Duplex: What is normal in regards to washer/dryer use by tenants?

5 Replies

First property and I inherited a tenant in the upper.  He has access to a washer/dryer set in the basement which is in OK condition.  There was a spot for the lower's washer/dryer set too but the  owner took it after I purchased the home...  So is it normal for a duplex to share a set of washer/dryer or should I buy a set for the lower unit so that there is 1 set for each unit to use privately?  The area is nothing fancy but not low end, blue collar mostly.... The area wouldn't call for granite counters or stainless steel appliances, etc. if that helps paint the picture more clearly... 

I am stuck on this one because each unit is separately metered for water, electric, gas, etc... So if they shared then 1 unit would get the bill for both units doing laundry (water usage etc..) As I type this I am leaning more towards buying another set so that it is separated and I can get a higher rent rate. decisions decisions.... 

Thank you so much BP! 

I would lean towards a separate set. Being a live-in landlord necessitates you keeping a definitive line between being a neighbor and the owner. Among the other reasons you stated, I think sharing appliances serves to blur that line a bit more.

@Cody Barrett

Once you mentioned that water usage is separately metered, you answered your own question, i.e. buy a separate set.  Your tenant will appreciate it too!  Start off on the right foot and always do what will be fair and good with your tenants! 

Maybe look around for a used appliance dealer who might be able to sell you a set inexpensively and give you a generous warranty to cover any issues during the beginning of the tenancy. Home depot sells new whirlpool pair for around $700 before tax that seem like good value, models shown below. While you are at it, I would replace the hoses on the old machine and buy new braided steel ones for both to proactively avoid any leaks/ floods. The rubber ones are supposed to be replaced every 6 or so years and who knows how long the last owner went before replacing the current machine and/or its hoses...

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