Furnished or Unfurnished?

grace bldg, downtown suites ltdEvery week clients ask me whether they should rent their suite furnished or unfurnished. Our answer, based on our experience of renting suites and condos for clients both furnished and unfurnished, is still the same.

Just do the math and you will see that it is much less trouble and less worry to rent unfurnished and the bottom line will probably be better too!

At Downtown Suites, we have recommended to our clients that they only rent on an unfurnished basis.Downtown Suites Ltd is not adding any more furnished suites to its portfolio.The factors that have led to this decision described in this video and listed below.


  • Require a capital investment of approximately $15k on average to outfit a suite. No, your old basement furniture will not do!
  • Annual replacement of linens, regular carpet cleaning costs and painting touch up of the suite
  • There is a lot of competition!
  • Expect at least 30-40% vacancy.
  • Other owners do not like their residence building being a hotel.
  • Many buildings now require a move-in fee even if it is only a suitcase being moved!
  • Many buildings have a minimum tenancy period, i.e. 3-6 months
  • Full utility package including telephone, cable, internet, heat and light must be paid by owner whether tenant occupied or not.
  • Extra cleaning costs. The suite has to be cleaned after every move out this is the owners responsibility (have you ever been to a hotel and asked to clean up after yourself?!) Cleaners are expensive minimum $40 per hour now for a team of two.
  • Many guests will require weekly cleans at owners cost
  • Almost no screening, basically all that is required is a valid credit card for a $500 hold to be put on it. Of course with credit card fraud being so abundant who knows if it really is their card!
  • Further to the above, almost all of our problem tenants have been in furnished situations.
  • Charge back of credit card discount fee of 3% per transaction.
  • Commission charged by Downtown Suites Ltd is 20% of gross rent (Remember there is much more turn over, reservation inquiries, move in procedures and customer service than with a conventional rental).


  • One year lease, 100% occupancy
  • Full credit, employment and reference check
  • Commission is 8% of gross rent (minimum of $100 to a maximum of $250 per month)
  • Half a months rent charged for placing tenants
  • Less wear and tear

The info in this video explains more:
furn or unfurnished