New research from property marketplace TheHouseShop.com reveals that landlords could be charged up to 50% more for emergency callouts for repairs over the Christmas period (from 22nd December to 1st January) compared to the rest of the year.
The firm’s study looked at estimated costs for emergency callouts in the two weeks over Christmas and New Year. The data shows that landlords requiring services such as window repairs, tree surgery, boiler engineering and plumbing could face a price hike of between 20-50% for emergency callouts over Christmas.
Stephen Jury, the Spokesperson for home services marketplace Plentific.com, comments on the likely price increases that landlords could face: “Over the holiday period, plumbers, electricians and other tradesmen will often charge more than their usual fees, especially for emergency callouts. With the cold snap here, December will be a busy month and there will be a higher demand for quick fixes. If you are unlucky enough to need a callout around Christmas, you’re likely to end up paying as much as 50% more.”
This is a major concern for landlords because, not only could they be faced with higher costs for an emergency callout, it could also become more expensive if the problem is more complex to fix, such as replacing a broken boiler. An expensive emergency repair over Christmas could seriously impact a landlord’s finances when taking into account that they will be paying for their self-assessment tax returns in January.
The Co-Founder of TheHouseShop, Nick Marr, also responds to the results of the study: “Not only would the 20%-50% cost increase be a hindrance to landlords, but they could also struggle to book an appointment, because many businesses choose not to operate during Christmas and New Year, as they prefer to spend time with their friends and families.
“My advice to landlords would be to make sure that they have any repairs seen to before Friday 22nd December, in order to guarantee an appointment and to help keep their repair costs down. I would also recommend that they send a Christmas card or email to their tenants, encouraging them to report any problems with the property sooner rather than later in order to get them fixed in time.”
Christmas is an important holiday for tradespeople and business owners, as many are family owned and view the festive period as an opportunity to spend quality time with their loved ones. Due to the fact that these businesses are incredibly busy throughout the rest of the year, many of their employees choose to save up their annual leave to take a longer Christmas break, which is why many businesses decide not to operate at this time of year at all.
For businesses that do remain open during Christmas, many will struggle to find experienced employees that are available at short notice, are safe to drive to an appointment and can carry out the repair. This is a contributing factor for many businesses choosing to include a further price hike for emergency callouts on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Christopher Gaudiv, the Owner of LondonSashWindows.com, gives his thoughts: “In my experience working as a window repair professional, even before running my own business, landlords will experience difficulty in getting an emergency repair booked in over the Christmas week. Many business owners like myself will struggle to find someone willing and able to work, especially over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so this is why our estimated costs could increase 50% from £320 plus VAT to £480 plus VAT, depending on the severity of the repair.”
In addition, a Spokesperson for FantasticServices.com comments on the potential difficulty that landlords could face in finding a service provider at all over Christmas: “Property maintenance issues don’t stop for Christmas, so, if a property manager or tenant needs something urgently fixed, their choice of service providers is practically non-existent. Here at FantasticServices, we understand how difficult it is to get tradespeople to work over the Christmas period and, with that in mind, we are happy to provide all 25 of our services across all the bank holidays.
“For Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, all services provided will carry an additional surcharge of around 20% to 30%, which, in our view, is nothing compared to knowing that we are there to help if something goes wrong and needs urgent attention.”
TheHouseShop advises carrying out a periodic inspection in early December and contacting tenants, asking them to report any problems with the property as soon as possible, in order to leave the landlord plenty of time to book in a repair before Christmas. By getting smaller repairs sorted now, such as a small crack in a window, landlords could prevent it from getting worst over the festive period, and potentially save themselves lots of money and hassle.
We remind all landlords to look at the cover they receive under their Landlord Insurance at this time of year. Make sure that you have all of the covers you may need in place, to ensure that your property is adequately protected. We are proud to offer 40 essential covers as standard – the widest Landlord Insurance on the market. Take a look: https://www.justlandlords.co.uk/landlord-insurance