Inherited Tenants Who Installed Washer / Dryer

3 Replies

I have recently purchased a Multi-Family with tenants who rented under a lease while I was under contract. I reviewed the lease and agreed prior to purchase (lease signed by previous owner and tenants). When I viewed the apartment during final walk through, the tenants had installed a washer and dryer (installed by big box store). The first floor unit is vacant and we have now upgraded necessary areas and are ready to rent. A family member of the 2nd floor tenant is interested in the first floor unit (which relieves of other issues). With respect to new tenant (regardless of whether the family member is going to rent), how would you handle the washer / dryer situation? We currently do not have a washer/ dryer installed in the vacant unit. We are not opposed to it, but how would you handle the water bill? Currently, the 2nd floor lease does not state water is to be paid by the tenant (all other utilities are paid by the tenant). I obviously would like for the current tenants to remain, but also make the new tenants feel they are receiving equal treatment. Apartments are identical other than upgraded appliances, re-grouted bathrooms, and kitchen backsplash (along with much nicer paint colors).

Well unless the market in your area demands it I certainly would not go out of my way to buy laundry appliances for the vacant unit just to appease a potential tenant . Let them buy their own and charge them higher rent to compensate for more water usage !! Look Laundry uses a lot of water and you are going to get stuck with the bill if you don’t have that separated or figured out . Laundry machines fail and they are expensive . When that dryer quits who do you think they are going to call on a Saturday night ? Hint; It won’t be the Maytag guy ! You will lose money one way or another on those appliances I can assure you so you need to have the tenant paying extra in the form of coin operated machines or increased rent

I'm going to be a bit of a contrarian to the above posters, but let me first qualify my post by stating that your market will determine what you should do.

We frequently install en-suite laundry in our units - in fact, we have removed common coin-op laundry in most buildings of 6-units or less in favour of en-suite laundry - for the following reasons:

  • electricity and, in most cases, hot water costs are transferred to the tenant;
  • where water is sub-metered, water costs are transferred to the tenant;
  • high-efficency residential laundry machines are about half the capital costs of commercial coin-operated machines;
  • we can command $30 - $50/month in additional rent with en-suite laundry;
  • by installing our own machines, we know they are installed property, with catch/drain pans and {going forward} leak detect shutoffs; and
  • with en-suite laundry vandalism of laundry machines has been non-existant ... and if a machine is damaged, we know who is responsible.

We have a good rapport with a couple of local appliance suppliers and get called whenever they have "dinged and scratched" units to unload ... a small, cosmetic dent in the side of a washer - which will never be seen when it is installed in a laundry closet - can be worth a 40 - 50% discount.  Additionally, we can depreciate appliances at a rate of 20% - so between the extra rent, the discounted appliance and depreciation, a new laundry is often paid for in 18-months ... after which they continue to bring in extra rent.