Dishwashers (or lack thereof)

The most common complaint from tenants in our building is that the kitchen doesn’t have a dishwasher (followed closely by the lack of in-suite laundry). I know a few of our neighbours have paid to have dishwashers installed and rumours were floating around that S.U.C.C.E.S.S. was installing dishwashers in units that were vacant.

So, last October I sent an email to our landlord enquiring about the cost and process, with the hopes that maybe we could splurge to have a dishwasher installed for Christmas.

Last week (after nearly 3 months), I finally got a response from our landlord, Chris Kean. I’m not sure what was more disappointing – the ridiculous wait or the disappointing content.

He apologized for the delay and sent along the “new standard dishwasher install protocol / procedures”. Here are the main points (if you want the official PDF, email S.U.C.C.E.S.S.):

  • The tenant pays for all the costs, including:
    • $63 – to remove a kitchen cabinet (work done by S.U.C.C.E.S.S.)
    • $450 (approx.) – electrical wiring (done by contractor)
    • $675-$800 (approx.) – new plumbing (done by contractor)
    • $500-$675 (approx.) – dishwasher (model approved by S.U.C.C.E.S.S.)
  • The tenant must provide proof of renter’s insurance that covers flood damage
  • S.U.C.C.E.S.S. owns the dishwasher and the tenant’s investment is lost when they move out

My wife and I have lived at 122 Walter Hardwick for almost 5 years. We like living here and we plan to stay here for the foreseeable future. However, as renters there is no certainty. That makes it difficult to pay $1750 upfront for something you lose the day you move out.

If we move out in a year, the dishwasher will have cost us an extra $150 a month ($5 a day). If we were sure we would stay another 5 years (as hard it is to imagine renting the same unit for 10 years), the cost would be more bearable – an extra $30/month or $1/day. But we don’t have that certainty (as I’m sure few tenants do). Changes to our employment or family size could cause us to look for new housing at any time.

So, we won’t be getting a dishwasher.

I’ve asked S.U.C.C.E.S.S if they would be willing to share the dishwasher cost or fund it through a rent increase (like $30/month), but they weren’t willing. As for the rumour that S.U.C.C.E.S.S was paying to have dishwashers installed when tenants moved out, here’s Chris Kean’s response:

The landlord had previously installed dishwashers in a few of the 3 or 4 bedroom units when we experienced resident turnover, with the intent we could receive a higher rental income in order to assist producing additional revenue to meet rising expenses. We have since ceased this process as the costs to install vs the increase in rent and long term payout didn’t work out mathematically. All other dishwashers that have been installed were at the tenants request and expense.


About canadianveggie

I enjoy exploring the great outdoors, eating good vegan food, cycling around Vancouver, solving problems with software, learning about urban planning, and discussing politics.
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