Should landlords have a home warranty on a rental property?
As a landlord, you are aware of the costs associated with property repairs and maintenance. If you have multiple properties, that cost is compounded. One way to protect against added or unmanageable costs is by purchasing a home warranty for your rental property.
Unlike homeowners insurance or rental insurance, a home warranty covers the repair and replacement of appliances and home systems. When you purchase a home warranty, you are protecting your rental property against mounting repair and replacement costs, and you only pay a nominal fee at the time of the service.
You already spend thousands of dollars each year to protect your property with homeowners insurance, and investing in a home warranty will mean that your entire home is almost entirely insured for covered items.
How does a home warranty work?
Each warranty plan is specific to the purchaser. But in general, a home warranty works by covering a portion of the repair costs for your home’s most critical systems and appliances.
As the landlord, your tenants will need to inform you of any issues that may arise with the appliances and home systems in your house. When a repair or replacement needs to be made, you will need to make a service request to your warranty company.
From there, the warranty company will be able to determine if your plan covers the request. If it is covered, they will then contact a service provider within their network to schedule a house call with you. You will arrange with the service provider to facilitate a time for the repair. The service provider makes the repair or the replacement, and you pay a nominal fee for the service.
If you have new appliances and systems installed in your home, they may still fall under the manufacturers’ warranties. This can be difficult to manage if your appliances are all from different companies.
Having warranty coverage creates peace of mind for you, as a landlord and/or property owner, that even if the manufacturer’s warranty fails, you still are covered.
Not only does a home warranty plan protect you from paying exorbitant fees for appliance repairs, but you also will be able to rest a little easier knowing that one portion of your responsibility as a landlord is covered.
What is covered in a landlord home warranty?
Purchasing a home warranty for a rental property is the same as purchasing a home warranty for a residential property. Typical home warranty coverage lasts for one year, which is ideal for a landlord, as you will be able to assess your appliances and systems at move-in and move-out dates.
An annual reassessment means that you can adjust your plan where necessary, such as by adding in appliances that were previously under a manufacturer’s warranty or including newly purchased appliances.
When purchasing a home warranty, you’ll need to find one that offers flexibility and the option to add appliances to your plan. Reputable home warranty providers, like Cinch Home Services, offer a variety of options for you.
You may choose to include coverage for as many appliances and home systems in your plan as possible, such as a refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, heating system, air conditioner and plumbing. You may also choose to leave certain items out if you know that the items are past the point of normal wear and tear.
Additionally, if you have extras in your home, such as a pool or garage door opener, those are items that Cinch Home Services can cover with a warranty plan.
Once you have decided on a home warranty company and your rental property has an appliance in need of repair, your repair will be addressed in a short amount of time for just a small service fee.
What should a landlord consider when choosing a home warranty plan?
When you are choosing your home warranty plan, there are a few things you should take into consideration:
- If your rental property is older and contains aging appliances and home systems, you will want to cover these with a home warranty.
- Some newer appliances might be covered by a manufacturers’ warranties, but check to see what that coverage entails. A home warranty could be an added buffer where a manufacturer’s warranty doesn’t apply.
- Make a decision about what you are looking to have covered in your home warranty, and decide upon a budget.
- A basic plan will be a lower monthly premium and cover regular appliances as well as home systems, such as plumbing, electrical, air conditioners and heating systems.
- If you are looking for further coverage, you will pay an increased premium, but you can cover items like your pool, roof and more.
It is important to carefully read the contract with the warranty company. Decide if you want to pay monthly for your coverage or pay the premium annually. You will want to be fully aware of exactly what is covered and what is not covered.
Finally, if you are the contact person for your tenants, you will not have to worry about being the liaison between the warranty company and your tenants when there is a need for repairs.
Different types of insurance vs. home warranty
Many people are unaware of the difference between homeowners insurance, landlords insurance, tenant or renters insurance and a home warranty.
Landlords insurance: a common insurance policy that covers a landlord from financial losses due to unexpected damages from natural causes, such as fire or wind. The policy can be expanded to include damages from tenant neglect or abuse of the property.
Renters insurance: a policy that offers liability coverage for some damages and covers the belongings of the renters, such as their personal property. A renters insurance policy is put in place to protect tenants and their property, which cannot be guaranteed to be covered by their landlord’s insurance.
Homeowners insurance: an insurance policy that covers homeowners, insuring your home’s structure and, sometimes, the contents. A homeowners insurance policy covers what may happen to your home in terms of damage or loss from fire, wind, flood or other surprise issues. Homeowners insurance will help you rebuild or replace only after a major issue creates the need for a claim.
To put it plainly: Your home insurance policy covers unanticipated damages to your home, while a home warranty covers breakdowns of appliances and systems due to age.
How a home warranty will benefit you as a landlord
Leaving your property, a major investment, in the hands of your tenants is a big undertaking. You expect that your tenants will respect your property and alert you to any issues that need attention.
Having a service warranty means you will pay only a small service fee for most wear and tear repairs or replacement of your covered appliances and systems in your rental property. You will save money that you would otherwise be spending on costly repairs.
Some landlords are able to use their home warranty as a tax deduction, saving you additional funds and helping to guarantee that your investment property is profitable and protected.
Contact Cinch Home Services to see what type of home warranty plan we can offer you to cover your rental property.