Ceiling Fans in Rentals

27 Replies

Hi everyone!

I recently purchased a rental property in the Tampa Bay area.

The house did not come with any light fixtures. I was wondering if I should replace the lights with light fixtures or with ceiling fans (that have light fixtures).

PROS:

Could make the house easier to rent out

CONS:

Another thing to break in the house (especially since fans are mechanical)

What are your thoughts on this issue? Please advise

I want to thank everyone in advance for their time and help!

I like ceiling fans and my tenants like ceiling fans so I try to put them in at least the master bedroom and living room in all my units.  They don't really break that often.

Fans are not much more than light fixtures and good ones last a long time. I have them in the master and den in all my homes. 

Personally, I love ceiling fans for my home, but I'm generally against adding ceiling fans to my rental  properties.  As stated, it's just one more thing to break, one more reason for a problem call from a tenant.

BUT, I'm finishing a rehab now, and I put ceiling fans in four rooms.  D'oh!  

I can't follow my own instincts.  I don't know, it just seems like sort of a necessity in the south.  I have a feeling I'll break this "rule" a lot over the next few years as I acquire and rehab more properties.

Running ceiling fans reduces the need for AC (not by much but some), this can be a benefit in that

- saves your tenant AC costs

- extends the life of the AC - in theory at least

thanks

Originally posted by @Michael Ding :

Another thing to break in the house (especially since fans are mechanical)

What are your thoughts on this issue? Please advise

I want to thank everyone in advance for their time and help!

We put in new ceiling fans on every property we own, and I haven't had a single fan die on me. Frankly, I don't often buy a property and find a broken fan either (although it does happen - but then - that fan is probably older than me).

Depending on the property, they either get the $25-35 contractor fan from Lowes, or the slightly nicer properties will get matching fans throughout in the $70-100 range.

@Mr. DeRoest.

Do you put them in every room, or just the den and master bedroom as others have suggested?

Thanks!

Fans are a great touch.  Not too expensive and it shows prospective tenants that you care about the house and the AC bills.

Originally posted by @Michael Ding :

@Mr. DeRoest.

Do you put them in every room, or just the den and master bedroom as others have suggested?

Thanks!

Every room.

What people don't understand is that you can train tenants on how to get lower electricity bills (everyone enjoys lower bills). The less they pay in electricity, the more able they are to pay the rent. And fans can make a big difference in that. No one wants to live in a property that eats electricity either - we've been the beneficiary of that several times.

And fans cost nothing to run, whereas AC costs an arm and a leg.

Ceiling fan is running around 90W, central air is running around 3,500W, so for anyone to compare the two (lets say 6 fans running at high speed = 540W) is just ridiculous.

And in Florida, it's not that the fan replaces the AC, but it can delay the moment the AC finally gets called into play.

I generally do fans in every room.  If I buy a house with decent light fixtures in guest rooms, then I will leave them and offer to add them gradually as tenant rewards for renewals etc.  I make my house a little nicer but tenant feels like I am rewarding them for staying so it is a win win.  

If a light fixture needs replaced, I almost always do it with a fan.

Peter C. and James D. took the words out of my mouth! The only thing I would add is that you can better educate the tenants on how fans can reduce their electric bill etc. if you take a reasonable amount of time to study that issue yourself first.

If I were a tenant, having ceiling fans available would be a big plus to me.

Depends on the price point.  Under $1k/month I usually don't and over $1k/month I usually add them to the living room and bedrooms.  Personally I like to have ceiling fans and they're especially useful here in FL.  Lower end tenants are more likely to break them and they get standard 2 bulb brushed nickel color ceiling fixtures (~$10/ea).  

I avoid ceiling falls. I started installing them with my first few rentals and quickly stopped after finding them dirty and damaged.

Frank

As everyone else has said, they really don't break.  I find the color or light setup in them goes out of style before they break.  I even left the remote control fan in one property and its still going 8 years later - not sure how long it was there when I bought it.  I wouldn't add the remote to a rental, however.  

Okay, I'm convinced.  The consensus is they really don't break down often.  Ceiling fans for every house!

:)

Thanks everyone!!!

I really appreciate your time to write these response.

Very good.

I do ceiling fans in all bedrooms and the living room.  Small price to pay in order to attract a higher quality tenant.  

Probably doesn't matter much. I'd say just try and match the quality of the house. Nicer home = ceiling fans, not-so-nice = no ceiling fans.

Overall, I have not seen that ceiling fans influence rents that much, or the quality of tenant.

for the small expense, it adds value and aesthetics. The tenant sees it and thinks its one less then they need to buy when they are already spending a bunch of money to move. 

I add them to the rooms where required.

the only time I haven't added ceiling fans is when I rented the house before I was fully done remodeling and I didn't get to replacing the light fixtures with fans before the place was rented.  I did have fans in the master bedroom, living room, and kitchen.  My 11 year old rental I've only had one  fan issue and that was the pull switch on the light.  The other fans in the house needed to be replaced because they looked like they were from the 80s and I wanted a modern look, they worked perfect when I replaced.  

In FL Ceiling fans are a requirement.  I found some $35 fans at Home Depot the other day and installed them in a rental I'm fixing up now.  Big mistake, these things were pieces of crap, making all kinds of strange noises as soon as I turned them on.  I've installed close to 40 Ceiling fans over the years, I won't buy these cheap ones again.

Standardize, standardize, standardize - as much as you possibly can! Ask around and find out what's working for other people. Then do a little research and identify a few different "go to" fixtures. Not only does it make estimating rehabs a lot easier but it will also give you leverage to ask for bulk discounts. On the back end it will make reordering faster, increase the likelihood your fixtures will be in stock, and keep the look uniform throughout your units.

This has been one of my latest go-to's:

Westinghouse 7801765 - it's under $100 and given enough time and quantity, I can save about 30-40% by buying direct (although that requires a bit more work).

I always put ceiling fans in the main living rooms and the bedrooms.  The tenants always seem to be excited that there are fans in the rooms.  

Originally posted by @Ryan Lott :

Standardize, standardize, standardize - as much as you possibly can! Ask around and find out what's working for other people. Then do a little research and identify a few different "go to" fixtures. Not only does it make estimating rehabs a lot easier but it will also give you leverage to ask for bulk discounts. On the back end it will make reordering faster, increase the likelihood your fixtures will be in stock, and keep the look uniform throughout your units.

This has been one of my latest go-to's:

Westinghouse 7801765 - it's under $100 and given enough time and quantity, I can save about 30-40% by buying direct (although that requires a bit more work).

 Ryan,

Where and how do you buy direct?

@Aaron Trommater

Started a company that wholesales to the property management & rehab companies I buy for. After getting that set up, it was just a matter of reaching out to different manufacturers to see if we were big enough for them to deal with and become a distributor... I got hung up on a lot.

Definitely takes more work but it's worth the effort in the long run.

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