How to talk to your landlord about getting new appliances

Written on November 13, 2017 by

landlord appliancesIf the appliances in your rental unit are older than you or even your parents—yes, this happened to me once—it may be time to ask the landlord for new appliances.

Before you get in touch with your landlord, a little advance research and note-taking can add extra oomph to your quest for up-to-date appliances.

1. Read your rental agreement

Even if the landlord owns the appliances, they may not be obligated to repair or replace a broken appliance. Check your rental agreement for any wording about the appliances. In some cases, the agreement may state that appliance upkeep is the renter’s responsibility.

Even if this is the case, don’t give up just yet. Your landlord may still be willing to replace the old or faulty appliance. After all, if you move out, the unit will be much easier to rent with completely functional, modern appliances. In any event, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

2. Check state laws

In many states, a landlord isn’t required to supply or repair appliances. In some states, such as Ohio, the landlord must keep all supplied appliances in good working order.

If your state has this type of law, you can refer to the law to help you convince your landlord to replace an appliance constantly in need of repairs. Even if your state doesn’t have such regulations, point out that a new appliance won’t break down as often as an old, outdated one. A new appliance can save time and money.

3. Bring up energy-efficiency

Older appliances tend to be less efficient than newer models, especially refrigerators. One of my first apartments had a fridge well past its 50th birthday, which resulted in high electric bills and an ice box constantly filled with frost. (The fridge was so old, the freezer was just a metal box compartment within the refrigerator itself.)

Your landlord may be willing to upgrade to more efficient appliances, especially if they pay the utility bills. In some cases, special rebates may be available from the manufacturer or utility company for an energy-efficient upgrade.

4. Volunteer to help

Offer to help get the new appliance into your rental unit and to unpack it and set it up. If a separate company handles appliance delivery and setup, such as store personnel, volunteer to be on hand for the delivery and setup to ensure the process goes smoothly. This will save your landlord time.

5. Be reasonable

Are you the tenant who always pays on time or the one who always has an excuse for being late? Your landlord notices. Likewise, they notice which tenants constantly call for minor maintenance issues that could’ve been handled by the tenant, such as dead batteries in a smoke detector.

Be a reasonable, responsible tenant while you live in the place, and your landlord will be more likely to pay attention to your requests, including a request for a new appliance.

6. Go halves

If your landlord hasn’t been receptive to buying that new appliance for your unit, offer to pay half the cost if you plan to stay there for at least another year. Use this technique as a last resort. The appliance should mean so much to you that you’re willing to pay something for it. Keep in mind that you’ll have to leave the appliance behind when you move.

If your landlord agrees to this arrangement, get it in writing, including the total cost you’ll pay for the appliance as well as how you’ll pay for it. Make the deal even easier on the landlord by researching an ideal appliance that fits the space and the style of the unit. Pick a reasonably priced appliance that seems like a good deal after reading reviews. Make sure it’s in stock locally as well.

Present your findings to the landlord. With so much work done upfront, your request is more likely to net a positive response from the landlord, which should make both of you happy.

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