Should I supply additional appliances, such as Refrigerator and Washer and Dryer

Should I supply additional appliances such as a Refrigerator, Washer, and Dryer?

Landlords and rental property owners often reach out to our team with questions regarding appliances. Appliances can be a sticky subject, so we're here to shed some light on whether or not you should provide them, what appliances we recommend providing and staying away from, and how to protect yourself when it comes to maintaining them. 

Question 1: Am I required to provide appliances to my tenants? 

Legally, the answer is no. Practically, the answer is yes. You are not required to provide any appliances to your tenants. The state of NC/SC provides landlords with a Landlord/Tenant Law...which outlines what property owners are legally required to provide their tenants. Items like working window locks, functioning plumbing and electrical, and trash receptacles must be adhered to by NC/SC landlords. While appliances are not required by this code, practically speaking, the landlord should provide them to make their properties more desirable to a prospective tenant.

Click here to review - NC Landlord Tenant Law

Click here to review - SC Landlord tenant Act

There are some appliances we recommend you absolutely provide to your tenants. Refrigerators and stoves are the top two appliances necessary for a space to be truly habitable. Extra appliances like dishwashers, microwave washers, and dryers are a bit more ambiguous. They are not necessary but can be a nice offering to potential tenants. This is especially the case if your rental competition is providing these additional amenities. 

Be aware that some appliances typically require more maintenance than others. Washers and Dryers, for instance, have a tendency to break down. You should factor additional maintenance into your anticipated expenses when providing this kind of appliance to your tenant.

Question 2: Do I have to maintain the appliances I'm providing to my tenants?

The answer, in this case, as per NC Landlord-tenant Law is "Yes". 

If the Owner is not willing to maintain an appliance, then the appliance should be removed from the property at the Owners expense prior to rental marketing or leasing to avoid discrepancies and lease compliance issues. TouchPoint's maintenance team can assist with the removal of the appliance.

Question 3: What if you provide your tenants with appliances and they break due to tenant misuse or neglect? 

TouchPoint PM's lease agreement clearly outlines how issues with appliances will be handled, as well as who is required to maintain them.

If the appliances break and need repair or replacement because of normal wear and tear, the Owner is required to cover costs associated with repair or replacement. 

If the appliances break and need repair or replacement due to tenant misuse and or neglect, the owner is advised to cover the costs and TouchPoint will invoice the Tenant based on the age and depreciation of the appliance to collect the Money from the Tenant during the lease and if they don't pay, then we will collect from the Tenant's Security deposit after Move-Out. Once the money is collected from the Tenant, the Owner will be reimbursed the amount. This is to keep the Owner and Tenant compliant with their end of the lease and avoid legal issues. 

Based on the maintenance technician's diagnosis, age, and condition of the appliance, TouchPoint will document the cause of the breakdown or damage and apply "normal wear and tear status" or "Misuses and Neglect status."

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