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Under the skin of the letting market

Here we share news and views on both the local letting market in & around Oxfordshire and all planned and recent legislation.


A busy week for Property Management in Bicester


Well it all happened in Bicester last week with washing machines and fridges breaking down left, right and centre. The Property management team were kept on their toes with Michelle and Ashley working flat out to resolve the break downs as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Firstly, we had a washing machine leak straight through into a flat below, which is managed by another agent. Repairing the appliance the same day, we have been liaising with the other agent, and the tenants, about making good the damage to their ceiling. Luckily it is very minor so it just needs to dry out and we can then get the ceiling stain blocked and redecorated so it is all resolved well before Christmas.

Secondly, a washer-dryer broke in another property. We arranged for the engineer to attend that day, who deemed it non-economical to repair so we sourced a new integrated appliance at a keen price, supplied and fitted within a week. We would have liked it to be fitted earlier but as the appliance was fully integrated, it needed to be specially ordered. So, we paid the tenant ¬£33 compensation so they could get their clothes washed at the launderette in the interim. The tenant is delighted with the new appliance as it’s a better model than before and the Landlord is happy that we were able to secure a good discount¬† using our network of contacts.

Thirdly, we had a fridge break down at another property last week. This was critically urgent as the tenant’s child is diabetic and the fridge stored the insulin, which needed to be kept at 5 degrees. We therefore borrowed a spare fridge from our Finders Keepers office in Banbury and delivered it to the grateful tenants the same day. The Landlord has ordered a new appliance themselves, which will be delivered later this week.

If three breakdowns wasn’t enough, we also had a report from a tenant that their oven wasn’t working.¬† Having gone through our detailed check list over the telephone, we were able to ascertain that the timer had been moved from manual to automatic. The tenant altered it back whilst we talked them through and we could hear the oven fan start as it fired back into life. Hurrah!

At Finders Keepers, we have a very detailed check list that we go through to minimise the amount that tenants are charged for a call out from the engineers when there is nothing wrong with the appliance. We also carry out a detailed Check In with the tenant at the start of the tenancy and have detailed notes in our ‘Your home’ moving in guide to help minimise the chances of a wasted call out and to keep the domestic engineers free for genuine call outs.