It is the phone call that every landlord hopes takes place only occasionally – there’s an emergency at your buy-to-let property such as a burst water pipe, electrical black-out or collapsed ceiling and action needs to be taken immediately.
Research by home repair network HomeServe reveals that such events are more frequent than landlords might hope. Researchers found that 34% of tenants had faced a home emergency in the past 12 months but what’s more worrying is the service they reported receiving following each emergency.
Top of tenants’ complaints was the speed of repair with just a third of tenants reporting work completed within a day while one in four said they took more than a week. Other grumbles included having to wait until ‘working hours’ to contact their landlord, a sizeable problem given HomeServe reckons there a third of a million apartments in the UK managed directly by landlords.
Such problems, the most common of which was a failed central heating system, have lead some tenants to take drastic action in order to persuade their landlord to complete repairs faster. The research revealed that one in ten tenants have withheld rent when repairs took too long, and half of the survey’s respondents said they would consider doing so in future.
It was also revealed how landlords manage their own properties with a third employing a fixer or agent to arrange repairs while a further third said they did completed the repairs themselves.