Should I Lease or Buy Laundry Machines for My Multifamily Building?

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Whether you’re a 10-unit multifamily building, or a 30-unit apartment complex, getting the equipment to take care of your tenants’ washing of clothes is fairly important. Some of these buildings only need a few washers and dryers, while others need a large number of them; but either way, you’ll need a substantial amount of equipment. So, is it better to lease or buy laundry machines?

All businesses deal with issues in getting equipment solely due to expenses. They already spend money on buying the building, hiring employees, paying bills, and more. Having to pay for a large quantity of hardware can be just that much more troublesome if you have an Edmonton investment property.

First and foremost, the more washers and dryers you have, the less time your tenants have to wait to get their clothes cleaned. Most businesses look into leasing equipment simply because they can cut expenses in the process of getting all of the hardware they need, but many business owners worry about the potential hidden costs.

Other multifamily investors simply want to own all of their equipment, so they just end up buying the hardware, only to learn that there are downsides to buying washers and dryers outright. It’s a common myth that owning your own laundry equipment is much more profitable than leasing.

Lets look at all the reasons why you might be better off leasing the laundry machines for your multifamily property.

  • Your time is valuable. First you must research what equipment to buy, then you must be present for delivery and installation of the equipment. You must collect, count and deposit the money. You must deal with resident problems, repairs, refunds and complaints. With leasing, the company in charge will handle all of this and more, allowing you to focus on your real estate investment, while they focus on the laundry room.
  • Free on call service technician. When you own the machines, you must pay to fix them. Service calls average $150 to $200 per repair, including diagnosis, parts and labor. With leasing companies, they often include repair, parts and maintenance free of charge.
  • Economies of scale. Laundry vendors specialize in one task, making laundry rooms profitable. When you specialize in certain tasks, you can do those tasks more quickly and inexpensively. Laundry machine leasing companies have specialized staff, equipment and expensive technology. So you’ll receive discounts on purchasing machines, parts and labour that a single, multifamily property does not when purchasing laundry equipment.
  • Many costly repairs are not under warranty. Most warranties are limited to parts, and don’t cover labor, coin boxes or coin slides. You must pay out-of-pocket for coin slide jams, stuck money boxes, off-balance machines, etc. when you purchase your laundry machines. With leasing, everything is under warranty, and that guarantee never expires.
  • Coin collection risks. When you own your machines, you must collect the coins, or hope the person you hire to do so is honest and trustworthy. Also, is your multifamily building in a high-risk neighborhood? You may not want to carry around bags of quarters making yourself a potential robbery target. With leasing companies, all of the machines have counters on them, and each month you will receive a detailed report listing the prior months readings and the current readings for accountability. 

In summary, hiring an outside vendor to run your laundry room will save you time, money and headaches. A laundry machine leasing company will ensure that your laundry room income remains steady, and your tenants are happy.

Looking to hire a licensed property management company?

Braden Equities Inc. has been successfully managing multifamily buildings in Edmonton since the 1970s. A lot has changed since then, but our commitment to the residents living in each building we manage has not. Contact us today.

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