Imagine you are a potential tenant who has just found your dream renting space. You are about to seal the deal, but you suddenly realize that the kitchen is quite bare. Appliances like fridges and stoves appear to be a necessity that should be supplied in all properties, but is this really the case? In this article, we take a deeper look into who should be responsible for supplying and maintaining appliances in a rental property.
Currently, there are no state laws that require landlords to supply appliances (aside from heating and air conditioning, which are required as necessities). However, the South Carolina Landlord-Tenant Act does require landlords to outline and uphold the contract of whatever appliances they do decide to provide. This includes maintenance along with the provisions. While appliances are not legally required, it is worth weighing the options of supplying tenants with the basics.
Appliances tend to be an attractive quality to potential tenants, as many are looking to move-in-ready options. If your rental property is located in a heavy traffic spot, such as a vacation town or college city, appliances are especially attractive to renters. Providing appliances also acts as a competitive advantage towards surrounding properties who have made the decision to not supply appliances.
If a property manager’s desired clientele consists of short term renters, he or she should consider providing appliances. However, if a long-term tenant is the goal, he or she may want to consider excluding appliances to allow the renter to bring their own. If a landlord does not want to heavily invest in appliances, but still wants to reap the benefit of doing so, a solution is available by providing essentials such as a stove, refrigerator, and washer/dryer unit, and asking tenants to supply their own microwave, toaster, and coffee maker.
When it comes to the maintenance of appliances, it is appointed to the person who owns the item. If a landlord provides a stove, and that stove has to be repaired after years of wear and tear, the landlord is responsible for repairing and paying for the maintenance. However, if the landlord supplies a fridge and the tenant breaks the light inside, the tenant is responsible for the damage and cost to fix it.
So, should the landlord be responsible for supplying and maintaining appliances? South Carolina state law does not require landlords to provide appliances; however it is worth considering the benefits of doing so. Regardless, if a landlord does decide to provide appliances, he or she must uphold the provisions and maintenance as outlined in the lease.