It’s peak repairs season according to an analysis of one million tenant requests over recent years.
The analysis, by Fixflo, says repair issues typically peak in November at nearly double the volume processed in May.
Across 2021 and 2022 as a whole water leaks were the most common issues reported but boiler and heating issues start surging in the autumn and reach their highest in November.
In both autumn 2021 and 2022, mould issues more than tripled compared to the rest of the year.
Fixflo spokesperson Nicholas Sarac says: “This surge in repair requests repeats around the same time every year. With the cold snap just last Sunday, property managers looking after rented homes could already have experienced it first-hand.
“Forecasts are for a particularly cold winter this year, and this seasonal challenge, compounded by a shortage of contractors across trades, could create the perfect winter storm for property managers, landlords and tenants.”
He gives the following advice:
1. White goods are often installed to hide away cables and pipeworks, and small leaks could go undetected even by the most thorough inventory clerk and property manager. When conducting check-ins and check-outs, pay extra attention to signs of cracked pipes, blisters and damp patches in areas of the house that could be easy to miss.
2. Encourage tenants to test their heating to avoid a sudden rush of maintenance requests when the temperature drops. Be ready with a DIY guide for tenants to self-resolve simple heating issues. Many boiler and radiator problems can be easily fixed safely; in the process, the issue is further diagnosed, reducing callouts required.
3. Preparations can help you reduce emergencies, but they cannot be avoided completely. Having a source of reliable tradespeople who can provide you with a standard service level agreement—being onsite within a set time period and charging you a standard rate—will alleviate much of the pressure when handling emergencies.
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