Landlords often think that buying a home warranty (like AHS) is a great investment. Most think that for just a few hundred dollar that any and all repairs on their rental property will be covered by the warranty. Long term, they think that they will save money and therefore this is a great deal. We disagree with this thinking. Here is why:
They are middlemen
Home warranty companies such as AHS are just middlemen. They don't do their own work and, therefore, cannot control the result. AHS hires vendors that will complete the work for the least amount of money. These vendors are not employees of AHS and are not vetted. In our experience, these vendors often complete sub-par work, are not reliable and, frankly, do not provide good customer service.
We spend so much time pacifying the tenants because these vendors don't show up, don't repair it the first time and do not answer their phones. The last thing that we want are unhappy tenants. Not only is it a violation of the lease to have non-working appliances in need of repairs, but unhappy tenants usually threaten to withhold rent and spread the word to their friends and through social media channels that we and the landlord are unresponsive. That is not a good situation for anyone and one that can be completely avoided.
There is no proof of licensure and insurance
We have no proof that these vendors are licensed and insured. We do not know who these vendors are and suddenly, they have access to our tenants and our properties. This makes us uncomfortable as we want to know who is servicing our properties and be certain that they are the best in their field.
So what do we recommend instead?
After 16 years in the property management business, we have relationships with excellent vendors in all fields. Whatever the repair needed, we know who to go to. Our vendors are vetted, licensed, insured and reliable. Yes, you will have to pay for their services but your tenants will be happy because you are so responsive. Your tenants are likely to stay longer and be happier because you are a more accommodating landlord.
We believe in the long run, you will actually save money by not having a warranty. Happy tenants are paying tenants and we know this from experience.