Should I Buy A Home Warranty for My Rental in Massachusetts?

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Should I Buy A Home Warranty for My Rental in Massachusetts?

Whether or not to buy a home warranty for your rental property in Massachusetts depends on various factors, including your budget, the age and condition of the appliances and systems in the property, and your willingness to handle repair costs. Here are some considerations to help you make an informed decision:

Pros of Buying a Home Warranty:

  1. Budget Predictability:
    • A home warranty can provide budget predictability by covering the cost of repairs or replacements for covered items. This can be beneficial for landlords who want to avoid unexpected expenses.
  2. Convenience for Tenants:
    • A home warranty can make it convenient for tenants to request repairs without having to contact the landlord directly. The warranty company typically arranges for service providers.
  3. Attractive to Tenants:
    • Offering a home warranty as part of the rental agreement can be attractive to tenants, providing them with peace of mind regarding potential repair costs.

Cons of Buying a Home Warranty:

  1. Cost:
    • Home warranties come with an upfront cost and may also have service call fees for each visit. It’s essential to compare the cost of the warranty to the potential cost of repairs.
  2. Coverage Limitations:
    • Home warranties often have limitations on coverage, including certain exclusions and maximum payout amounts. Ensure that the coverage aligns with the needs of your property.
  3. Service Providers:
    • Some landlords prefer to choose their own service providers for repairs, but home warranties typically work with a network of contracted service providers.
  4. Deductibles and Exclusions:
    • Check for deductibles and exclusions in the home warranty policy. Some items may not be covered, and deductibles can apply to each service request.

Factors to Consider:

  1. Age of Appliances and Systems:
    • If the appliances and systems in your rental property are relatively new, they may still be under manufacturer warranties, making a home warranty less necessary.
  2. Landlord’s DIY Abilities:
    • Landlords who are skilled in DIY repairs may prefer handling minor repairs themselves rather than relying on a warranty service.
  3. Tenant Relationships:
    • Consider the relationship you have with your tenants. If you have a good rapport and can quickly address maintenance issues, a home warranty might be less crucial.
  4. Emergency Fund:
    • If you have an emergency fund set aside for property repairs, you might opt to self-insure and handle repair costs as they arise.


Buying a home warranty for your rental property in Massachusetts can provide peace of mind and convenience, especially if you want to offer tenants added assurance and avoid unexpected repair costs. However, it’s crucial to carefully review the terms, coverage limitations, and costs associated with the warranty to determine if it aligns with your specific needs and preferences.

Additionally, regularly maintaining and servicing the property’s systems and appliances can help prevent the need for major repairs and extend their lifespan.

Should I Buy A Home Warranty for My Rental in Massachusetts?

The average monthly cost of a home warranty can vary based on factors such as the level of coverage, the service provider, and the region. In Massachusetts, like in many other states, the average cost for a home warranty typically falls within the range of $25 to $50 per month. Here are some considerations regarding the cost of a home warranty for your rental property:

  1. Basic Plans vs. Comprehensive Plans:
    • Home warranty providers offer different plans with varying levels of coverage. Basic plans may cover essential appliances, while comprehensive plans may include major systems such as HVAC and plumbing. The more extensive the coverage, the higher the monthly cost.
  2. Service Call Fees:
    • In addition to the monthly cost, some home warranty plans have service call fees, ranging from $75 to $150 or more, each time a service provider is dispatched to the property. Consider these fees when evaluating the overall cost.
  3. Deductibles:
    • Some home warranty plans may have deductibles for specific covered items. Deductibles are typically paid per service request. Be aware of these costs when comparing plans.
  4. Provider and Plan Selection:
    • Different home warranty providers may offer plans with varying costs and coverage. It’s essential to compare quotes from reputable providers and carefully review the terms of each plan.
  5. Exclusions and Limitations:
    • Check for any exclusions or limitations in the home warranty policy. Certain items or types of damage may not be covered, and there may be maximum payout limits for repairs.
  6. Negotiation with Service Providers:
    • In some cases, landlords or homeowners may be able to negotiate the cost of a home warranty with the service provider. It’s worth inquiring about any available discounts or promotions.

Sample Estimate:

For a basic home warranty plan covering essential appliances, you might find plans in Massachusetts with a monthly cost in the range of $25 to $35. If you opt for a more comprehensive plan including major systems, the monthly cost could be in the range of $40 to $50 or more.


  1. Compare Plans:
    • Request quotes from multiple home warranty providers, and carefully compare the coverage, service call fees, deductibles, and overall cost.
  2. Assess Tenant Needs:
    • Consider the age and condition of the appliances and systems in your rental property. Tailor the coverage to meet the needs of both the property and your tenants.
  3. Review Terms and Conditions:
    • Read the terms and conditions of the home warranty policy, including any limitations and exclusions, to ensure it aligns with your expectations.
  4. Evaluate Emergency Fund:
    • If you have a well-funded emergency repair fund, you may assess whether a home warranty is necessary for your specific situation.

Ultimately, the decision to buy a home warranty should be based on your budget, the condition of your rental property, and your risk tolerance. Carefully assess the overall value and benefits a home warranty provides for your specific circumstances.

Should I Buy A Home Warranty for My Rental in Massachusetts?

Home warranty coverage can vary depending on the specific plan and provider you choose. However, most home warranty plans typically cover the following categories of items in a rental property:

  1. Kitchen Appliances:
    • Coverage often includes essential kitchen appliances such as the refrigerator, oven, range, cooktop, dishwasher, and built-in microwave.
  2. HVAC Systems:
    • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are commonly covered. This may include the furnace, air conditioning unit, and ductwork.
  3. Plumbing System:
    • Home warranty plans typically cover the plumbing system, which may include the water heater, plumbing lines, and stoppages.
  4. Electrical System:
    • Coverage often extends to the electrical system, including components such as the main electrical panel, wiring, and outlets.
  5. Water Heater:
    • The water heater is usually covered under a home warranty plan.
  6. Garage Door Opener:
    • Some plans include coverage for the garage door opener.
  7. Ceiling Fans:
    • Ceiling fans may be covered under certain home warranty plans.
  8. Built-in Exhaust Fans:
    • Built-in exhaust fans in bathrooms or kitchens are often included in coverage.
  9. Garbage Disposal:
    • Many home warranty plans provide coverage for the garbage disposal.

Additional Coverage:

Depending on the plan and provider, you may have the option to purchase additional coverage for items such as:

  • Washer and Dryer:
    • Coverage for the washer and dryer may be available as an optional add-on.
  • Pool and Spa:
    • If your rental property has a pool or spa, you may opt for additional coverage for these items.
  • Septic System:
    • Some plans offer coverage for the septic system.
  • Well Pump:
    • Well pump coverage may be available as an add-on.

Limitations and Exclusions:

It’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions of any home warranty plan. Common limitations and exclusions may include:

  • Pre-existing Conditions:
    • Some plans may not cover pre-existing conditions or items with known issues.
  • Cosmetic Issues:
    • Cosmetic issues or damage may not be covered.
  • Improper Maintenance:
    • Lack of proper maintenance may void coverage for certain items.
  • Code Violations:
    • Repairs required due to code violations may not be covered.
  • Specific Components:
    • Some components of covered systems or appliances may be excluded.

How to Choose a Home Warranty:

  1. Research Providers:
    • Research reputable home warranty providers and read customer reviews to assess their reliability.
  2. Compare Plans:
    • Compare the coverage options and limitations of different plans to find one that aligns with your needs.
  3. Check Service Call Fees:
    • Consider the service call fees associated with each plan. These fees are typically paid each time a service provider is dispatched.
  4. Understand Coverage Limits:
    • Understand any coverage limits, exclusions, and deductibles associated with the home warranty plan.
  5. Read Customer Reviews:
    • Look for customer reviews to get an idea of the provider’s customer service and the ease of the claims process.

By carefully reviewing the coverage details and terms of a home warranty plan, you can make an informed decision about whether it provides the protection you need for your rental property in Massachusetts.

Should I Buy A Home Warranty for My Rental in Massachusetts?

The effective date of a home warranty, or when the coverage begins, can vary based on the terms and conditions of the specific warranty plan and provider you choose. Here are some common scenarios regarding when a home warranty becomes effective:

  1. At Closing:
    • In some cases, home warranty coverage may begin on the day of closing, when the property changes ownership. This is often seen in real estate transactions where the seller provides a home warranty as an incentive to the buyer.
  2. After Closing:
    • Alternatively, the coverage may commence after the closing date, even if the warranty is purchased at the time of closing. This delay could be a few days or weeks, depending on the terms of the warranty.
  3. On a Specified Date:
    • Some home warranty plans may have a specified effective date that is independent of the closing date. This could be the date of purchase or another predetermined date.
  4. After a Waiting Period:
    • Certain home warranty plans may have a waiting period before coverage becomes effective. For example, coverage might start 30 days after the date of purchase.


  1. Read the Policy Documents:
    • Carefully read the policy documents provided by the home warranty provider. The effective date and any waiting periods should be clearly outlined in the terms and conditions.
  2. Understand the Coverage Start Date:
    • Understand whether the coverage starts on the closing date, the date of purchase, or another specified date. This clarity helps in planning and managing repairs.
  3. Coordinate with Tenant Move-In:
    • If you’re purchasing a home warranty for a rental property, coordinate the effective date with the move-in date of your tenants. This ensures that the coverage is in place when the tenants start occupying the property.
  4. Check for Special Conditions:
    • Be aware of any special conditions or requirements specified by the home warranty provider. Some providers may have specific criteria for coverage to take effect.
  5. Claims After Effective Date:
    • Ensure that any claims made fall within the effective date of the home warranty. Repairs or replacements needed before the coverage becomes effective may not be covered.

How to Confirm the Effective Date:

To confirm the effective date of a home warranty, you can:

  • Review Policy Documents:
    • Thoroughly review the policy documents provided by the home warranty provider. Look for information on when the coverage becomes effective.
  • Contact the Provider:
    • If there is any ambiguity or if you have specific questions, contact the home warranty provider directly. Customer service representatives can provide clarification on the effective date and any other queries you may have.

Understanding when the home warranty becomes effective is crucial for ensuring that your rental property is protected and that any necessary repairs or replacements are covered under the warranty.

Should I Buy A Home Warranty for My Rental in Massachusetts?

Whether you can transfer a home warranty to another property depends on the terms and conditions of the specific home warranty plan and provider. Home warranty providers have different policies regarding the transferability of coverage, and it’s essential to review the terms outlined in the warranty contract. Here are some general considerations:

Transferability Factors:

  1. Provider’s Policies:
    • Check the policies of the home warranty provider. Some providers allow the transfer of coverage to a new property, while others may have restrictions or may not permit transfers.
  2. Specific Terms in the Contract:
    • Review the terms and conditions of the home warranty contract for any information regarding the transferability of coverage. This information is typically outlined in the contract provided by the warranty provider.
  3. Eligibility Criteria:
    • Some home warranty providers may have specific eligibility criteria for transferring coverage, such as the reason for the transfer and the condition of the new property.
  4. Fee or Administrative Charge:
    • In cases where a transfer is allowed, the provider may charge a fee or administrative charge for processing the transfer. Check for any associated costs.
  5. Time Limitations:
    • Some providers may have time limitations on when a transfer can be initiated. Be aware of any deadlines specified in the warranty contract.

Steps to Transfer a Home Warranty:

If the home warranty provider allows for the transfer of coverage, the process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Contact the Provider:
    • Reach out to the home warranty provider to inquire about the process for transferring coverage. Customer service representatives can provide guidance on the necessary steps.
  2. Provide Information:
    • Be prepared to provide information about the new property, including its address, features, and the condition of its systems and appliances.
  3. Pay any Fees:
    • If there are fees associated with the transfer, be prepared to pay them. The provider may require payment before completing the transfer.
  4. Update Contract Information:
    • Ensure that the warranty contract is updated with the details of the new property and that you receive confirmation of the transfer.


  1. Review Terms in Advance:
    • Before purchasing a home warranty, review the terms and conditions regarding transferability. If you anticipate moving or acquiring additional properties, choose a provider with favorable transfer policies.
  2. Evaluate Transfer Costs:
    • If there are fees associated with transferring coverage, evaluate whether the costs are reasonable and justifiable based on your specific situation.
  3. Understand Eligibility Criteria:
    • Be aware of any eligibility criteria or conditions set by the provider for transferring coverage.
  4. Plan for Future Properties:
    • If you plan to invest in multiple properties, consider selecting a home warranty provider with flexible transfer options.


Not all home warranty providers offer the same level of flexibility when it comes to transferring coverage. It’s crucial to carefully review the terms of the home warranty contract and, if needed, consult with the provider directly to understand the specific transfer policies and procedures.

Should I Buy A Home Warranty for My Rental in Massachusetts?

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