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How to Pick the Best Washer and Dryer for a Rental Property: What You Need to Know

So, you’ve decided to install a washer and dryer on your rental property. Maybe you are considering a coin-operated machine or maybe you are just looking for a reliable washer and dryer that you can lease to your tenants.

In either case, there are some things you need to consider before making your purchase.

For a rental, it’s important to make sure that you have a reliable and easy to repair machine. In this article, I’ll go over the different types of machines available, as well as some of the factors you should consider when making your decision. Let’s get started!

(If you are not sure if you should add a washer and a dryer read my article on How much does a washer and dryer can add to the rental income.)

Some of the considerations when choosing a washer and dryer for rental property include:

-The size and type of the machine – stackable or side-by-side, front-loading or top-loading.

-The type of machine –coin-operated or regular commercial w/d.

-The cost of the machine and repairs

Energy and water-saving features are also important to consider. Many new machines have features that save energy and water.

Stackable washer and dryer or side-by-side

Of course, your space is the determining factor but if you have the room I would always recommend a side-by-side machine. They last longer and are in general less expensive to purchase and easier to repair.

If you are short on space in your rental property, then a stackable machine might be the best option. Make sure to measure the height of the closet to make sure it will fit.

Should you pick a front loading or top loading washer?

Front-loading washers use less water and energy than top-loading machines. They also tend to be more expensive. If you are looking for an energy-efficient machine, then a front loader is the way to go.

Top-loading washers are cheaper but use more water and energy than front loaders. However, they are more durable than front loaders and less expensive to repair.

What are the coin-operated options?

You can get a free washer and dryer from companies like CSC and have them install and maintain coin-operated machines on your properties. You have to share the revenue with them. One thing you should be aware of is some of these businesses have multiyear leases which may not be ideal for you.

If you decide to buy and install a coin-operated washer and dryer, the best choice is Speed Queen. They are durable and have a low cost of ownership because they can be repaired inexpensively. You can buy them with a coin box or without. They are US-made machines, very sturdy. As per their website, the life expectancy of a washer is 10,400 cycles. The Speed Queen washers, however, are more expensive and there are some complaints about the new models.

Planning to Lease the Washer and Dryer to Your Tenants?

It’s worth purchasing commercial washers and dryers, Maytag commercial top-loaded washers and dryers are highly recommended by many landlords.

This is especially a good choice if you are paying for utilities because the cleaning cycle is short thus saving on electricity.

Top loaded Whirlpool commercial washer and dryer are also a good choice but the reviews are mixed. I hear good and bad things.

Another way to go is to buy an older basic model, the old Kenmore Elite. The older models are easier and less expensive to repair.

If they need cosmetic repairs, HomeDepot sells appliance paint. They will look like new.

What about HE (high efficiency) washers and dryers?

If saving water and electricity is the most important consideration, then a top-loading HE washer is the best choice. However, because high-efficiency washers use less water, they need special detergent. It’s unlikely that all of your tenants will specifically purchase HE detergent.

See the HE Turbo Clean sign on this detergent above. That’s the only type your tenants should use with a HE washing machine. By the way, the image is an affiliate link and if you click on it and buy something I will get a small commission.

If your tenants use regular detergent, the result could be damaged electronics or the washer could overflow. Despite the energy savings, this is a big no-no for me.

In conclusion, when looking for a washer and dryer for your rental property, buy commercial-grade machines with no bells and whistles. Look for simple controls, nothing electronic. The key is easy and cheap repairs.

Commercial washers and dryers are made to handle the high demand of commercial laundry rooms. They have more heavy-duty parts and can be easily serviced, they’re built for durability and not for frequent replacement like most residential washers and dryers.

Look for older models, second-hand washers and dryers, sometimes they are more reliable than the new models. Craigslist and Facebook are good options. Some appliance repair places also will sell refurbished models and even install them for you.

Consider the size, type, and cost of the machine as well as the features that are important to you. Also, think about how long you plan on owning the machine. Buying a coin-operated washer and dryer might be a good option if you have a multifamily rental but stay away from the companies that are leasing the machines.

About the author

Chris Christo owns a property maintenance company and writes for Rentce on all rental maintenance topics.
He is also a rehabber and a landlord.
When he doesn’t work on properties or writes about properties, he can be found fishing.