Must landlords provide white goods?
No, not necessarily, however most landlords do tend to include at least the basic white goods, by which we mean an oven, washing machine and a fridge or fridge freezer, even in properties that are otherwise unfurnished.
Whether or not you choose to supply white goods is up to you, but if you don’t you might find it harder to let your property or you might be offered less rent as a result.
However, we wouldn’t recommend providing any more appliances than strictly necessary because you’ll be responsible for making sure they remain safe to use, which means that ideally you should have them checked by an electrician at least once every couple of years.
In budget accommodation, we’d recommend providing only an oven, fridge/freezer and a washing machine. You won’t necessarily get any more rent for providing more appliances, but you will be increasing your costs and giving yourself more hassle.
We’d only recommend installing a tumble dryer and a dishwasher in higher-end properties or larger homes intended for families or several sharers.
If there are white goods in the property when you advertise it or show tenants round, you should make it clear if they aren’t included in the rent or if you intend to remove them.
Who maintains white goods, the landlord or the tenant?
As previously mentioned, the landlord is responsible for ensuring electrical appliances are safe to use, but they don’t necessarily have to pay for repairs, even though caused by wear and tear. If you expect your tenants to pay, you should make this clear in the tenancy agreement and point this out to them before the start of the tenancy so it doesn’t come as a shock later on.
Even if the landlord assumes responsibility for repairs which, incidentally, we think it fairer and better, tenants would still be expected to pay if the damage was caused by something they did, such as overloading a machine or blocking the filter with hairbands left in dirty clothes!
If you are buying new appliances for a rental property, we recommend buying the best quality you can afford, rather than choosing the budget option. They are likely to last longer, causing you less hassle and saving you money in the long-run.
For extra peace of mind, you might want to consider buying an extended warranty to cover the cost of repairs once the manufacturer’s warranty has expired but if so, don’t automatically buy the one offered by the retailer as this is likely to be much more expensive than buying a warranty independently. Remember that old saying, every little helps?!