As a landlord with a residential property that you let to tenants, chances are you’ve invested in a rental home as a means of securing a comfortable income for yourself during your retirement in the form of weekly, fortnightly or monthly rental payments.
While there are many benefits to having invested in a rental property to let to paying tenants, it’s an investment that requires regular maintenance and repairs to ensure that it holds its value over time, as well as enabling you to consistently meet your legal obligations to your tenants as a landlord.
Naturally, all of the areas throughout a rental property need regular attention, from the roof to the basement, with one of the most overlooked areas the household appliances that come with the property when you lease it to tenants. These appliances generally include the stove and oven, but if you’re letting the property furnished, it will also include a refrigerator, a washing machine and perhaps even a dishwasher.
In this short article, we outline the benefits of properly maintaining your household appliances along with ways to keep them functioning properly so that you can get the most from your investment.
Put a Clause in the Lease
It may be possible to insert a clause in the lease (rental contract) that requires the tenant to keep the domestic appliances in the rental property clean and properly maintained. In upmarket rental properties, the kind of properties that come decked out with high-end appliances, clauses like this aren’t uncommon as appliance repairs can steadily eat away at the profits that the landlord makes.
If it’s a property that’s been leased with full furnishings, a clause like this is essential to protect your investment in a fully furnished property. Don’t forget with the exception of the stove and oven in the kitchen, you’re not obligated to provide domestic appliances, so if you choose to let a property with appliances and furnishings, take the required measures to ensure tenants take proper care of them.
Have Appliances Inspected Regularly
Periodic inspections carried out by reputable local appliance repair companies is an excellent way of protecting your appliances and keeping them functioning efficiently for longer. All home appliances, from dishwashers and washing machines to dryers, refrigerators and ovens, need to be inspected by a professional periodically to identify any areas that are in need of attention, for example, parts that need replacing or areas that need a healthy dose of elbow grease to keep them clean.
If your rental property is leased with laundry appliances (washing machine and dryer), when you have your appliances inspected by a local domestic appliance specialist, they’ll inspect the following:
Washing Machine – Check the settings. These include the wash cycle and water temperature.
Washing Machine – Check operation. They’ll look for issues like excessive vibration and noise.
Dryer – Check drum seals. Both drum seals (front and back) are checked for wear and tear.
Dryer – Check thermostat. They’ll check the thermostat and ensure the dryer delivers high heat.
The frequency in which appliance inspections should be carried out will depend on factors such as the quality of the appliances, their age, previously identified issues and the feasibility of having them inspected while tenants are in the property. It’s a good idea to have domestic appliances inspected in between leases, but if this isn’t possible you’ll need to work something out with the tenants.
As it’s in the tenants’ best interests to have properly functioning appliances at the property they rent, you should find that most tenants will prove very accommodating if you give them the required notice to inspect the appliances and carry out any maintenance and repair work that’s required. To ensure you don’t breach any laws or legislation, you should provide notice of the inspection through the correct channels, which is the property agent if you’re letting through a real estate agency.
Don’t Delay Repairs
Delaying appliance repairs not only puts you at risk of breaching your legal obligations to the tenant as a landlord, especially if failing to repair an appliance makes the property unsafe, as it also puts the appliances at further risk of damage. This is a prominent reason for inspecting domestic appliances on a regular basis, but you should also let your tenants know that they shouldn’t hesitate to contact the property agent (or yourself if you’re managing your rental property) if they notice an issue with any appliance in the property.
Even a minor issue, if left unresolved, can increase in severity to the point where the appliance can no longer be repaired and will need replacing, so unless you want to replace your appliances more frequently than you need to, you’ll have any issue the tenant identifies seen to promptly by a local appliance repair service provider.
This will not only help to keep the domestic appliances functioning as they should, maximising the investment that you’ve made, as it also empowers you to develop a good relationship with the tenant, which is very important. When you have appliance-related issues resolved quickly, you’re showing the tenant that you care about their wellbeing and that you appreciate them renting your property. That makes them more likely to rent the property longer, which provides you with better returns on your investment – isn’t that what all landlords are trying to achieve with their properties?
As you surely know well from your experience as a landlord and by reading through the points above, household appliances don’t come cheaply, so the better the home appliances in your rental property are maintained, the better the returns on your investment will be.
If you’re to maximise your investment in a rental property and enjoy great returns in the long-term, look for ways to get your tenants to look after your appliances, have all appliances inspected periodically by a domestic appliance specialist and ensure that any repairs required are carried out promptly, earning you the trust of your tenants and making it more likely that they’ll sign another six or twelve-month lease.