I am revamping my lease agreement and I am wondering what to do about some of the appliances. I have appliances like the refrigerator and washer/dryer available with the rental because they were leftover appliances from previous tenants. Nice appliances with lots of life, but usually my tenants must bring in their own refrigerator and washer/dryer. I feel like I may be responsible to replace these appliances if they were to break down or should the tenant buy their own appliances. What do other folks do about appliances in their rentals and what are your experiences?
Hi @Susan Grinde ! To paraphrase, our lease makes it clear that any appliances provided are there as a convenience to the Resident and Management assumes no responsibility for their operation. No part of the monthly rent is attributable to them. We will verify that they work at the time of move-in. Beyond that, the Resident is on their own.
Note that this only applies to true appliances, like microwaves, washers, dryers, and refrigerators, and not critical systems, like the water heater, the furnace, or AC.
Also note that we lease in Georgia, which is blessedly landlord friendly! Your mileage may vary...
Although I provide my tenants with washers/dryers, because of abuse problems in the past, I now tell my tenants...both verbally and in the lease...that I'm supplying the washer and dryer for their convenience. But, if they break, I won't repair or replace them. I also had a tv that got left behind by one tenant and the next tenant wanted it. I said, "Sure!" And with the same warning that I was not providing the tv. But they could have it for as long as it worked.
At least for me, refrigerators and stoves are different. Those I will replace if they break. Primarily because, at least for my area, those are expected to be provided by the LL. Plus, when they break, that's not usually the tenant's fault.
Just ensure your lease is very clear about who is responsible for repair and/or replacement. If you don't spell it out, the assumption is you are taking responsibility.
@Nathan G. Good advice. Nathan! I am finding there are other things in my lease that I need to make very clear.
I specify in the lease which appliances are provided and maintained by the owner - in SE Tennessee where I lease properties, refrigerator, stove and dishwasher are customarily provided. The few times a tenant left behind a washer / dryer, we left it as a courtesy, but did not replace / remove when it died. Best of luck, @Susan Grinde !
@Christina J. Thanks, Christina! Makes a lot of sense.
@Susan Grinde we used to provide all the appliances but after tracking maintenance calls for the last 3 years, we realized more than 50% of the calls were because problems with appliances. So we are now in the process of establishing a new system: we specify in the lease that refrigerator and stove are provided and maintained by us and also that our properties come with washer and dryer hookups, but not the machines.
All the best!
@Susan Grinde - Interesting! In our market we 100% have to supply the appliances. I'd never rent an apartment or house if I didn't. If you're not going to supply them then just sell them.
We supply all kitchen appliances but have our tenants bring in their own washer/dryer. We had a unruly washing machine that was the vain of my existence for my first year of being a landlord.
We maintain our own appliances and haven't had any issues. We do put the serial numbers of the appliances in the lease and stipulate that those exact appliances must still be in the unit at the end of the lease to try to prevent tenants from selling our nices, newer appliances and replacing them with junk appliances. I assume that as we grow, we'll have to change our policies, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.
This is the appliance clause in my lease:
"Stove and dishwasher are provided and maintained by Landlord. Refrigerator, if supplied, is for the convenience of the tenant and will not be repaired or replaced by Landlord."
Please note that my rentals are in a small town in Missouri.
Our lease states appliances are convenience items and not maintained by the landlord. In real life, we will maintain the dishwasher, range and built in microwave. We don't supply laundry machines or fridges. If anything is in the house because it was left there (fridge) we make it clear that if it breaks, we won't fix it. Also, if we leave a fridge and the tenant has their own, we'll remove it for them.
I have always provided stove/oven, built in microwave/hood exhaust, and dishwasher. I was mentored this way since washing machines and dryers can be easily abused big ticket items and if a tenant moves out leaving a fridge full of food; same thing. Its almost impossible to get the smell and the mold out of it.