Every landlord knows that keeping track of a rental is a hard job, and keeping an eye on each and every part of a rental is even harder. One part of the properties return on investment that landlords can over look are the appliances. Being efficient and finding cost saving helps increase the bottom line.
What is an appliance?
Well, in general it is an individual piece of equipment we use in everyday life.. This might be a washing machine, refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, oven, etc. Though the costs of operating the appliances fall on the tenant the costs of replacing and repairing are the landlords. In order to keep repair costs down you want the appliance running at their best performance. This mean you need to keep track of more than just the basics like expiration date, serial number, its physical measurements or even color.
You may think that having appliances in your rental is a sunk cost, so why keep track of it. It gets broken and tenants don’t always take care of it. But, you should also know that nicer appliances fetch higher rent. To better define “nicer” I mean more efficient or useful appliances that often come at a slightly higher price are appreciated. Things like efficient hot water heaters that supply plenty of hot water, but costs less to operate or refrigerators with capacity to hold more than a milk jug. Such amenities do costs a little more, but have shown to pay back in quicker turnover and higher rent.
How should you track appliances?
If we talk about managing and monitoring your rental property’s appliances, you have a few options. Just wanted to let you know there are some landlords that do not keep track of when their appliances were last serviced or what was done to them if they did get work. They simply have a “waiting until it’s broken” mode. This even includes the warranty that came with the equipment (many appliances even have 3-5 year warranties that get forgotten when something breaks). Keep track of when the appliances were last serviced and why along with when the warranty expires can save you a lot of money.
So, you can track appliances in few ways. First, the date you bought it, where, upload the warranty and the receipt and assign it to the proper rental (if you have few of them). Remember the more rental properties you have, the more appliances you have and the better at managing them you need to be. Don’t worry TenantCloud equipment feature makes this easy and you will get to see a timeline of the appliances life, so over time if you see you are spending $500/year to fix the same part on the air conditioner than maybe it needs to be replaced, which means higher savings long term. This can also, save you a lot of time when it comes to repairs or replacement because you will have the information needed at your fingertips on your phone.
You might not have known that TenantCloud allows you to keep track of specific appliances at each property or even unit. Yes it does and though you might not think there are that many to keep track of they actually add up. With the ability to set automatic reminders for the year time can be saved, so you don’t have to worry about if you remember to change the batteries in the smoke detectors, because a remind will come up automatically every six months. Here are a list of possible equipment worth tracking:
- Smoke Detectors
- Hot Water Heaters
- Air Conditioner and Condenser
- Heating Unit or Furnace
- Oven Range
- Garbage Disposal
- Washer and Dryer (rare)
- Microwave (rare)
How to use Equipment Tab in TenantCloud?
In the Property details, choose the Equipment tab and add all the necessary equipment pieces for each property unit. Vacuum cleaners, washing machines, toasters… everything is under control now. Fill in the make, model and vin numbers, size, color, dates of installation and warranty expiration, and upload a photo. You can even upload receipts from a purchase right there. Warranty expiration and maintenance due date reminders will be created automatically and visible in your Calendar. You can play around and get used to this feature.
Getting every Dollar out of your equipment.
If you do install energy efficient equipment then let potential tenants know in the description of the property listing. Energy efficient equipment has now been shown to provide more applications, quicker turnover and higher rent. Tenants who know the costs of higher utilities are looking for energy efficient equipment, because their total operating expenses are directly impacted by the type of equipment in the renal.
In addition make sure you upload and store your receipt in TenantCloud. Many appliances come with energy tax credits and can be depreciated, but are also one of the most forgotten items in the schedule E. You spent the money so make sure you get credit for it. If you can’t find the receipt and bought the appliance years ago, then start keeping track now as you are able to look back and see what tax advantages were available and then use a reasonable estimate for costs, but only if you have a consistent manner for accounting for your rental business, which TenantCloud does.