What Landlords Should Know About ‘White Goods’

I’ve been getting a few emails from folks regarding the details of “White goods”, so I thought I’d quickly jot down what I know about the issue. It’s not exactly the most exciting topic, but it’s an area worth knowing about if you’re a landlord.

What are “white goods”?

White goods refer to large electrical home appliances that are typically finished in white enamel. In letting/rental terms, they generally refer to the major kitchen appliances, such as fridges, washing machines and dish washers.

You’ll notice a lot of rental adverts declare that they do provide white goods. They’re generally referring to the major kitchen appliances.

Do I need to supply white goods in my property?

No, it’s completely up to the landlord. However, it’s important to note that most rental accommodation these days do come with white goods. Consequently, by failing to provide what is considered as “basic amenities” you could be scaring away a lot of potential tenants away. Some times it’s worth loosening the purse strings and providing white goods for the sake of getting tenants.

Who is responsible for repairing white goods?

This is a bit of a misunderstood area, as a lot of people think that if landlords supply the goods, then they also become responsible for repairs by default. When actually, that’s not the case, as it’s made very clear that White goods do not form part of the landlords repairing/maintenance obligations under section 11, Landlord & Tenant Act 1985.

It should state in the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement who is responsible for repairing White goods. I personally take responsiblity for repairing White goods, but I generally get 3-5 year warranties on all my products. If they need repair outside the warrenty period, that probably means they’ve lived their life.

If the tenant is responsible for repairing the white goods and it is stated in the AST, I would recommend discussing this before the tenants sign the contracts. This will avoid any problems if your tenants are unexpectedly informed they’re responsible for repairing/replacing any white goods.

If a property comes with white goods, is it considered “furnished”?

No, this is not the case. A property is still strictly “unfurnished” if it comes with only basic white goods and no other furniture.

Condition of white goods

White goods provided by the landlord must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order. All gas and electric appliances MUST be safe.

There is no statutory obligation on landlords or agents to have professional checks carried out on the electrical system or appliances. However, under Common Law and various statutory regulations: The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, The Housing Act 2004, The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, and the Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994, both of which come under the Consumer Protection Act 1987, there is an obligation for landlords to ensure that all electrical equipment is safe.

Gas appliances must have a valid Gas Safety Certificate from a Gas Safe Register Engineer for each appliance in a property.

Did I miss anything?

Does anyone else out there know any other useful facts/myths about the exciting world of white goods? If so, let me hear what you got…

20 Comments- Join The Conversation...

Guest Avatar
sheldon 15th December, 2009 @ 01:44

crap I've been paying money to repair mine when I could leave it up to the tenant?

Unless laws are different in ontario canada...

Guest Avatar
Petrona 15th December, 2009 @ 08:39

In Perth, Western Australia, if white goods are provided and they break down for no obvious reason, it's the landlord's responsibility to repair them (as it's considered to be normal wear and tear). If the tenant has caused the item to break (eg. by swinging off the fridge door, as one ex-tenant of mine did while on suspicious substances) then it's the tenant's responsibility to repair it.

Guest Avatar
Sam 15th December, 2009 @ 13:31

It's best practice to get all portable electrical appliances PAT tested (i.e. microwaves) PAT stands for portable electrical appliance. If I can shamelessly plug - you can test up to 20 items for just £59 via VirtualLetz - anywhere in the country and we liase we tenant. Plug over :)

Guest Avatar
Paul 7th January, 2010 @ 12:38

In UK, outside of statutory obligations, it largely depends on what is written in the tenancy agreement and therefore what is agreed between the parties.
If the T/A states that the tenant must jump over the garden wall on every full moon, and the tenant agrees to it by signing the T/A (provided the requirement is clearlt written) then I suspect you could enforce that they do it - so long as the landlord provides any tools required :-)
In terms of white goods I think that if the rent charged includes the provision of white goods, then generally the landlord will have the obligation to continue to provide them. So even if the tenant could be made to pay for repair, if they were beyond reasonable repair, then the landlord would need to provide a similar machine & model.

Guest Avatar
Justin Berkovi 18th September, 2011 @ 07:29

Great site!

We have moved into a property and the kitchen appliances really have come to the end of their natural life - the dishwasher only works sometimes, the fridge freezer is over 8 years old and cannot regulate temperature and the oven is so filthy that our food reeks of burnt grease when we use it to cook.

Does the landlord have to replace them?

Guest Avatar
Donna 23rd September, 2011 @ 12:21

A friend has rented her property with white goods (tumble drier, dishwasher etc). The tenants who have moved in to the property are now demanding them to be removed, assumingly so they can replace with their own. Does she legally have to honour this (she's moved to Aus so isn't close by). My assumption is the tenants took on the property knowing the goods where there so have to live with what's been provided.

Guest Avatar
neil 15th January, 2012 @ 16:39

Hello, i am a landlord and i supplied integrated kitchen white goods ie fridge, freeze & washing machine unfortuantely the freezer has since seized to work! I supplied the white goods in goodfaith although it did say in the T/A they would not be replaced should they malfunction the tenant now informs me its my obligation to replace the freezer simply because it was integrated and not a stand alone unit !!! Help i am struggling to pay the home insurance let alone another freezer

Guest Avatar
cordel 11th August, 2013 @ 19:37

Great piece it makes ita lot clearer, you quote the relevant legislation. But you mention
"White goods provided by the landlord must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order"

This makes perfect sense but on what legislation do you base this on, does a good state of repair mean it lasts 3 months before it brokes down for instance!

Guest Avatar
Bruce Jenkins 14th April, 2014 @ 10:14

If the landlord has 'gifted'the white goods to me in writing (not part of the short term Assured Tenancy Agreement) are they mine to remove when I leave the property?

Guest Avatar
S Roberts 1st June, 2014 @ 20:45

We have new tenants and they are complaining that the integrated freezer is not working. We have let them know we will replace it with an alternative but will not be branf new. They have told us that they will not accept a second hand one and that they will be contacting their lawyer. Do we have a legal requirement to provide brand new appliances?

Guest Avatar
Ingrid Beal 19th June, 2015 @ 13:16

My agent has sent me a copy of the Shorthold Tenancy Agreement signed by them and the tenant which includes a clause that the white goods have "gifted" to he tenant and should be removed at the end of the tenancy.
A copy of the agreement was not sent to me before signing and now that I have objected both agent and tenant refuse to remove this clause saying that I am legally bound to comply.
Is "gifting" a common practice?

Guest Avatar
andy 7th December, 2015 @ 20:16

I've got a tenant who I gave a fridge freezer to in good faith, other wise i'd of thrown it. but he said no i'll have it, to cut a long story short, I've got to travel 180 miles to replace it because it's broken down and 180 miles back, and cost me about £200 for a new one, and probably fuse has gone, aint happy with him or management agents. no more white goods for me. and by the way there are sacked, months notice

Guest Avatar
Steve 20th January, 2016 @ 12:02


I personally try to look after my tenants as much as possible, but I do rent mostly to families and professionals.

If you use companies like www.newlifeappliances.co.uk you can buy graded products at a fraction of the retail price. These products are essentially brand new and are just returns from large retailers. Everything I have bought that's still comes in the box has also included the manufacturers warranty.

They also sell refurbished items at a crazy cheap price with a year warranty that I've used in my one student letting. Again never with any issue.



Guest Avatar
Marko 8th July, 2016 @ 08:59

White goods -as result of removal depreciation allowances - this opening up a whole new business of rental white goods

Tenants enjoy peace of mind choice of white goods supplied with (Repair and Replace policy) and undertake responsibility of repair.

Recently new tenancies are offered choice white goods with repair service though third party suppliers

Guest Avatar
Matthew 4th August, 2017 @ 17:46

I am a tenant paying above what I should for this house. I have raised complaints a few times over our fridge freezer and it just broke causing us to have to throw out all food and the fridge is actually warm. In my eyes I think the landlord should replace the fridge freezer and the food as I have mentioned a few times previous to this

Guest Avatar
Pat Egan 19th October, 2017 @ 20:41

My Tenant has given Notice and advised me that she is taking all the white goods that she has replaced. I had no idea that there was anything wrong with the original white good nor that she had replaced them. Can she take the replacements and leave void spaces in the kitchen.

Guest Avatar
Craig Bickerstaffe 8th January, 2018 @ 22:22

Ive moved into a housing association property with my 2 daughters. My kitchen worktops are a bit scruffy and the kitchen has a built-in gas hob and a space for the integrated oven but no oven. There's no space or electric installation point for a stand-alone cooker which i would have been awarded with my other white goods. The housing association says that they aren't responsible for the integrated oven but because their hob is built into the worktop, and their kitchen has the space for the oven (and the council dont supply integrated ovens) surely it has to be their responsibility??

If its not, can I ask them to provide the electric installation point and remove the hob, so i can get my own cooker?

Guest Avatar
pete 9th January, 2018 @ 07:52

Hi Craig,
My view is that under the Housing Act the housing association will have a responsibility to provide heat and hot water, not a cooker. For them to now arrange to take out the hob and make good to allow you to fit a cooker is probably a relatively expensive exercise for them and in all fairness why should they pay for to do that.
If you are insistent that you want a cooker you could offer to pay their costs of works or to arrange the works with approved contractors to undertake it again at your expense (although most landlords and particularly housing associations would likely shy away from this for the risk of the tenant arranging sub-standard works themselves).
If you are worried about costs you could find a seconds oven which usually is because they have a dent in the side from delivery issues. As the oven is built-in you won't see it once installed but you will make quite a cost saving.
Hope that helps

Guest Avatar
Graham Nicholson 2nd August, 2018 @ 19:07

I am a tenant I got white goods when I moved can take them with me to my new flat

Guest Avatar
Andrea Borman 11th December, 2018 @ 19:22

I am looking for rented unfurnished accommodation( I am currently in a Council flat.) But I have found that most unfurnished flats already have white furniture provided by the landlord. Which I don't want because I have my own Fridge Freezer and washing machine. And want to take them with me rather than use someone elses.

But when I asked the letting agent if I could either have the landlords fridge freezer taken away myself so I can put my own in they said NO I cannot. Which I am very upset about, and one of the flats they showed me had a very old and dirty fridge freezer. So I asked if I took the flat if they would replace it they said NO. So I then asked if I would be allowed to buy my own and have the LL's Fridge taken away and replaced with my own, they also said NO I am not allowed to do that either.

Which is not fair as I don't see why I cannot bring mine or buy my own Fridge freezer or washing machine if I don't like the one that's in there. As I would be happy to be responsible for it myself since they are both mine and it would be easier for the landlord.
Since the white furniture would be my own.
But none of the letting agents I spoke to on the flats I viewed will let me.

I have just bought a new washing machine for £600 and I want to take it with me to my new flat not leave it behind. As it would only be taken away by the Council anyway. In a Council flat we are allowed to decorate and have our own furniture including our own fridges Freezers, cookers and washing machine.

But it seems that in private flats most landlords don't allow that. Even though the flats come unfurnished most of them have already got Fridge Freezers and washing machines in them and they won't let me change them.
So I don't know what to do about this. As I really want to take my own white furniture with not have to use the landlords which might not be working properly. And I don't see why I should have to when I have got my own.
I am very upset about this.
Andrea Borman.


Please leave a Comment...

















Your personal information will *never* be sold or shared to a 3rd party. By submitting your details, you agree to our Privacy Policy.

Popular Landlord Categories