Originally posted by @Stephen E. :
Generally, the best thing to do is remove unnecessary items that may fail and cause repair bills. Tenants aren't going to pay more for a unit with a garbage disposal. The condition and location of your property will drive price, minor features won't. It is best if they are removed before a new tenant comes in so that the tenant never sees these things. That way you manage expectations and reduce your costs.
I recently had a unit turn over and removed the window air conditioner. The new tenant won't see it and won't miss it, but I save money on potential repairs. I wish I had done this at another unit, I had bought some appliances from a departing tenant and they threw in an upright air conditioner, the type with a pipe that goes to the window. The incremental cost to me was about $100 and I thought it might be nice for tenants. Wouldn't you know it, my new tenant complained that the air conditioner was not working. Repairs are not feasible and a replacement is $400 at Costco. Having the air conditioner made no difference to the rent, which was the same that the previous tenants paid while supplying their own air conditioner. This air conditioner issue will cost me $500 in total by the time the next cooling season comes around and a new one is required. Regrets, I've had a few.
I had tenants install a/c's in there unit, the idea being they are responsible for repairs. Unfortunately they're thru the wall units, where they have to buy more expensive thru the wall a/c's. So tenants get window units, smaller in size for $400.00 instead of $700.00 stick it in the cavity. What's the problem?
When you put window units in, rain will leak in. Then, there's a burglary once, the burglar simply push aside the window unit sitting in the cavity, and broke in.
So last year, we spent $1,600 for two thru the wall units. We'll see how it works out. But 10 years ago, we were renting these units for $1,200/month, now market is $1,800. Guess we'll suck up repairs when it comes.
Is it legal not to have garage disposal in Texas? Would love to do away with it .
@Lisa Kiu I don't know about Texas, but in every state that I've property there was no state law requiring them. I dis-install disposals on all units with septic systems always. Other places sometimes, but I usually install in flips, properties selling, and luxury units where expected.
I can see both sides of the argument to have them and remove them. They certainly are nicer for tenants, and more costly for landlords.
Has anyone ever considered putting it in their lease that says the unit has a working disposal? At the end of the lease it must have a working disposal or it will come out of the security deposit. Any repairs or clogs during the lease are the responsibility of the tenant.
Wouldn't that take the potential economic risk off the landlord while giving the tenant something many desire?
More risks than the cost of a $90 garbage disposal. Depending what is put down a disposal, you could kill a septic system, cause plumbing clog, etc. A septic might cost $20,000 and may not be discovered until the occupant is long gone, try and collect on that one.
@David Ok, then for units with septic remove them, but for units that don't have septic, can you think of any other downsides? I think the people advocating that people could clog pipes without a garbage disposal is a valid argument too. People have clauses in their leases against that, why not expand that to the garbage disposal too?
Abuse, not needed in basic units imho, we only provide as I said before in flip, units being sold or luxury units. We've had bottle caps, other metal objects, paper (its not a shedder, but some don't get that concept and thing anything can go in the disposal) bottles, dirty diapers, non disposable wiped, female product, paint, motor oil, chemicals, gasoline, trupentine, paint thinner, kerosine........
Out of 8 years of having rentals with disposals in every unit, I've had one break down once. It was old - wear and tear. I've had a few jam from time to time but I can talk the tenants through how to use the allen wrench to unjam them over the phone. Eventually when the others start to die I will replace them - super easy/cheap when there was already one there.
@Max T. - Thanks for sharing you're experience.
Based on everyone's feedback, I'm going to install a garbage disposal in some of my units and then update my leases with verbiage that indicates they are responsible for fixing any issues with them, and that they were working when they moved in (or when the unit was installed), and that they must be working when they move out or they are responsible.
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