If you’re an agent who has moved into property management in the wake of the tenant fee ban, hold on tight. With summer fading away and colder, wetter and windier months ahead, we’re coming into the peak property maintenance months. If this is your first year offering landlords a full maintenance service, you may find there’s a sting in its tail.
Despite being able to charge for management, it’s a time-consuming and often laborious aspect. If agents are not careful, they can quickly erode any profit by spending inordinate amounts of time on property maintenance issues.
Maintenance falls in to two camps – pre-planned and emergency. Both can write off hours of the working day and in the case of the latter, unexpected calls from tenants can happen at the most inconvenient of times and require staff to be ‘on call’. Be prepared that autumn and winter are maintenance heavy months. In fact, three of the top five most common tenant repairs identified by Fixflo are more prevalent in colder months: water leaks, boiler faults and radiator issues.
Your maintenance work will escalate as early as this month. The storms that blow in with September and October often lead to damage – fence panels down and roof tiles damaged – and the managing agent is the first port of call for tenants.
And as the temperature drops is when maintenance really ramps up. Many gas appliances – fires and boilers especially – will be turned on for the first time in months, and many tenants will discover a problem at the time they need heat the most. Plus when it gets to freezing point, there’s a marked increase in pipes bursting and flooded properties too. If you calculated the number of hours a property manager spends trying to locate a plumber, scheduling the visit and processing the invoices during his working career, it would amount to weeks – even months!
There are additional maintenance issues that you’ll see much more of during autumn and winter, including chimneys that need sweeping, and an increase in damp and mould as more people dry washing indoors without adequate ventilation.
Agents who are overwhelmed by maintenance can outsource every aspect to ARPM. We offer a maintenance-only plan to agents – white labeled if required – covering planned and out-of-hours maintenance. It includes a welcome/introductory call from one of our property managers to the tenant; emergency call handling; repair works arranged and managed (with contractors chosen from our own tried and tested panel); all gas safety, legionnaires, PAT testing arranged and completed, and one routine annual inspection arranged with clerks and reports sent to landlords.
Outsourcing property maintenance will save you time, money and stress. It allows agents to focus on incoming-winning tasks and not be tied up on the ‘phone for hours or out visiting properties to assess damage. If you’d like to delegate property maintenance – or would like to add this service to your management business – consider ARPM. Contact us today and we’ll explain the details of our maintenance-only and full management services.
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