For landlords, finding tenants can be challenging – especially when the economy starts to slow down. Every property needs to be habitable, meaning ongoing maintenance is crucial. Everything from the electrics and plumbing to the windows and doors needs to be up to standard. These are non-negotiable and are legal requirements in every state.
Depending on how you approach your property lets, you may or may not provide appliances and white goods. If you don’t, it’s time to start thinking about making the change. Rentals that come kitted out with essential items will typically be rented out faster and for longer than those that aren’t.
What items are considered appliances?
Any additional fixture or fitting beyond the basics are considered as standard property appliances. As a general rule of thumb, if it’s movable and plugs into an energy source, it’s an appliance. Things that wouldn’t be classified as appliances would be an electric water heater, LED lights and a shower. These are standard fixtures expected to be included.
Depending on what’s included, the rental status can change, becoming much more lucrative for the landlord.
Unfurnished. Standard property rental without any appliances or furniture included. Typically achieves the lowest rental amounts and often stays empty for longer.
Part-furnished. Includes essential white goods, such as a fridge freezer, a washing machine, a microwave —the most popular type of rental.
Fully- furnished. Fully kitted out with all standard appliances and all furniture. Popular as holiday rentals and commands the highest rental prices.
Do landlords have to include appliances?
This all depends on how you or your property manager advertise your property. If it’s listed as an unfurnished rental, then you are not legally required to provide any appliances. Of course, you need to ensure that working plumbing and electrics are in place. But nothing needs to be connected to them.
On the flip side of the coin, if you’re renting out your property as part-furnished, certain appliances will need to be provided. These will typically include an oven, a refrigerator and a washing machine – vital components used in everyday life.
But wait! If you don’t have to legally provide appliances, then why would you? The real question here is ‘why wouldn’t you?‘
Many people searching for a new place to live will typically look for somewhere with bulky or expensive appliances already included. Offering whitegoods as part of the tenancy agreement introduces a higher weekly or monthly rental rate, which is good for the bank balance.
Part-furnished property rentals can go anywhere from $200 – $500 more than an unfurnished one. Over the course of a one-year tenancy, it can generate between $2,400 and $6,000 in additional income.
To give you a rough idea, a $1,200 refrigerator can boost rent prices by $50 a month. In two years, it will have paid for itself and will continue to generate revenue for many years to come.
What appliances are best for rental properties
It’s all about understanding what people need versus what people want. A few luxury extras go a long way with getting tenants signed up to an agreement, but the essentials are what will clinch the deal.
Here are our 8 recommended appliances to include in your rental property.
1. Washing Machine
Big, bulky and hard to transport. Offering a modern washing machine as part of the tenancy agreement can be a big draw for many renters. An essential item everyone needs, opting for an energy-saving model can keep bills low for your tenants while boosting your additional revenue stream.
Another life essential is the refrigerator. More often than not, this will be the most expensive appliance that you provide aside from the stove or oven. Typically large and heavy, many tenants are happy to pay extra for a property that includes one. Modern fridges consume less power and last for longer than old units. Opting for a combi fridge-freezer is even better.
One of the cheapest appliances you can add to your property is the microwave. A favourite in homes around the world, they offer convenient, time-saving heating that everyone appreciates. Many newer models come with broiling and baking settings making them perfect if you don’t include an oven in your property. However, their low price tag won’t generate much additional income. Perhaps an extra $5 a week.
4. Air Conditioning
With rising temperatures and long, hot summers – failing to include air conditioning in your rental property can be a deal-breaker for many people. If you don’t have air-con units installed, portable air conditioners can be a great way to entice tenants to sign up. These easy-to-move machines provide sufficient cooling and can cost less to run than a complete system thanks to their compact nature.
Another luxury item that many people appreciate is the dishwasher. While not necessarily seen as a must-have appliance for everyone, it can help create a finished look to the kitchen. Installing a water-saving dishwasher with eco settings will make it cheaper for your tenants to run and will usually pay for itself in the space of 2-3 years.
6. Clothes Dryer
More of a luxury item than a necessity, a clothes dryer makes it possible to keep clothing clean and fresh throughout the year. While most people will be happy to dry laundry in the garden, not every property comes with an outside area. If you’re renting out an apartment, a clothes dryer can improve your prospects of getting tenants moved in at a faster rate.
7. Flat Screen TV
Including a large flat screen smart TV can give your property a more luxurious feel. While the majority of people will already have a TV of their own, including one in the lounge lets them use theirs in the bedroom – something most people appreciate being able to do. Moving away from famous brands to up and coming tech providers can save you $100s without compromising on quality. Renting out property is all about dressing it in a way that adds value, and a TV can help with this.
8. Vacuum Cleaner
A vacuum cleaner is an excellent addition to every rental property – mainly because it encourages tenants to keep the place clean. Many modern vacuum cleaners are lightweight and easy to use and are generally very affordable. A stick vacuum is a great choice as it takes up very little space and runs on a battery. If you’re renting out a high-end property, then a robot vacuum cleaner adds that extra touch many now expect to find.
Keeping your appliances protected from damage
No matter whether you include just one appliance or the full range, there are steps you need to take to keep yourself protected. It’s no secret that tenants tend to be more rough with things that don’t belong to them. So letting them know that any damage that occurs is their responsibility is essential.
Create an inventory
When the tenant is ready to sign the tenancy agreement, your property manager will run through an inventory list with them during their walk-through and make sure they sign against each appliance. Your property manager should also take photos with a time and date stamp where possible. They will make it clear that any damage to the appliances is to be repaired at the cost of the tenant.
The bottom line
Once they have signed off the master list, your property manager will keep this for their records. A copy of the document will be given to the tenant as part of their tenancy agreement.
As a side note, you should also ask your property manager to include an additional section regarding the tenants own appliances. This covers you against damage from a leaking washer, the electrics or smoke damage should their devices be faulty.