A garbage disposal unit, often known as a waste disposal unit, is an electrically powered device that shreds food waste to make it small enough to pass through the home’s plumbing. The device is situated beneath the kitchen sink between the sink drain and the trap.
The main benefit of a waste disposal unit in the kitchen is to prevent foul odors from the trash can, explains Grease Cycle. In most rental properties, garbage pickup is done once a month or bi-weekly. This is enough time for food waste to rot and foul the home with bad smells.
A garbage disposal unit can avert this.
Should you install a waste disposal unit in your rental?
There are two reasons why a garbage disposal unit in a rental property is a good idea.
- If a rental unit is on the top levels of a multi-story apartment building, the garbage disposal unit becomes a necessity and not a luxury. That’s because tenants on the top floors of the home would have a hard time carrying out their kitchen waste.
Even for tenants on lower floors, waste disposal could still be a big issue if there is no garbage chute. A garbage disposal unit reduces the amount of perishable waste in the garbage; therefore, the tenants need to dispose of waste immediately.
- A garbage disposal unit is essential equipment for high-end rentals. Renters who pay more also expect more conveniences. Even if there are quality appliances – a modern stove, refrigerator with icemaker/water dispenser, and a dishwasher – tenants feel the home is not complete without a waste disposal unit.
Including a waste disposal unit in the home will make tenants more willing to pay the higher rent. Moreover, the installation cost is much less than the additional rent tenants are willing to pay.
How to manage a garbage disposal unit
A common complaint with waste disposal units is that they often get jammed and stop working. If the device is not fixed immediately, it can become a source of the very problem you want to avoid; foul odors from the kitchen. But you can easily avoid issues with waste disposal in your rental.
Fixing a garbage disposal unit that is stuck is not much work, and it doesn’t take much time. But you probably don’t want to complicate your life by adding work that can be avoided. Here is what you can do to make sure the garbage disposal in your rental does not become a problem.
● Buy the right product
In addition to the quality of the garbage disposal unit, the number of people in the home and their lifestyle matter. A ½ horsepower (HP) unit or less will work for a home with 1-2 persons. If there are 3-6 or 5-8 persons in the rental, you need a ½-¾ or 1 HP engine, respectively. How much cooking the tenants do is also important.
● Install a sink trap and provide strainers
To minimize the risk of the garbage disposal getting stuck, make sure the sink has a strainer and install a sink trap under the sink. These will prevent large pieces of food from getting into the waste disposal unit and blocking or damaging it.
● Tenants should not dump grease into the unit
Let tenants know what not to dump into the garbage disposal. Most tenants understand that hard objects like bones should not go into the waste disposal. But some renters don’t know they should not dump grease into the device. To ensure that tenants know how to use the unit, you should orient them.
● Tenants should be responsible for repairs
Given that you don’t have any control over how tenants use the waste disposal unit, even when you provide a strainer and educate them, you are better off if tenants pay for all repairs to the unit. If the tenant does not want to pay for fixing the waste disposal, they can elect not to use it.
How much does it cost to install a garbage disposal?
Depending on the unit’s power, you can expect to spend between $75 – 500. For most rental properties, a $300 waste disposal unit will suffice. But, beyond the cost of buying the unit, the critical thing is installation. Installing a garbage disposal unit often involves new pipes, drains, and fittings and a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) receptacle.
When you install a waste disposal unit in a rental home, remember to add a few extra nice things that tenants will easily notice. Your objective is to create a greater value perception and get tenants willing to pay more.
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