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Posted on March 1, 2022

Written by general admin

Landlords and Liability: What appliances should I include in my rental property?

There are pros and cons to installing extra appliances in your investment property. Some tenants are willing to pay more for rentals with whiteware, inbuilt security measures, or luxury features like spas or pools. However, as the landlord, increased rent can also come with increased maintenance costs and responsibilities.

What appliances do I have to include in my rental property?

On 1 July 2019, the government introduced new minimum standards for heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture ingress and drainage, and draught stopping in rental properties. Rental properties require the following appliances:

  • one or more fixed heaters that can directly heat the main living room to 18 degrees. Heaters must be fixed to the wall or floor and must be at least 1.5 kW.
  • an extractor fan in the kitchen and bathroom. Exceptions can be made if it isn’t possible to retrofit them.
  • a working stove and oven in the kitchen.
  • working smoke alarms. Although tenants are responsible for ensuring batteries are replaced during their tenancy.

What appliances can I consider adding to my rental property?

As a landlord, it’s up to you what types of appliances you would like to include in your rental, but there are some benefits to providing certain appliances. Some tenants like the convenience of having a fridge, washing machine or dishwasher provided and are prepared to pay a little bit more for these to be included.

Security systems, burglar alarms, electric gates and security lights can help tenants feel safe and help deter thieves from entering your property.

Other appliances or features you might want to consider include:

  • Waste disposal units
  • Auto garage door opener
  • Heated towel rails
  • Spa baths
  • Bidets
  • Swimming pools 
  • Spa pools
  • Sauna
  • Water filters
  • Insect disposal units
  • Awnings
  • Fountains
  • Fishponds
  • TV aerials

What to consider before installing unmandated appliances

Before installing an unmandated appliance, landlords should consider the cost-benefit. Consider whether or not the additional appliance is something tenants want and are prepared to pay for.

For rental properties with spa pools or swimming pools, landlords should be careful about who they rent to. These require a certain level of upkeep, and issues can arise if they aren’t maintained. It could be in your best interest to drain or disconnect these features if they are already on the property.

At the very least, think carefully about who you rent the property out to. A family or older couple may take better care of a swimming pool than younger tenants. Tenants want appliances to be in working condition but tend not to take the care required to avoid repairs.

Who is responsible for repairing unmandated appliances?

Landlords are responsible for maintaining appliances. If your property has a pool, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to ensure the pool barrier meets compliance requirements under the Building Act and the local Council requirements.

If a tenant causes damage to any appliance on purpose or through neglect, they may be liable for the cost of repair or maintenance. Tenants are required to perform duties that will keep the chattels in working order. These can include:

  • cleaning appliances after use
  • using appliances as intended
  • keeping lint trays clear
  • using the right products for washing/cleaning
  • defrosting freezers

Tenants are also required to inform their landlord as soon as an item needs to be repaired or maintained. If a tenant or a landlord is required to fix something but doesn’t, the other party can issue them with a 14-day notice to remedy. This gives them 14 days to get the work done.

How to ensure your rental appliances are looked after

If you have unmandated appliances in your rental property, speak to your tenants about your expectations when they first move in.

Choosing the right tenants can help extend the life of the appliances in your rental property.

As experienced property managers, we take care to pair the right tenant with the right home to ensure your investment and chattels are well cared for.

If you are looking for an experienced property specialist who understands how to care for your individual property, call us on (09) 832 0832.