Are you a landlord looking for the best home warranty to cover your rental property?
Perfect, you’re in the right spot. In this guide, you’ll learn:
- What are home warranty plans for landlords?
- How much does a landlord’s home warranty cost?
- Is a home warranty service contract for landlords worth it?
- How does home warranty coverage for landlords work?
- What are the best home warranty companies for landlords and their rental properties?
- And much more!
We’ve reviewed 68 different home warranty companies, and below are our top picks for landlords specific to your state. Want to find out which coverage is most suited for your rental property? Continue reading!
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Our Top Picks Overview
What's In This Guide?
As a landlord, you have a lot on your plate. Not only do you have to routinely find new tenants and stay ahead of utility bills for your rental property, but you have a life and perhaps another job to deal with at the same time.
On top of all that, you often have to deal with late-night calls from your tenants asking you to fix the refrigerator, air conditioning, or some other major appliance or system. Unfortunately, these regular maintenance and repair requests aren’t just time-consuming – they eat away at your bottom line.
Thankfully, there’s a way to keep your rental property fully functional and in good working conditions, all while protecting your bank account. The answer? A quality home warranty plan.
With a home warranty policy, you can get peace of mind and protection from huge maintenance bills, all while simplifying the entire home repair process on your rental property. Plus, you can keep your tenants happy and increase the rental value of your building.
We know you have a lot of different home warranty plans to choose from, so it can be tricky to decide on just one as a landlord. To get you started, here’s everything you need to know about warranties for landlords, plus our reviews of the best plans from the top home warranty providers on the market today.
Top 5 Best Home Warranties For Landlords
What Are Home Warranties Meant For Landlords?
A home warranty for landlords is a way for property managers to reduce their overall annual repair costs on their rental property. In exchange for annual premium and a small service call fee, home warranty plans help cover the cost of repairing and maintaining appliances and major systems in your rental home or building.
When you submit a repair claim, your home warranty company will also send a qualified service provider to your property to assess, diagnose, and fix any damaged home appliances or systems. That way, you can spend less time worrying about maintaining your rental property each day and save money each year on your operating expenses.
What Does A Home Warranty For Landlords Cost?
Home warranties for landlords usually cost between $300-$600 per year. However, the cost of a warranty will vary based on your rental property’s size and location.
Moreover, your policy’s cost will also depend on the type of plan you choose and the amount of coverage you want. In general, you can choose between the following coverage options:
- Appliance or Systems Plans. Appliance plans cover only items, such as dishwashers, refrigerators, and stoves, while systems plans will protect things like your heating, plumbing, and electrical. Both are good options if you want affordable coverage on certain parts of your rental property. They are also known as Basic Plans for some companies, as they are the most cost-effective options to protect essential aspects of your rental home without breaking the bank.
- Combo Plans/Comprehensive Plans. Combo plans or comprehensive plans are perfect for landlords that want to maximize their warranty coverage. These policies will protect all of the basic appliances and systems in your home.
- Build Your Own Plans. Finally, if you want truly customizable coverage, a build your own plan is probably your best bet. This option allows you full flexibility in what you choose to cover. So, they’re a good option for landlords that have very specific coverage needs.
- Add-on Coverage. You can often supplement any with add-ons for your pool, spa, septic system, or sprinklers for even more coverage. Optional items are an additional fee and items cover usually differ between companies.
Is Coverage For Landlords Worth It?
If you own a rental property, you’re probably not too terribly excited by the prospect of tacking on the cost of a home warranty premium to your annual operating expenses. But, home warranties for landlords are worth it. Here’s why:
Reduces Your Annual Repair Costs
Owning a rental property isn’t cheap. Regular systems and appliance repair costs can quickly eat away at your monthly income, leaving you wondering why you decided to invest in rental properties in the first place.
Home warranties can help reduce your annual expenses by covering all or most of the cost of repairing and replacing aging or malfunctioning appliances and systems. Although you have to pay an annual premium, the total savings you can see each year in repair costs by owning a home warranty makes them a solid bet for your property management business.
Protects Your Real Estate Investment
Real estate isn’t cheap, so you want to be sure that you’re protecting your investment by keeping it in full working condition at all times. When you have a home warranty, you’re less likely to put off those much-needed repairs simply because you don’t want to spend the money right now.
So, your warranty plan can help you get a better return on investment should you ever choose to sell your rental property in the future.
Best Home Warranty For Landlords With Rental Properties?
Choice Home Warranty is our top pick for landlords. Why? Choice covers rentals up to 5,000 ft, reasonable annual premiums and won’t deny you coverage if you own an older property.
Increases The Rental Value Of Your Property
People are willing to pay more to rent a house or apartment that’s well maintained. Therefore, having a home warranty that helps you stay on top of regular appliance and systems maintenance issues can help you provide a higher-quality living experience to your tenants.
That means you can charge more for your rent, putting more money into your pocket each month.
Covers What Homeowners Insurance Won’t
You almost certainly have a home insurance or business insurance policy on your rental property. However, these policies will not protect you if you need to replace the electrical system in your building or update all of the old appliances.
In reality, homeowners insurance is designed to help you when there’s a fire, flood, or natural disaster. On the other hand, home warranties are there to support you when you need to pay for the repair and replacement costs to home systems and appliances that are the result of regular wear and tear.
Simplified Home Repairs Service
As a landlord, the constant requests for repairs and maintenance can be quite a drain on your time. Not only do you have to keep your tenants up to date on the repair progress, but you have to go out and search for a reputable contractor that can go to your rental property on short notice.
Home warranty plans help to simplify the home repair process for everyone involved. When you need a repair, you just need to submit a claim to your warranty provider. Then, they will send someone to your rental property to fix the issue as soon as possible. What could be easier than that?
Savings On Your Tax Bill
One of the best, yet least appreciated, benefits of a home warranty for landlords is the fact that you can actually use them as a tax-deductible expense. Your home warranty premium and service fees are all considered qualified expenses on your annual tax bill for your rental property business.
So, not only do you save money in regular repair costs with a home warranty, but you can actually lower your total liability come tax time.
How Do Warranties For Landlords Work (Are They Unique)?
Interestingly, home warranty plans for landlords are similar to the plans that other homeowners can get on their properties. Here’s what you need to know about how it all works:
Step 1: Get A Home Inspection
While most home warranty companies don’t technically require this step, it’s generally a good idea to get a home inspection before you sign your service contract. Since most warranties will not cover pre-existing conditions, you’ll want to be sure that your rental property doesn’t have any underlying issues that can catch you off guard down the line.
After you get a home inspection, you can make any necessary repairs before taking out a warranty policy. That way, you can be confident that any future issues will be covered under your contract terms.
Step 2: Choose A Home Warranty Plan
Once you’re ready to commit to a home warranty, it’s time to decide which plan is right for your rental property. Landlords have a great selection of different plans to choose from, including basic coverage, appliance or systems plans, combo policies, and build your own plans.
Step 3: Wait For The Grace Period
After you sign your home warranty contract, you’ll have to wait for the grace period to end before you can make your first claim. The length of this waiting period varies from company to company but is usually around 30 days.
However, if you already have a home warranty plan and are just looking to switch providers, you can usually ask for a grace period waiver. That way, you can make your first claim as soon as you sign your contract.
Step 4: Submit A Claim
As soon as your grace period is complete, you can submit a repair claim whenever a covered item breaks or malfunctions in your rental property. Most companies have a 24/7 call center or an online portal to help process your claim.
Step 5: Pay The Service Call Fee
Every time you submit a new repair claim, you’ll have to pay a small service call fee. This fee is usually between $60-$125, and it covers the cost of sending someone to your rental property to assess the damage. You can think of this as similar to a copay at a doctor’s office.
Step 6: Get Prompt Home Service And Repairs
Your home warranty company will process your claim as soon as possible and then send a qualified repair technician to your rental property. With your warranty policy, you don’t have to worry about finding a contractor to come to your tenant’s home. Instead, you can sit back and relax as you get prompt and efficient repair service on your property’s systems and appliances.
Want to learn more tips and tricks for as a landlord? Check out this video below.
Top Home Warranties For Landlords Reviewed
There are plenty of great home warranties for landlords out there, so it’s understandable if you’re a bit overwhelmed with your options. To help ensure that you get the coverage you need, here are our reviews of the best home warranties for landlords on the market today:
Choice Home Warranty Review (Best Overall Home Warranty)
Why Do We Like Choice?
Out of all the home warranty companies we reviewed, Choice Home Warranty has the most comprehensive plans, good payout limits, minimal number exclusions, quality customer service, and affordable cost.
Choice has two main home warranty plans. The “Basic Plan” and the more comprehensive “Total Plan” covering 15 home appliances (dishwasher, etc) and systems (duct work, water heater, etc). They also have “Optional Coverage” for add on items most homeowners don’t usually have, which include pools and spas, well pump, sump pump, roof leaks, other extraneous items.
Based on our review, Choice’s “Total” plan covers these items at a more affordable price point than its competitors although has a few more exclusions, which is how they can justify charging a lower monthly payment.
The thing about home warranties is that they are a bit complicated with a lot of moving parts that may confuse most homeowners on what’s covered versus what’s not covered.
A key deciding factor in our review looking for the best home warranty company is finding one with top quality customer service to help customers like you walk through the claims process so you don’t have to worry about nasty surprises when you need service.
That said, Choice has 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year availability and a 48 hour response time to get a contractor out to your home. Other providers tend to have slower response times and are less communicative about when technicians are assigned to your claim.
Policy On Pre-Existing Issues or Older Units?
Choice covers appliances regardless of age or existing wear and tear, so you don’t need to worry about signing up and not getting covered due to age assuming you’ve properly maintained the item over it’s life.
What’s not covered is if you or someone else breaks the unit regardless of when it happens. All home warranties, regardless of company, won’t cover a unit you break through negligence or misuse (i.e., baby sticks chocolate bar into VCR).
- Good Limits (up to $1,500)
- Minimal Exclusions
- More Affordable
- Only 15 Home Appliances & Systems Covered
American Home Shield Review (Editor’s Choice)
Why Do We Like American Home Shield?
Far and away the most thorough and transparent home warranty company we reviewed is American Home Shield. They are the gold standard. If you spend any amount of time on their website, it’s clear that they are very upfront about what they do cover and don’t cover when compared to their competitors.
In fact, they go out of their way to tell you they cover things their competitors don’t like rust or plumbing stoppages.
They also have the best home warranty coverage with an astounding 21 systems and major appliances including trash compactor, smoke detectors, and clothes washer. They also have the fewest number of exclusions with the highest dollar limit payout amounts ranging from $1,000 – $3,000 per claim.
Think of American Home Shield as the “BMW” or “Mercedes” of home warranty companies. More expensive than Choice, but with better coverage and limits.
Policy On Pre-Existing Issues or Older Units?
Very similar to Choice, American Home Shield covers old systems and appliances that break down due to wear and tear, but they do not cover pre-existing issues or negligence related to the misuse of your appliance or system!
- Highest Payout Limits (up to $3,000)
- Widest Coverage (21 systems and appliances)
- Fewest Exclusions
- Most Expensive
Select Home Warranty Review (Most Affordable)
Why Do We Like Select Home Warranty?
Select Home Warranty made our list as a best budget friendly home warranty option. They have lower limits ranging from $500 – $2,000 per claim but also lower service fee costs and potentially reduced annual premiums as low $325 per year if you opt into multiple year contracts, far below other competitors.
If you opt for their “Platinum Care” they are on-par with other providers in terms of what they actually cover.
Overall, a great budget option for people who want a home warranty but can’t afford Choice or American Home Shield.
Policy On Pre-Existing Issues or Older Units?
Very similar to Choice and American Home Shield, Select covers old systems and appliances that break down due to wear and tear, but they do not cover pre-existing issues or negligence related to the misuse of your appliance or system!
- Most Affordable Service Contracts
- Roof leaks Are Covered In Their Platinum Plan
- Ultra Pushy Sales
- 3 Days To Submit Claim
- Weaker Network Of Contractors
Total Home Protect Review (Best For Larger Systems)
Why Do We Like Total Home Protect?
Total Home Warranty made our list as a home warranty with above average protection on more robust systems like septic systems and roof coverage.
Their monthly cost comes out to around ~$45 per month for their basic “Gold” plan, which puts them on the more expensive side of the scale when compared to other top home warranties on our list with better coverage.
Most home warranties do not cover anything related to your roof but Total Home Protect does, which we found to be unique to their offering helping them crack our top list.
Policy On Pre-Existing Issues or Older Units?
Very similar to Choice and AHS, Total Home Protect covers old systems and appliances that break down due to wear and tear, but they do not cover pre-existing issues or negligence related to the misuse of your appliance or system!
- You Can Choose Your Own Technicians
- Roof Coverage
- More Exclusions Than Most Competitors
- The Worst BBB score
- Low Payout Limits ($500)
First American Home Warranty Review (Best Customer Service)
Why Do We Like First American Home Warranty?
First American Home Warranty made our list as a home warranty with above average customer service mixed with in with a decent price point.
The only drawback was that they aren’t nationwide lacking coverage in the following states: ND, MN, WI, IL, NY, VT, NH, ME, MA, CT , RI , DE, AL, HI, LA.
Their plan options include a “Basic“ plan, which only covers appliances and will run you about $28 per month. Their combo plan, which covers major systems and appliances branded the “Premier” plan costs around to ~$43 per month.
Overall a good home warranty provider, but just lacking the coverage, which would have helped make a better case for “best overall home warranty company”.
Policy On Pre-Existing Issues or Older Units?
Again, all of the home warranty providers seem to have adopted a similar policy in that they cover “old” appliances and systems that break down due to wear and tear, but they do not cover pre-existing issues or negligence related to the misuse of your appliance or system!
- Great Customer Service (B+ BBB Score)
- Online Chat Support
- Not Available In 15 States
- Can’t Choose Your Own Contractor
Final Thoughts On Home Warranties For Landlords
If you’re a landlord, there’s nothing better than knowing that you’ll be protected financially if you have to have major repairs on your rental property. With a home warranty plan, you can worry less about property management and repair costs as a landlord.
For rental properties, home warranty plans are a must-have. When it comes to protecting the value of your property and keeping your renters happy, without all the hassle a warranty plan is essential.