Many appliances will breakdown in your rental property. It is wise to spend money on quality for a few of these appliances and save where you can. You don’t need to spend a lot to get quality and you might not even have to buy new either. Instead, read reviews and buy smartly.
Washing machines get abused through over loading, unbalanced loads and heavy usage. Some landlords provide coin operated washing machines in which case they will already be of commercial grade. If you are supplying in-unit washing machines, spending money on quality will be in your favour.
Only buy a commercial quality washing machine if you are supplying laundry appliances. In 5 years of managing rental properties, 3 washing machines have broken down including a 2 week new low-end model. Now we only replace broken washing machines with commercial grade machines.
As an alternative, replacing them with used old models is also a good idea. The old machines were built like tanks and are likely to last longer.
A good quality toilet doesn’t need to be expensive but must come with good reviews. It is also a good idea to replace all old toilets with water efficient models. It’s good for the environment, our city resources and your bottom line if you pay for water utilities. If tenants pay for water, it is still a good idea to replace low efficiency toilets as they are a big consumer of water for tenants and they cannot minimize their toilet water use to save on their bills. Efficient toilets also take less toll on your house’s sewer system.
In the Middle
Dryers don’t tend to break down in my experience but are a liability if the timer malfunctions and doesn’t automatically stop drying when clothes are dry. The liability in this case is the unlikely event of a fire if a tenant leaves the dryer running unattended and the timer malfunctions.
Stoves don’t break down often but it only takes one element for a tenant to call their landlord. A stove has over 6 elements and it takes only one of those elements to get a maintenance call. A fuse might also break or one of the electrical connections might short out.
A grease fire ruined the fan of a range hood. A light bulb outlet wouldn’t work on a range hood. This appliance will foster maintenance requests from tenants if it doesn’t work properly. If a range hood breaks down, make sure you buy a well reviewed brand. My contractor recommended “Allure 1″ range hoods by Nutone.
Buy Low End
Never have I had to replace a fridge in the last 5 years of managing rentals. Fridges don’t have moving components other than the door. Don’t spend any more money than you need to on a fridge other than buying a fridge that is efficient on electricity.
Dishwashers range in quality but they haven’t broken down for me. Some dishwashers will wash better than others. This will add to the reasons that your tenant want to continue renting your quality rental. Buy a dishwasher that does a good job to wash dishes through online reviews in order to get good value.
What is your experience with replacing appliances on your rental properties.