White goods in rental properties, now that’s a subject that I’m sure no one has ever been excited to read or learn about. However, the reality is, it’s a subject all landlords (and tenants) need to consider when renting out their property. Most notably, what white goods should landlords supply, and what are they required to supply?
I’ve received a few emails from folks requesting the details of “White goods”, so I’ve inundated my blood with caffeine to take on the challenge. Hold onto your hats, it’s going to be the most uneventful journey of your life, probably.
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, as the landlord, personally take responsibility for repairing white goods, but I generally get 3-5 year warranties on all my products. If they need repair outside the warranty period, that probably means they’ve lived their life to the fullest.
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. It should be noted that tenants shouldn’t be held responsible for wear and tear or technical faults outside of their control.
If it is not stated who is responsible in the tenancy agreement, it can be implied that the landlord is responsible, unless damage has been caused intentionally or by negligence by the tenant.
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.
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…
Disclaimer: I'm just a landlord blogger; I'm 100% not qualified to give legal or financial advice. I'm a doofus. Any information I share is my unqualified opinion, and should never be construed as professional legal or financial advice. You should definitely get advice from a qualified professional for any legal or financial matters. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.