If you’re looking to rent out your house for the first time, especially in the United States, it can seem overwhelming. There are rules to follow, necessities to provide, and lots of legal requirements.
Many landlords and new tenants are always curious to know if appliances need to be provided by the landlord or if the tenant has to himself arrange them. Out of all the appliances, one of the most needed ones is a household vacuum.
Read on as we’ll be answering this question dutifully. We’ll also be answering other related questions to properly guide you into being prepared to be a responsible landlord or a tenant in the United States.
If you’re looking to rent a house in the States, you will be adequately informed on what to expect as regards the provision of vacuum cleaners and other appliances when renting a house.
Do Landlords Have to Provide a Vacuum Cleaner?
Generally, landlords in the United States do not have to provide a Vacuum cleaner to the tenant, but requirements differ from state to state.
As a landlord, renting out your furnished or unfurnished building requires a lot of obligations on your part and there are lots of things you have to provide for the comfort of the tenants, but vacuum cleaners aren’t one of them.
We’re sure you’re relieved since they can be expensive. They are not legally required so you wouldn’t be breaking any law by not providing one.
So as a tenant you shouldn’t be expecting one. But if it does come with your house, well, lucky you.
It is not something you should demand or make a fuss about as it isn’t your legal right. You can discuss it with your landlord amicably if the property really requires it, and if they are feeling generous, they could get you one.
Why Is It a Good Practice to Provide a Vacuum (As a Landlord)?
It is in your best interest as a landlord to provide a vacuum cleaner for your tenants.
1- Short Term Rentals
It is after all your house, right? Maybe the tenant is occupying the space for a short period of time (a month or so).
They won’t bother to buy a new vac just to keep your space clean because they’re gonna move on anyways. Your property is eventually going to look like a mess.
2- The Property has Carpets
You should consider providing a vacuum cleaner more if the house is furnished and you have carpets laid nicely everywhere.
Providing a vacuum cleaner for the tenant will ensure your carpets are kept clean and you won’t have to replace them often or at end of every tenancy.
The vacuum cleaner can also be used to clean other parts of the house like furniture, so it just means your house will be well taken care of.
3- The Rent is Higher than Normal
If the rent of your property is higher than what is expected in the area, you need to give a reason to people to rent your property.
When people are browsing through the many options online for rental properties, they may just pass on the higher-priced ones if there isn’t enough incentive for them to consider those properties.
4- If there is Air Conditioning
A vacuuming routine is important because it puts less strain on the AC if you have one installed in your house. Providing a vacuum will ensure that your air-conditioning does not get exhausted sooner than it should.
Tip: You don't even have to get an expensive one. There are affordable second-hand options to also consider.
You can be lucky though, and your tenants would already have their vacuums. This will save you the cost.
Should Landlords Replace Vacuum Cleaners?
Well, the landlord isn’t expected to provide the vacuum in the first place. So if the tenants got it themselves, and it got damaged the landlord can’t be expected to replace it. So as a landlord, you don’t have to replace a vacuum.
It’s different if the landlord provided the vacuum cleaner though. The United States does not have the same law guiding all states when it comes to the landlord-tenant relationship. We have different laws in different states so you should check what’s applicable in yours.
Generally, it is expected that landlords keep up repairs and maintain the amenities and appliances that they provided.
For example, in New York landlord-tenant law, this is clearly stated. The landlord must make sure that the ventilation system, water, heat, and appliances he provided are in working order. He has to keep up with repairs.
So if you, as a landlord, provided that vacuum cleaner and it is included in the rental agreement, you have to repair and replace it as the occasion demands, unless it is explicitly stated in the contract that you won’t be responsible under the said conditions.
In Georgia landlord-tenant law, however, this isn’t clearly stated. It just says that landlords should maintain repairs around the house and the premises and pay for substantial improvements on the house that he consented to.
When there is no clear law about appliances that the landlord provided or did not provide, and there is a dispute, you should seek legal counsel.
As stated earlier, if the vacuum cleaner isn’t too expensive, you should avoid all the trouble and just get another one for your tenant, especially if it had been in use for several years.
As a tenant, you can also replace it. It will still be yours after leaving the house, and you would benefit most since you’re the one who needs it.
What Other Appliances Does a Landlord Have to Provide?
Landlords do not have to provide any appliances to their tenants in the United States. Appliances like refrigerators, stoves, dryers, etc. aren’t considered necessities. The only responsibility of the landlord is to make sure the house is fit and safe to live in. And none of these things are required for that.
Other Rental laws differ from state to state but the law concerning this matter is the same across the United States.
Landlords can choose to provide these appliances but since they will then be required to maintain their repairs and replacement, they wouldn’t want to do that. So as Tenants, you should set your expectations accordingly.
Some houses come with a few appliances already installed. So when looking to rent a house, you can ask questions relating to the provision and repairs of appliances, to ensure you’re getting the deal you want.
Can Landlords Charge for Cleaning?
A landlord can charge for cleaning if the property is dirty beyond normal when the tenants are moving out. This happens rarely since the landlord must have been doing regular inspection checks.
Stains on the wall, filthy carpets, molds, etc are common things to look out for if a landlord has to establish a reasonable ground for charging.
But if it does happen, the landlord has the right to charge for cleaning. And the amount will depend on how filthy the place is.
A filthy environment cannot be forgiven as it can reduce the value of the property. The landlord can even deduct that money from the security deposit.
There is room for occasional wear and tear and, aging. If the tenants have been staying in that apartment for a long time, it is normal for some part of the property to have aged. Carpets may have shed a bit, the hardwood floor may have lost its shine, etc. The landlord can’t charge for all these things.
To avoid all these as tenants, it is better to keep the property clean while you live there. It is even more beneficial to you as you get to live healthily.
Providing vacuum cleaners to your tenants isn’t a bad thing even though you aren’t required to. Everything that makes life easier for them is cool, right? It also ensures that they have the means to take care of your property.
You can charge for property damage and cleaning when a tenant is leaving, although it’s a hassle. You can avoid this by providing them with adequate cleaning equipment so the odds of this hassle are reduced in the first place. As tenants, ensure you use them.
Note that if the vacuum cleaner and other cleaning equipment you provide are included in the lease, you have to maintain the repair and replacement, unless it is otherwise stated.