Research by an insurance firm has identified the high costs incurred by landlords on emergency call-outs.
Whilst inevitably promoting the merits of insurance, the research by Direct Line is helpful because it highlights the stark costs of such emergencies,. The insurance firm says that over 2019 and so far 2020, private landlords have spent an extraordinary £5.68 billion on emergency call-outs.
The average cost is no less than £765 per call-out.
Direct Line says that in 2019, some 53 per cent of private landlords needed to call in an emergency contractor to one of their properties – this equates to 13,000 contractors being called out to a rental property every day.
When it comes to tenants, 3.87m private renters have experienced a home emergency which required an emergency contractor to be called out.
The most common time-sensitive issue in a rental property is plumbing (48 per cent), followed by gas or heating (45 per cent), electrics (35 per cent) and locks (27 per cent).
Plumbers have the best arrival time as they get to an issue within just over 13 and a half hours of being alerted. Electricians come second with an average appearance time of 17 hours and 48 minutes, while gas and heating engineers take 20 hours and 42 minutes to turn up.
As well as being the most frequently needed, plumbers are also the cheapest emergency contractors, costing landlords an average of £523 per year. Emergency glaziers are the most expensive, with an average cost of £1,019 per year.
When it comes to reporting the issue, 48 per cent of landlords are alerted by their lettings agent, 45 per cent get notified directly by their tenant with just 11 per cent discovering the issue themselves.
“It can be costly and time consuming to get an emergency contractor out to a property. If tenants need to get in touch with the landlord or letting agency before a contractor can even be called, this only adds to the timescale” explains Jamie Chaplin, landlord product owner at Direct Line - Business.
“No landlord wants their tenant to feel unsafe or unreasonable discomfort in their property. We hope that our Landlord Emergency cover will allow for a harmonious relationship between landlords and tenants while giving peace of mind to both parties.”