Steps For Maintaining Your Rental’s Appliances
If the appliances in your rentals seem to be breaking down sooner than you expect, then you aren’t alone. Between 15 and 40% of home appliances will develop problems or break within the first five years. While today’s appliances now offer many more features, the electronics that come with them mean that there are even more things to go wrong and create reliability problems that were unheard of three decades ago. While there are no laws that require landlords to include appliances in their rental homes, many landlords do provide appliances which are popular with tenants.
When these appliances are used regularly, they also often need regular maintenance to ensure they continue to work effectively. But as you don’t live in the property, the general upkeep of these items is generally left to the tenant who may not take as much care of your appliances as you would resulting in large appliances likely to break down before their average lifespan is up. However, with a little time and effort, you can continue to offer your tenants the convenience of appliances without losing money on early breakdowns.
Lease Agreement And Appliance Inventory
Unless it is spelled out clearly in the lease agreement, there is no specific law that requires landlords to provide appliances in rental properties. It is a good idea to include provisions in the rental agreement as to who is responsible if a large appliance were to break down. Whether you remain responsible for all appliances or not, it is crucial that you discuss details regarding appliance care, maintenance and responsibility your tenant before they sign. You could also provide your tenants with an appliance checklist that inventories all appliances in the rental property. It can include a list of appliances, appliance model and serial numbers, date of purchase, warranty information, an inspection and maintenance list. This will help to avoid any confusion regarding maintenance obligations and will provide you with protection if a tenant damages, breaks or steals your appliances.
Appliance Maintenance And Care
Between tenants, it’s a good idea to give the appliances in your rental a maintenance check to keep them in good working order and ready for the next tenant to move in. People open and closing the door to the refrigerator more than they realize and this can wear the seal. You can test the door seal by shutting the door on a dollar bill. If the note slips then you will probably need to replace your refrigerator’s rubber gasket which keeps the hot air out and the cold air in. Thoroughly clean the condenser coils at the back of the fridge and replace the water filter to ensure the water and ice are clean and to prevent leaks and blockages.
You should also check the clothes washer for any leaks or cracks before tightening any fittings that have come loose. Meanwhile, aim to replace hoses every five years to keep the machine working well. If you provide an air conditioning unit in your rental home then this will need regular maintenance to ensure it continues working smoothly. Air conditioning systems often stop working just because they clogged with dirt and dust, so give the filters a thorough clean or replace them if necessary. You should also give the fans a good clean and tighten and clean the blades.
Appliances offer a great feature for your rental property and can help you to attract better quality tenants. Short and long-term care of these appliances is therefore crucial so that your rental income isn’t wasted on paying for expensive repairs or replacements.
Written by Guest Blogger – Ali McGovern
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