Most rented properties include ‘white goods’. Washing machines, ovens, fridges, tumble dryers. They are an essential part of living today.
But they can also be a hassle. Appliances break down. Tenants get annoyed. There are arguments about who is responsible and about getting replacements. Wouldn’t it be nice if that was all outsourced?
White goods as a service?
In fact, there already is a company doing this – it is called Bundles. But as they are based in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, I am not sure they would want to work with English or Welsh landlords (although you could ask them).
How their system works is that you rent the machines from them, and they are responsible for all maintenance and repairs. They also help you to use the machine responsibly. Unlike most appliance companies they don’t want to sell you a new one, they want you to use the same machine for as long as possible.
Which is better for the environment.
You pay a rent for the machines based on your use of them.
How could this work for landlords?
Let us imagine that there was a company, called it Company X, who provided a similar service to Bundles, but in the UK, and that they specialised in the rented sector.
The tenants could be given the choice of providing their own white goods or renting the products from Company X (this will be necessary because of the Tennat Fees Act ). Or the tenants could rent from another company if they can find one.
However, if Company X’s goods are fabulous, they are given a choice of machines, the rent is affordable, all issues with maintenance are outsourced, and they have the opportunity to save by using them more efficiency – I suspect most people would go for them. It would be just so much easier.
When the tenants view the property, it could be viewed with Company X’s appliances in situ so they can see what they are like. The contract with Company X would be explained to them (and they could be given a fancy leaflet) and told that they can choose the appliances that they want. It does not have to be the ones on show. Bundles also offer coffee machines, which I suspect many tenants would love.
The appliances would then be installed and maintained by Company X, and the tenants ‘rent’ for the machines would depend on how much they used them. Landlords could maybe get a commission from Company X so this could also be an income generator.
If the tenants wanted to end the contract with Company X, or reduce the number of appliances they use, no problem. They could do this at any time.
Would that not be a better way to deal with your kitchen and other appliances?
Maybe Company Y can then start similar services for televisions and sound systems!