Adding coin (or some pay to use) laundry at small multis

3 Replies

I know this question has been asked before. I'm convinced it's worth it.  Here are my questions.

When adding coin laundry to small multis (I'm really talking 4-plexes), how is:

  1. Rentability impacted? I know I wouldn't want to live some place where I had to drive to do laundry.  Honestly I don't want to live anywhere that doesn't have laundry in the unit, but I've never lived in a multi unit.
  2. Does anyone believe this justifies raising rents?  I'm not trying to squeeze blood out of a turnip, I'm thinking $10-$15 a month a unit.
  3. I have heard of companies that install their units and maintain them.  The utilities are up to the owner, and once a month they receive a check for part of the funds.  Does anyone have such a company they recommend, especially in the Kansas City area?  I've heard they exist but can't seem to find them online.  Perhaps I'm not doing the proper word search.

I have a 2 triplexes that each have a laundry room.  In each laundry room, is a "laundry alcove" where each unit has their own washer/drier hookup.  I do not provide individual unit washers and dryers.  

We put in used, refurbished coin operated machines when we bought the building.  (so we have 2 washers and 2 dryers for 6 units.)  Most of the inherited tenants had their own washers and dryers when we bought the building.  As we have had turnover, new tenants tend not to buy or bring their own machines.  They use the coin ops and use their "laundry alcove" for additional storage.

I don't look on the coin ops as a profit center.  When we bought the building, there were gaping holes where the coin-ops were designed to be.  Repainting the laundry rooms, installing commercial quality scissor gates to secure the alcoves (tenants were complaining that the other tenants were stealing their detergent, etc.), and installing the coin-ops was the first capital improvement that we made.   I think that having a clean, nice looking laundry room helps the units rent quickly.

If its a shared space for laundry and you have a utility hook ups that permit that you can install and run the machines on landlords dime for water and power PERFECT.. for 4 units it would be a big plus to have the option to do it on premises,, 2 washers and 2 dryers would probably be best.. that way if one dies you'll already have a back up and it's faster to do 2 loads at a time.. of course.

As far as charging tenants more money for rent.. you should be within market rent period.. so check out what others are charging in your area.

Laundry isn't free so what ever the locals are getting at a laundromat you should be within a 50 cents of the same for price.. make sure you empty the machines regularly and a good used set you could probably find on craigslist.

The machines will pay for themselves in no time along with utilities.  Make sure proper ventilation is done for the dryers,, and inspect the vents often,, lint builds up faster than you would think in multiple users and the dryers will run better with regular cleaning of the vents..

As the others said, having onsite laundry is a feature/benefit that tenants like.  Think marketing and attracting good tenants.   I keep the W/D rates below the local laundromat but make sure I keep the rental rates near market.  In my market, you'll make much more on keeping market rates than increasing your W/D by 25-50 cents.

I've had good success with WASH Laundry.  Quick to make repairs with minimal work from me.  I do collect the coins since I'm already inspecting every property at least once per month anyways.

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