Should Landlords Provide a Washer & Dryer? Responsibility Advice, Raleigh, NC
System - Monday, October 23, 2017
Insurance premiums and deductibles are going to be some of the most common expenses that affect your cash flow. So, when you’re deciding whether you want to provide a washer and dryer in your rental home, consider the potential for loss and liability.
What Does a Landlord Have to Provide?
We recently had an issue where a tenant had moved into a property, and after less than a week of living there, the entire first floor of the home flooded. The inspection revealed that the washing machine was not hooked up properly. This was a washer the tenant had brought into the home, and they hired someone to hook it up, but it wasn’t done right, and it began leaking in the middle of the night. The tenants reported it to us the next day, and since it was done through their online portal, we had that report time and date stamped. Insurance companies need these timelines so they can see when the loss occurred, when we responded, and when it was resolved.
Is Landlord Responsible for Water Damage?
This was a new tenant in the property and a new customer for us at Paramount. This landlord had been managing the property for a number of years, and initially thought it would be a good idea to provide the tenant with a washer. We advised against this. In our market and in Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Lake Forest, Durham, and the surrounding areas - there’s no price advantage to providing a washer and dryer. The bottom line is risk management and expense control.
Handling Insurance Claims for Damage
When you file an insurance claim, your rates might go up, or you’ll be denied renewal at the next opportunity. So, we don’t recommend that you leave a washer and dryer at your rental property. The washer is a flood hazard, and the dryer is a fire hazard. Losses can occur because of your washer and dryer. When that happens, it’s your responsibility, and you’ll have to file a claim with your insurance company. However, if the tenants bring those appliances in, it becomes a tenant expense and a tenant responsibility.
We require liability insurance for our tenants, so in this case the tenant had insurance and was able to pay for the carpet replacement. It all worked out, without costing our owner any additional money.