Should I include the washer and dryer in my SFR?

32 Replies

Should this be purchased by me the landlord, or should the tenant be the one to bring in their own W & D if they choose? A little reference on the property. It’s a new construction SFR and will rent for $1650.

Great question.  I generally do not.  If you rent more upscale property, you may have to include it.  Go with what the market dictates.

Here is the reason I do not:  Appliances break down and that means there are two more things you have to be responsible for.  Next, if the tenant gets their own appliances, then perhaps they are more committed to the property.  

I try to create rentals that have minimal repairs. 

@Jess White

I own duplexes and I do supply a washer and dryer. I usually get them used for about $250 for the set. I think it’s a good marketing tool over the competition.

@Jess White - I do not. I don't because then I'm responsible for fixing it. I offer to rent them washer/dryers for $50 a month, but they almost always provide their own. SFH's are tough to make really money on in regards to cashflow. One expensive repair can soak up month(s)/year(s) of cashflow in one whack. Reduce your responsibilities as much as you possible can.

I would say no for 2 reasons in your case.

1. This is something that you will be responsible for when they break.

2. You have a higher end rental and I would guess that people in this market already have their own washer and dryer. They will either have to store theirs or ask you to remove yours so they can use the ones they own and prefer.

@Jess White - this is totally market-driven, so go with what's typical in that area. My home area (Northern VA) almost always included W/D....and my home that's rented out includes them. I replaced them about 4 years ago and have had no need to repair either.
Where I recently moved to (Brevard County in FL) it appears that most SFHs do not include W/D. Follow the trend of your area. 

I’ll buy a set of craigslist or Facebook marketplace for 250 and then I add $50 to the rent each month so I triple my money on the washer and dryer

What does your competition do and if you deviate from that how will your market react?

My market demographic all but requires this so I provide them, and yes, the break and cost money to repair/replace. I think most of my tenant market would consider it a non-starter if I did not provide.

I don't either but I will offer to buy them  and the tenants pay extra rent until paid off (plus a mark-up for this). Once they are paid off the tenant owns them and since I make sure it is paid off before the warranty expires I don't have to pay any money to fix any problems if they arise. After that it is their problem because they own the units.

I don’t provide them. I don’t want to deal with a tenant saying “this washer doesn’t get my clothes clean enough, can you replace it”. This is especially a problem with newer washers today that don’t work as well as the older ones.

The benefit of providing them is that you don't have tenants moving them in/out or connecting water hoses incorrectly. You can buy a very nice used set for half the cost of new. You can increase the rent $50 a month and cover the costs of the machines in one year and then turn it into profit. Tenants without a washer/dryer will see this as another big moving expense and it may prevent some of them from renting.

The benefit of NOT providing them is that they get moved out so you can clean underneath and the hoses are changed regularly. Tenants may damage walls or floor moving theirs in/out.

To save $500 every 5-10 years on repairing/replacing washer dryers that you own you want tenants to go out and buy washers and dryers they probably won’t need for their next place. Try not to damage your walls during move in and move out, hopefully hook up correctly every time and not cause a fire, water leak or gas explosion doing something they may not have ever done before. 

How much more rent would you pay if it meant you didn’t have to go out and buy a washer dryer and install them and then dispose fo them when you move?

Why would you include a fridge? They break 10x more often. 

Charge $10/mo more rent with washer and dryer so you don’t turn away 1/2 your possible applicants. If the place is empty one extra week you lost money not providing them. 

I usually do not. However, if you do, charge for it. Just be prepared to (potentially) have to repair it. If tenant were to bring their own, they're responsible for it. Remember, if YOU provide it that is a service. Value is there. Charge for that. If tenant were to buy their own W, D it would cost them $600-1000. You're essentially saving them having to shell out that cash. I'd charge $40-75 extra per month. Maybe more..

Generally the renters supply their own units unless you purchased or have them onsite. I would look into the rental comps to see if the competition is supply their units with washer/dryers. 

@Jess White

I hadn’t really thought of this question, but looking at our own rentals... one has appliances provided and the other doesn’t.

I believe they are more committed if they bring their own. Any issues as a result of them bringing their own should be in a written document that your are not responsible for their appliance. But if you do provide W&D I highly suggest appliance insurance, it has saved us thousands by now.

Great question!

@Jess White

I wouldn’t buy/include right away. I deal with properties somewhat “full furnished”, and everyone have their own needs. Is hard to satisfy all prospect tenants.

Figure out competition rent with and without, then adjust the rent. Since is a new property, wait for the prospect tenant, ask yourself: do they have their own washer and dryer? What are their needs? Can you charge more rent if the prospect tenant needs that, what similar properties worth with and without the W/D? Same applies for the fridge... if you must include that, do it after securing the contract.

Chances are about 20+ prospect tenants have their won W/D, they will look for similar properties so they can save the $600 investment up-front, and they will move-on to the next similar property if that makes sense to them.

On the other hand, they may never need to buy W/D because they are 100% true tenants that always look for the house to include that and more.

If you put a new W/D in your property, that’s some cap ex plus maintenance within your rent/income!

What happens if the new prospects have their own W/D? Give yourself some flexibility. Don’t offer/install right away.

@Jess White one idea could be to advertise the W/D hookups but to increase the rent by $40/mo with the W/D units...

I provide washer and dryer units since it is standard in my market for SFRs.  If you decide to provide them for your tenants, be sure to have wording in your lease that states the washer/dryer units are your property.  If the tenants remove them without your written permission, they will be liable.  If your tenants replace them with new units without your written permission, be sure you have wording in the lease stating the new units are now your property at no cost to you (or whatever policy you want to put in place).  This came up for me when my tenants replaced my washer unit last year without my written permission and wanted me to pay for their chosen replacement.  Fortunately, I had the wording in my lease.

Your unit is a brand new one form what I can tell from your post.  Unless your competition includes them, don't do it.  Negotiate the inclusion of W/D in your contract.  Fact is, these things break!  Usually you are looking at 5 year span live with luck for replacement (that is $12-$15/monthly cash flow).  If you do, rise rent for $15 -$20 monthly... it will cover for the maintenance issue/replacement every 5 years.   

If you feel your property will have a vacancy of 1+ month over the W/D, then include that on your house and learn how much care the tenant will take care of the W/D.  Believe you will be disappointed, but over the vacancy, a good investment. 

Fact is, these things break! Usually you are looking at 5 year span live with luck

But but, we have a Harvest Gold clothes dryer that is I don't know how old. We got it over 20 years ago. Did 1 repair, replaced a drive belt and pulley, maybe 15 years ago. The washer is maybe 15 - 20 years old, bought used, no repairs needed. Knock wood. We maybe run 3 - 4 loads a week.

I guess it would be cheesy to put coin operated machines in a SFR. LOL.

If you do decide to supply the washer and dryer, I highly recommend Speed Queen. It will be the most reliable down the road.

what does your competition do?

We started out supplying both washer and dryer as fresh newbies to the rental game. However, now we do not since one set was stolen,  it was additional maintenance and some tenants wanted to use their own, so we had to move and store the ones provided. Same yourself the time & energy.

No let them bring their own otherwise you may be responsible for repairs in the future. 

Like everyone says it depends on your market. But if all the other rentals around you don't have the it might make sense for you to supply them so your unit stands out. Spend 300 to buy a lightly used set and bump the rent by 25. They are paid off in a year and if anything goes wrong you buy another set. I've never had to replace a washer or dryer within 2 years of buying one (knock on wood. ) And dont worry about tenants saying your washer doesn't clean well enough. That is not a true service call that needs fixing.

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