What do landlords need to know about white goods? Our guide will let you know everything you need to know about white goods.
Being a landlord is no different to running any other business. If you want to be assured of regular income generating good margins, you are subject to the economics of supply and demand. Which is as much to say, if prospective tenants demand it, you have to supply.
Nowadays, providing a house for rent without kitchen white goods would be much the same as supplying it without central heating or a connection to a phone line that you can hook broadband up to. You have a pretty slim chance of being the first choice for most tenants and they certainly won’t pay top prices.
But for all that refrigerators, freezers and washing machines, together with hobs, cookers and microwaves, are viewed as essential fixtures and fittings in most properties nowadays, there is a fair amount of confusion around landlords’ responsibilities for them. So we thought we’d try to clear up a few of the grey areas.
Let’s start with the basics. Are landlords required to supply white goods and home appliances in general? No, not at all - there is actually nothing in the law that says a landlord has to provide any kind of electrical fixtures unless you count smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
This raises another question - if you supply white kitchen goods, does that count as letting the property be furnished? Again, there is no legal definition here. What constitutes furnished and unfurnished has only evolved through custom. That said, you probably wouldn’t get very far if you tried to advertise a property that contained white goods but no beds or sofas as furnished. The main impact of this is you wouldn’t be able to charge the same levels of rent as fully furnished properties of a similar size in the same area.
Who is responsible for repairs?
Arguably the biggest area of confusion for landlords and tenants alike when it comes to white goods is who is responsible for repairs. One of the most common misapprehensions is that landlords are automatically liable to maintain appliances if they are supplied with the property.
This is not the case. The relevant piece of legislation, Section 11 of the Landlord & Tenants Act 1985, does not help clarity on this matter by talking about an ‘implied covenant’ on behalf of the landlord, i.e. an assumed responsibility rather than anything set down in the contract. But all this explicitly refers to is water, gas and electricity supplies, sanitation facilities and central heating.
In practice, landlords are strongly advised to spell out the terms of appliance care in the lease and to make this known to prospective tenants. Refusing to repair white goods supplied with the property without making it explicit from the start that tenants are responsible for their upkeep, and including this in the terms of the tenancy agreement, is likely to cause a bad feeling. It is nowadays common to practice for most landlords to assume responsibility for white goods repair and replacement in the interests of providing a good level of service.
Which begs the question - what is the best way to get appliances repaired quickly and efficiently? If you take pride in good relations with tenants, leaving a family with young children without a cooker for several days is unlikely to go down well. All the more so if it is written into the contract that you are responsible for repairs.
Even if you take out an extended warranty on the white goods in your rental property, getting repairs in good time can be a problem. That is why Go Assist provides its maintenance service on all white goods, including cookers, microwaves and vacuum cleaners, on the date you need. We offer a fixed price on every call out for complete transparency and all repairs from manufacturer-approved engineers are fully guaranteed. We also offer a no fix, no fee policy on most major brands, so if you do have to replace an appliance, you don’t have to worry about call-out charges on top of that.
Fast reliable repairs
Contact us today to get a free quote on your white goods repairs.