is inexpensive, but is out-of-date and no longer meets market expectations.
Moving up-market to John Lewis or similar is a better solution if you want to furnish your property yourself. Even then, what you choose may take up to six weeks to arrive – and that’s six weeks with no rent coming in.
The bottom line is that tenants want the best quality furniture, but due to the nature of rental properties there is more wear and tear and more damage. The weaker (cheaper) the furniture, the less time it lasts.
Rather than spending £100 on a product that lasts for three to five years, would it not be better to spend £150 on a product that will last for 10 years?
This is one of the 50 most asked questions in our new book: Landlord Intelligence.