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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.

What happens if there is a property emergency out-of-hours?

Out of hours emergencies

We make sure that a member of our staff is ‘on call’ for each of our offices at all times.
Tenants have the out-of-hours emergency number on a card which they receive upon moving in.

What is an ’emergency’?

The Finders Keepers 24/7 line is for genuine emergencies only such as a burst pipe, flood, fire or an unforeseen crisis such as a break-in.

The following are common calls but are not always emergencies which put the property at risk:

“I have lost my keys” We aim to get a locksmith out to help, but this cannot be guaranteed late at night and is a tenant cost, not a landlord cost.

“My electricity has cut out” Nine times out of ten this is the trip switch and we talk people through correcting it.

“The alarm is constantly going off” We try to get the alarm company out immediately to switch it off. They also work out if the cause is tenant error or product error.

“I cannot work my cooker / fridge, etc.” This is more common in new tenancies. We find that referring people to the manual (hard copy or online) normally works.

What we do in emergencies

Whenever possible, we send out a contractor after discussing the situation with the tenant. We can also visit in person if it is safe to do so.

Emergencies are fortunately rare, but having an experienced member of staff on call minimises risk and damage and gives everyone some peace of mind.

We do not outsource this very important service to a call-centre.

Many letting agents do not offer an emergency service at all. There are some agents that just give a list of contractor details and ask the tenants to handle it themselves. It might solve the issue, but who handles the complaints when the landlord refuses to pay the bills for non-emergencies?

If you are managing the property

As the landlord you will need to handle emergencies 24/7. Keep in mind that if you fail to respond to emergency calls, then your property might incur further damage, e.g. if there is a leak.

This is one of the 50 most asked questions in our book: Landlord Intelligence.