More than half a million washing machines have been recalled by Whirlpool, with landlords urged to check whether white goods in their rentals are affected.
Many landlords provide white goods as standard – even in unfurnished properties. And with 36% of accidental house fires caused by appliances, electrical safety is something that needs to be taken seriously.
The machines in question are branded as Hotpoint or Indesit. A fault means their door locking system can overheat creating the risk of fire and they have now been recalled by the firm.
In all 519,000 washing machines are thought to be affected.
It is a fresh crisis for Whirlpool, which has already had to recall five million tumble dryers which have been proved to be a fire-risk.
What do I do next?
Whirlpool has set up a model checker online, although at the time of writing the site was not working – something Whirlpool said it is working to resolve. There is also a free helpline, available at 0800 3161442.
All owners of Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines bought since October 2014 will need to enter the model and serial number – found inside the door or on the back – to see if it is one of those affected.
As a landlord you would be advised to check the machine yourself to ensure the safety of your tenants.
If your washing machine is one of those affected, you should unplug it and wait for it to be repaired or replaced by the company
Whirlpool has offered free repairs or replacements, however it has confirmed these will not be likely to be available before January.
As a landlord you have no obligation to provide an alternative washing machine in the meantime, although you could offer a discount on the rent as a goodwill gesture.
You can read more about electrical safety and white goods in rent tal properties in this article, first published in the RLA members’ magazine Residential Property Investor.