After 35 years of repairing and selling Domestic appliances, visiting thousands of rental properties and talking to tenants and Landlords, we would like to share our experience on the difference between a good price and good value. So, here are our tips on the various appliances we all use every day. Our thoughts are based on flats and smaller houses. For bigger more expensive rentals the rules change.
Lot’s to go wrong here, many moving parts, water and electricity in the same box and in flats you don’t want leaks. So don’t buy cheap.
Look to a decent brand like Bosch that can stand up to hard work and last a few years, also consider a longer guarantee period like Blomberg, 3years. Also consider how many are people use it, drum sizes vary and investing in a 7/8kg machine will help prevent overloading and wearing out quicker.
Eg; A £199.99 machine from one large online store will cost £59.97 to deliver, fit and remove the old. If lucky it will last 3 years and you have all the hassle of doing it again, so in 6 years you have spent £519.92 and your tenant may have have had a bad experience. A Blomberg 9kg, 1400 spin , 3 year g/tee sells in my shop today for £369.99 plus £25 del/fit/remove.
If you must, then again quality and to dry anywhere near efficiently you must have a larger drum size. All washer driers only dry ½ a load at a time so a small capacity machine is a nightmare.
Very different, why buy expensive it’s a big white box that gets cold and they differ very little. If possible avoid built in as they are much more expensive to replace and internally are smaller. The key here is size. If you are not restricted by space get the biggest you can. The biggest complaint we get is when 4 people sharing a flat have a tiny fridge/freezer. They all want a shelf. A small irritation, but if something bugs you every day you may just want to move.
Cookers and Ovens
As a general rule we would suggest an electric over gas, as it is safer and cleaner.
BUT, always check what power supply is needed, some built in single ovens are only 13 amp but all Freestanding, Double ovens and Hobs need a 30 amp hard wired supply. Normally somewhere near the cooker is a big red switch. If not obvious check before changing from gas to electric.
Let’s start with freestanding, Size is a restriction so if you only have a 50cm gap you are limited but the cheapest have only one door so you cannot grill and use the oven at the same time. They often come with one shelf, can you imagine trying to do a Sunday roast? Old fashioned solid plate rings will save you a couple of quid but will look tatty and dirty after a year. Ceramic tops are easy to clean and look good for years. A two door, ceramic top cooker starts at £299.99 and is easily cleaned up so your next tenant can use it without protective clothing. For larger spaces try to get the right size cooker. If you put a cheaper 50cm in a 60cm gap it looks out of place and good luck with the clean up between tenants.
Built in ovens must be fan ovens these days and again if you spend a bit more to get stay clean liners it can be used from one tenant to the next.
Hobs, if possible Electric Ceramic is the way to go. As explained, easy cleaning. Starting at about £150 why not? Gas hobs are cheaper £89.99 but twice the price to install.
Not always necessary but if you are going down this route freestanding are cheaper. The rules for washing machines apply here. If, however built in works better in the kitchen then don’t buy the cheapest. Installation costs of integrated means you don’t want to change it too often. A certain large online company for example charge £104.99, (we only charge £85).
It depends on the flat if you would even go down this route at all. Smaller properties may not have the space, but if on the 3rd floor with no garden you may have to consider a washer drier. If there is space and you want to put one in, consider a condensing machine unless you know for sure that there is way of venting the air out. Then it’s back to the same rules as for washing machines.