Refrigerator, washers, and dryers...include them or not?

48 Replies

I am about to rehab my first property as a buy and hold rental.  It is a 3 bed 3 bath SF home.    Part of my rehab will be a new kitchen including new cabinets, range, dishwasher and counter tops, etc.    My question is, should I supply a new refrigerator for the kitchen?  Also, should I also supply a washer and dryer?

I have a friend who has several SFR's in my market, who told me they never supply these in their properties, and that it's not a problem for their tenants to supply their own.

If you already have them, then I'd say supply them. If you don't have them you could always list the property for rent without them and make those items negotiation points for lease terms. I have supplied my higher end rentals will all appliances and then had tenants that want to rent and bring their own and end up needing to remove mine. There really is no right or wrong answer. Your friend that rents in your market would be the best person to use as authority. If they are getting the rents they want without supplying them, then less long term maintenance to upkeep those items. 

We don't but in many cases when tenants vacate they often sell off their appliances rather than move them We will buy the appliances if the price is very good & then if the incoming tenants want them they are already there & we do get higher rents. Several months ago a 3 year tenant moved back to Atlanta & we got all the appliances, freezer, BBQ & patio furniture for $750. 

But the onus is on the incoming tenants to maintain the appliances. So far it's worked very well. I have often considered having the tenants pay extra each month then they own them. It's amazing how many tenants go the rent-to-own route & the RTO companies call me for a reference.

Often if we do a flip or sell we will move our own aging appliances to the flip & the wife gets to pick new ones. 

The washer dryer doesn't seem so urgent, but I think it's weird to have a property without a refrigerator.

Originally posted by @Mindy Jensen :

The washer dryer doesn't seem so urgent, but I think it's weird to have a property without a refrigerator.

 It really depends on your local market and the market segment who are your intended clientele.    I would think it weird to offer a property without laundry and, in some areas, without a dishwasher.

I never provide washer and dryer but I always provide the rest of the appliances (fridge, stove and then dishwasher and microwave if there's a space for them already).

I would say that it depends on what your market does as a whole.

If nobody in your area provides fridges than don't. If everybody does, then do.

The less you provide, the better. But most tenants that come thru my rentals do not have their own fridge, stove, etc.  But most do have their own washer/dryer.

That tells me that everyone in my area is following the same model too. 

I obviously understand the washer/dryer thing. But why would you not provide a fridge? How does your friend differentiate the need to provide a stove but not a fridge?

I would think if you provide one, you would provide both.

You have to have a fridge for someone to live there. But you don't have to have a washer/dryer as thats what the laundromat is for.

I'd add that fridge's rarely go out too but they are a pain to clean sometimes. :-)

I would check your area first. If no absolute consensus, then I would provide the fridge anyway. 

hi steve.

     I would supply the refrigerator , as not having to move in and out will save wear and tear on the floors, especially linoleum. As for the washer dryer, you supply it tenant will say it smells. Yet they supply it  and move it in and out. How much wear can the floor take. I do charge more rent when so equipped though.  

Hey @Steve Hannibal - the answer is...."it depends".

The area where I have rental properties, everything includes all appliances with the occasional exception of washer/dryer (some places just provide hookups and no equipment).

I'd suggest looking at your competition to see what they do and use that to help make a decision.  If the typical 3/3 rental home includes appliances then you'll probably want to include them.  If some do and some don't, then you need to weigh the difference in rent and timing of vacancy against the cost of supplying these items.

Agreed on depends on the market and clientele you are serving.
I serve middle, low income families so I supply Refrigerator, Dishwasher and a Stove / Oven (not a microwave)  Quarterly Pest Control and Garbage Collection.

I offer as an add on of a washer and dryer for X$per month. - Maybe I add to the lease, "Complete 12 months with no late payments and the washer dryer become yours at lease renewal."  Thus rental price goes down in year two but so does the responsibility on my end.   I purchase the units used from a local used appliance dealer.  I think this is a win win scenario and keeps a good client (no late payments) in my property for the second year since their rent just got a tad cheaper. 

That seems like a no brainer to me. I always have those items. Would you want to rent a house where you have to take your laundry to a laundromat? Spend some money guys, yeesh. 

I always supply a stove and will provide a refrigerator at an extra $25 per month.  A lot of tenants have a refrigerator but don't have the stove is my reasoning.  The $25 a month will pay for an 18 cubic foot refrigerator with a 5 year warranty in about 28 months.  Anything after 28 months is pure profit.  If the refrigerator breaks after the 5 years, I recycle it and start all over.

Since I was in the laundromat business a few years back, I wouldn't recommend a washer and dryer.  I couldn't believe how people will abuse equipment!  The tenant is going to overstuff the equipment and do damage not covered by a warranty.  I also don't supply microwaves unless it is already built in.  To me they are just profit losers.  I'm in this for the MONEY!

The way I look at the arrangement with the refrigerator is its less hassles for me and it less monthly rent for the tenant if they have their own fridge.

If I don't own a house, why would I want to own appliances?  That's what I thought in my pre-ownership days, and that's why I wouldn't dream of offering a rental house without appliances - fridge & stove at the very minimum, dishwasher if there are hookups.  I do provide washer and dryer because I feel like they're extra amenities I can offer to increase the appeal of my houses, but would be ok without them.  This is in metro Atlanta, single family houses, mid-level educated tenant pool.

Originally posted by @Anna Watkins :

If I don't own a house, why would I want to own appliances?  That's what I thought in my pre-ownership days, and that's why I wouldn't dream of offering a rental house without appliances - fridge & stove at the very minimum, dishwasher if there are hookups.  I do provide washer and dryer because I feel like they're extra amenities I can offer to increase the appeal of my houses, but would be ok without them.  This is in metro Atlanta, single family houses, mid-level educated tenant pool.

While it depends (agree with Michael above) on market level and norms in the area, I agree with Anne  and several points here, especially the wear and tear on the move in and out, and even proper hook up,  particularly making sure dryer is properly vented out, hoses are secured, not rusted or corroded, etc. 

Look at your area, market level and the properties like yours in all the listings, and if all the like rentals all have appliances, you probably want them, too. Even if they don't,  also look at your new remodel and ask if you want amateurs moving in appliances that may or may not be functioning (leaks etc) properly or installed properly. I may be more hand ones or picky, but I have had few tenants I would want doing this or that I would want to force to do this...my best value has been to buy and properly install the most durable, simple appliances...write them off on the taxes and make up the costs with happy long term renters

I supply stove & refrig, but not washer-dryer.  Down the street, units go stark naked.

If I had a laundry room, I would.

Think: your rental is COMPETING with  every other in the area with like sqft and amenities.  Would you allow a good prospect to go elsewhere for the cost of a stove?

Agreeing with both Michaels above (@Michael Boyer and @Michael Siekerka) that having tenants move heavy appliances, possibly dripping water or grease, in and out of the house isn't an appealing idea.  For what it's worth, even though in our area houses are often offered with kitchen appliances and only "W/D hookups," my agent (also a landlord and a property manager) advised including the washer and dryer to avoid the wear-and-tear on the floors.

I would definitely supply a stove and fridge, washer and dryer I wouldn't worry about! But that's just me!

Oh, and one last thought on this -- on advice from someone in the forums,  my leases all include a clause that says something like "the appliances that are in the house when you move out must be the same appliances that were in the house when you moved in," and the move in/out checklist includes make, model and serial numbers.  I also have pictures of the plates with that info on them.   

My properties generally don't attract the sort of folks who might sell new appliances and replace them with used, but you never know.  And some tenants get a kick out of it when I explain the clause, since they, of course, would never dream of that kind of thing!

I think it depends on the market.  If other rentals are offering it in the neighborhood with similar rents then you might want to consider it.  On the other hand if they don't then don't waste the money.  Also keep in mind if you are paying the water bill the washer machine is going to increase that bill and if you supply those items and they break you will be getting a phone call from the tenants.

Originally posted by @Tom T. :

Agreed on depends on the market and clientele you are serving.
I serve middle, low income families so I supply Refrigerator, Dishwasher and a Stove / Oven (not a microwave)  Quarterly Pest Control and Garbage Collection.

I offer as an add on of a washer and dryer for X$per month. - Maybe I add to the lease, "Complete 12 months with no late payments and the washer dryer become yours at lease renewal."  Thus rental price goes down in year two but so does the responsibility on my end.   I purchase the units used from a local used appliance dealer.  I think this is a win win scenario and keeps a good client (no late payments) in my property for the second year since their rent just got a tad cheaper. 

I like this approach to W/D! I don't supply these, as I rent SFH and tenants always seem to have their own. I have only had one tenant show up with a fridge, and that was because she was recently divorced. All others have needed fridges. I supply stove and dishwasher as well. If a tenant comes with their own fridge, I will store the one that is there. I hate having tenants moving washers and dryers in and out, and doing hook ups, so I may try this approach next time!

I can tell you what my wife's answer would be as I'm currently storing two refrigerators in my garage because my last two tenants brought their own with them.  My tenants have always had their own washers and dryers (and there's no way in hell I want to store any of those...I'm on thin ice as it is).

Originally posted by @Mark Graffagnino :

I can tell you what my wife's answer would be as I'm currently storing two refrigerators in my garage because my last two tenants brought their own with them.  My tenants have always had their own washers and dryers (and there's no way in hell I want to store any of those...I'm on thin ice as it is).

 My solution used to be storing them (washers and dryers) in a barn like building but doing that caused them to rust, become ugly and undependable. Not to mention taking up my space and time. My solution after having to scrap some units that became rusty was to make a deal with the used appliance dealer he could have my inventory for free (just come and get it next time he was in the area) but I wanted concessions when I came to purchase later. Since I own rentals and offer W/D as incentives I buy them fairly frequently from him. I have his company bring them and set them up for me. This saves me time and space. Another nice part is I never have to dink with... Is that a 3 prong or 4 prong dryer plug? This arrangement works out well for me.

Thank you all for your answers!  Many great comments on things I never though of i.e. Scratching floors, not hooking up water correctly and causing leaks, and getting stuck with tenants left over appliances. 

It seems like the majority do supply a fridge, but not a washer/dryer. 

@Steve Hannibal I personally supply stove and frig for all of my units. However I do not supply the washer and dryer. As you stated if tenants in your local area do not have an issue supplying their own appliances then may be best to save your cost by not providing them. 

We have really nice rentals that mostly have laundry rooms on the upper floor with the bedrooms. We provide washer / dryers bc we don't want people moving these very heavy items up and down the stairs and doing damage. Yes to the fridge too. I'd never have rented a place without a fridge provided. In PDX that would be unheard of to not provide a fridge.

It totally depends on the market. Having rented in Denver for years at various points, I never saw a condo or house rented without a fridge. And yet when I lived in Idaho for a while, that was the norm. Strange to me but that was just the market.

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