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5 Appliances That Receive The Most Tenant Damage

When it comes to the appliances you provide your tenants, you’ve probably included the basics like a dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, and washer and dryer. And if you want to maintain an edge on the competition, chances are you are offering top-of-the-line appliances that are environmentally friendly, modern, and potentially expensive. That said, it is extremely disappointing to find out at the end of your tenant’s lease term that those precious appliances you put into your rental property have been damaged. Today, we’ll review which appliances receive the most tenant damage and how to keep them looking new. 

Contents of This Article: 

Why Invest in High-End Appliances?

Investing in appliances for your rental properties can help you command higher rent amounts and better quality tenants. After all, who doesn’t want to live in a property with high-end, energy-efficient appliances? 

However, it is good to remember that not everyone is going to care for your appliances as well as you would. As such, since you can’t monitor your tenants 24/7, it can be tough to keep a handle on appliance care.

So, today, we are going to take a look at some of the appliances in your rental that typically suffer the most tenant damage and what you can do to minimize the damage to save you money in the long run.

Appliances That Receive the Most Tenant Damage

Any appliance can be affected by tenant damage. However, there are a few that are used daily that may receive more damage than others. Here’s what to look for while assessing appliance damages at the end of a lease term. 

  1. Refrigerator
  2. Dishwasher
  3. Washers and Dryers
  4. Air Conditioning and Heating Units
  5. Garbage Disposals


The refrigerator is probably one of the most used appliances in your investment property. That means that it receives a lot of attention on the daily, both good and bad.

Here are some of the things your tenant does that add extra wear to your refrigerator:

  • Overfilling the Fridge and Freezer- Packing both the fridge and freezer with too many items leads to poor circulation throughout the entire unit. This causes the cooling fan to work double time to keep things at the right temperature, making burnout more likely.
  • Dirty Condenser Coils- Your tenants rarely, if ever, clean the coils at the back of your fridge. Some tenants may be unable to move the fridge to clean it. However, if left for too long, these coils will have to work extra hard to provide electricity to the unit.
  • Water Filter Misuse- If your fridge produces filtered water, and the filters go unchanged for too long, the mineral buildup can ruin the entire system and create poor-quality water.

Remind your renters of the steps to prevent a fridge breakdown to avoid tenant damage. After all, if the fridge dies on them, you have to fix the appliance. However, they don’t get off scot-free – they must replace all their spoiled food.


Dishwashers are designed to clean dishes, but they are by no means magic. Unfortunately, many tenants don’t understand or care how to properly use a dishwasher. That said, your tenants must understand that they need to rinse off dishes before placing them in the dishwasher. More importantly, they need to know which type of soap to use in the machine itself.

Sure, dish soap cleans dishes while you hand wash them, but if you put that soap into the dishwasher, you are in for a lot of trouble that could cost you the entire dishwasher. So, when it comes to maintaining the condition of your dishwasher, inform your tenants, prior to move-in, how to use it correctly. Also, record its initial condition during the move-in inspection.

Washers and Dryers

The washer and dryer are prone to extreme misuse by tenants living in your rental property. Unfortunately, replacing them will cost you a lot if they break down, and the breakage cannot be attributed to tenant negligence.

Here are the most common ways your tenant is likely to abuse your washer and dryer units:

  • Failing to zip up zippers or remove coins, which both scratch the inside of the washer and dryer drums
  • Using too much detergent
  • Using the wrong detergent, such as dish soap
  • Overloading the washing machine with too many clothes
  • Not cleaning the lint trap or dryer vents
  • Never cleaning the buildup of debris from the inside of the washing machine
  • Leaving wet clothes in the washer for prolonged periods of time, leading to mold growth

Again, informing your tenants at the time of move-in how to properly use and care for the washer and dryer units will help reduce the damage those appliances typically see. 

Air Conditioning and Heating Units

HVAC units have been noted as the most problematic appliance tenants have to deal with in rentals. While sometimes problems are out of your tenant’s control, a lot of the damage to HVAC units is due to your tenant’s lack of maintenance.

For example, not replacing the filters that keep your air conditioning unit working properly will cause extra wear on the system and eventually cause a breakdown.

One thing many property owners do to avoid this is provide free air filters to their tenants to help remind them to make the changes each month.

Garbage Disposals

Just as dishwashers are not magic dish cleaners, garbage disposals are not magic food crushers. Designed for light materials that wash easily down the sink, garbage disposals are often prone to backing up, jamming, or burning out.

Here are some of the most common things your tenant is likely to place in the garbage disposal during their tenancy that they shouldn’t:

  • Bones
  • Vegetable peels
  • Coffee grounds
  • Eggshells
  • Corn husks
  • Grease and oil

The biggest piece of advice you can give your tenants when it comes to the garbage disposal is to use the provided sink strainer (that you should have available for use), so that none of these items, or foreign objects such as silverware, get stuck in the disposal and damage it.

Protect Your Rentals With Professional Management

As you can see, several appliances in your rental property are prone to tenant damage. Despite being high-quality tenants who never complain, always pay their rent on time, and don’t break the rules, they could still be misusing at least one of the appliances listed above.

With Bay Property Management Group as your trusted property management company, you can guarantee that proper move-in and move-out inspections will occur before and after every tenancy to ensure that your tenants don’t damage your property in any way.

If they do, we will take the correct measures to replace it.

Additionally, we pride ourselves in conducting routine inspections throughout lease terms to ensure nothing needs maintenance or repair. And if something does, it is handled quickly and efficiently so that a minor repair doesn’t turn into a major repair. So, contact Bay Management Group now, and see how we can help you protect your rental property appliances from tenant damage.