Landlord Tips for Managing White and Brown Goods
As a landlord you may decide to rent out your property with white and brown goods included. White goods are large kitchen appliances such as a fridge, cooker, freezer, washing machine etc. Brown goods, on the other hand, are smaller electrical appliances, such as toasters, kettles, TVs etc.
Are Landlords Responsible for White Goods?
It’s understandable that the majority of tenants these days expect to find white goods already in the property (they don’t want to carry their own fridge around from tenancy to tenancy).
As the landlord it’s down to you to make sure these white goods are in good and safe working order. For this reason, it’s not always a good idea to buy second hand white goods. It can also make sense to take out an extended warranty on new appliances, for two or up to five years.
Landlords are obliged to check the electrical safety of appliances every five years. It’s just sensible to do this anyway since faulty appliances – loose wires, frayed cables etc – are often the cause of house fires.
Are Landlords Responsible for Brown Goods?
Having brown goods in your buy to let can make life a lot more comfortable for tenants who perhaps can’t afford to buy their own. As a result, it can make your rental property more appealing to prospective renters and help you to cut down on void periods.
Again, extended warranties are a good idea here so that if it stops working an appliance can be replaced or fixed. This is especially important for a hoover, for instance!
Brown goods are often subject to Portable Appliance Testing (PAT). This is carried out by a fully-qualified electrical engineer and it’s a good idea to get it done annually. After it’s been checked, the engineer will put a sticker on it with the date. This is reassurance for both you and your tenants alike.
Keeping a Record of White and Brown Goods
Because you’re not living in the property yourself, it can be easy to forget exactly what brown goods are there. And this is why keeping a record of items and when they were checked is absolutely necessary. It reminds you of when warranties are about to run out and when particular appliances need PAT tested.
It might also be a good idea to have a chat with your tenant and let them know about the dates warranties run out as well. That way, if an item is getting to the end of its life your tenant can keep an eye on it and hopefully let you know if it breaks down while still in warranty.
Landlord’s Responsibilities Summarised
Safety Really Should Be Your Priority
That means getting both white and brown goods tested on a regular basis (at least once a year).
Consider Extended Warranties
It costs to initially take these out but the convenience and cost savings at a later stage make warranties worthwhile. It also gives both you and your tenant peace of mind.
Have a Chat With Your Tenants About Warranties
Stress to them that if anything goes wrong with appliances to let you know about it immediately. That way you can get them fixed free of cost (or even replaced) so that no-one has to go without for weeks on end.
Always Keep an Eye Out for Recalled Products
This does happen from time to time and for safety’s sake it’s important to be on the ball in this respect. If there’s a problem just remove the appliance from your rental property as soon as you can. Replace it if your tenants use it a lot.
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