What Appliances Do You Supply?

21 Replies

I've got a question about appliances. 

I'm getting my first property ready for rental in the Houston area, and a contractor who works with a lot of investors told me that I didn't need to put in a refrigerator. He said tenants just trash them, and he said all I needed were an oven-range combo and a dishwasher.

I assumed that tenants would supply their own clothes washer and dryer, but I've never heard of tenants supplying their own refrigerator. This is a SFR, rather than an apartment. Are the expectations different?

I'd appreciate some appliance suggestions from seasoned landlords with SFRs. What appliances do you supply?

@Collin Garbarino You are correct. Here in a Texas for SFR we do not provide a refrigerator, nor washer and dryer for the same reason. Keep in mind you should always limit you liability and costs wherever possible. Especially with a rental. Not providing these appliances is what the market dictates here in Texas.

This is area specific. Where I live tenants expect a stove and refrigerator, and dishwasher if there's provisions for one. We do not provide washers & dryers.

Originally posted by @Joe Funari :

@Collin Garbarino You are correct. Here in a Texas for SFR we do not provide a refrigerator, nor washer and dryer for the same reason. Keep in mind you should always limit you liability and costs wherever possible. Especially with a rental. Not providing these appliances is what the market dictates here in Texas.

 Thanks for the word of confirmation!

We supply everything. That being said, we have the majority of appliance calls on ice makers, refrigerators and washers and dryers. Even if you do provide a fridge, it's often recommended that you remove the ice maker as those don't last much more than a couple years. 

I agree with @JD Martin that it is area specific. I lease to a lot of millennials and typically they have not yet acquired all of these items. 

Originally posted by @Kristina Heimstaedt :

We supply everything. That being said, we have the majority of appliance calls on ice makers, refrigerators and washers and dryers. Even if you do provide a fridge, it's often recommended that you remove the ice maker as those don't last much more than a couple years. 

I agree with @Jd Martin that it is area specific. I lease to a lot of millennials and typically they have not yet acquired all of these items. 

 I disconnect all icemakers and remove garbage disposals from all units. Nothing but trouble and dangerous besides. And things that you think would be self-explanatory how to use, like a garbage disposal, are not at all - like the tenant that dumped a bunch of food down the *other* sink, thinking that both sinks would be somehow connected to the garbage disposal. Where's my knucklehead emoticon? :)

I think all depends on the investor.  I am supplying washer, dryer, range, and refrigerator all entry level models but nicest looking ones I could find.  I am trying to attract highest quality renter I can.  Best thing I heard so far is that someone new to area was beginning to think rental stood for "I have a house I would never live in so let's rent it out". Perspective tenants have all seemed to appreciate all items included and seems to be standard in our area.  But I did go lower end to save the money and lease states if they break not my problem.

To add to @Chris Svendsen and @JD Martin points, we do what we can to "idiot proof" the appliances. We do have a clause in the lease that states that any damage/negligence that results in appliance damage will be the responsibility for the tenant to repair. 

We had one guy put too many towels in a washer, flood the bathroom and then complain that my appliance repair man with 25 years of experience was incompetent. Needless to say that he is not one of my preferred tenants.

Originally posted by @JD Martin :

...like the tenant that dumped a bunch of food down the *other* sink, thinking that both sinks would be somehow connected to the garbage disposal. Where's my knucklehead emoticon? :)

What can you say about this, JD? There are simply those who have it, and those who don't!

Most times just the stove and refrigerator. Some people like to use their own washer and dryer so that's usually optional. 

My Houston investor clients almost never supply a refrigerator (and definitely not a washer and dryer). We also write in a "you break it, you replace it" clause into the lease about the garbage disposal as well.

I rip out every garbage disposal I come across, they're nothing but trouble.

In my area, it would be really odd NOT to provide refrigerators. Stoves, fridges, and dishwashers are the norm...washers and dryers, no. I have a friend who keeps a small stash of washers and dryers to rent monthly if his tenants want them. I might start doing that.

Originally posted by @Sharon Tzib :

My Houston investor clients almost never supply a refrigerator (and definitely not a washer and dryer). We also write in a "you break it, you replace it" clause into the lease about the garbage disposal as well.

Houston sounds like an outlier here. I wonder why landlords can get away without providing a refrigerator in SFRs here, when it's so common elsewhere.

I disagree. A refrigerator is pretty standard in rentals, and not having one will make a potential tenant think twice about renting your place. Washer and dryer, not so much.

@Collin Garbarino I agree it sounds odd. When I had my rental in California, you had to provide fridges and w/d, but that was years ago. Here in Houston, I've never had issues getting a home rented because there wasn't a fridge or w/d. In fact, I have one repeat investor (he's purchased four homes through me) who refuses to negotiate for the fridge to be included in the sale - seller must remove prior to closing - because he's so adamant about not having one more thing to maintenance in the house. His homes rent just fine.

I think it's a personal choice. If you want to provide one and are fine with doing the maintenance down the road, then put one in. You could also write a lease cause that says something to the effect of "refrigerator is on loan and should it break, tenant to repair and/or replace at their own expense." I do that with my Indy rental and it works just fine. 

I find lots of tenants already have their own appliances, either through having to purchase at other rentals that didn't have them, because they've relocated from another state and brought them with them, and since they may want to buy a home in the near future, they don't mind the investment. Your SFH tenants have a different mindset than your apartment tenants. People coming from an apartment would probably be the most resistant to a rental w/out.

It's pretty common to supply the fridge and stove. Dishwashers if there is a place for them because installing/removing is likely to cause damage. I typically expect tenants to bring their own clothes washer/dryer.

@Collin Garbarino

Been renting both SFR and apt for many years. When i started I was over-appliancing; I was supplying washer, dryers, and even window AC. Today we supply different set ups for different properties.

A & B SFR almost always range and dishwasher. We've had some tenants supply their own ranges also. (usually have central air)

Upscale condo usually range, frig, washer, dryer, dishwasher (always have central air)

Mid to lower apts, range and frig only

Occasionally we rent a SFR with no appliances. My theory is that the more heavy things the tenant brings the longer they stay because they don't want to move all that heavy stuff again. Have a grand piano, bring it. Have wood working equipment, bring it.

When we have bought houses with appliances or when an exiting tenant left appliances, we will offer to leave them there for the new tenants, but we will not repair or replace.  We will move those out if the tenant doesn't want them.  We just rented a high end house and the tenant didn't like the existing range and tenant offered to replace with new one to their liking.  I said sure, go for it.

At one lower SFR, the dishwasher broke. I offered the tenant either I'll fix the dishwasher OR I'll lower your rent by $15, the tenant selected the rent reduction. When they moved out, we moved the dishwasher out and put in a cabinet.

Around here the appliance service call is $60+ before they walk in the door, labor is minimum 1 hour, and the parts almost always cost more than $100. At one mid to lower SFR, there was an existing frig, and the tenant needed one, so I let it there to help the tenant. After they were there for a few months, it needed service. I called the service company and after they came out it was a computer board that costs over $300. Shame on me.

@David Krulac ,

"My theory is that the more heavy things the tenant brings the longer they stay because they don't want to move all that heavy stuff again."

That's a fabulous tip. It helps shift the conversation from "getting tenants" to "keeping tenants."

@Collin Garbarino

Keeping tenants is a goal for me.  Vacancy is the unsung hero of increased expenses, that few investors discuss or consider.  I've written about this before on BP.  I've had multiple tenants who stayed more than 30 years.

One such tenant told me that if he won Powerball, he would buy the apartment building that he lived in for more than thirty years.  I didn't have the heart to tell him he already did.

Another 30+ tenant told me that "the only way we're were leaving was horizontal".

The more appliances you provide the more maintenance issues you have. In this area wash machine, drier are considered personal property.  I tend to agree with your contractor.  As frig it is discretionary as many renters own it.

I provide fridge (no icemaker), washer, dryer, garbage disposal, stove. No dishwasher only because there never was one.  I might add one later, it depends.  It has central AC and heat.

Depends on the area.

In NYC, its common to supply refrigerators. Not having one is a turnoff and tenants rather rent elsewhere rather than spend money on the refrigerator, especially newly weds or someone just leaving home having also to buy furniture.

I know in some areas, landlords don't supply them. Tenants moving in with their own from these areas  have the choice of using mine, find somewhere to store theirs, or sell theirs. One tenant wind up using both, placing his own in the living room. In another case, I stored mine in the garage when the tenant used his own.

As to dishwashers, I always add them when I update kitchens. And my SFR has washer/dryers because tenant buy them, when they leave ask if I want to buy them, usually at a bargain. But my deal for the next tenant is, you repair it at your expense, and you can dispose it when it's too expensive to repair, but I won't replace.

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