New research from the UK’s No.1 property marketplace, TheHouseShop.com, has revealed that landlords could be charged up to 50 per cent more for an emergency repair call out over the Christmas period, (from the 22nd December to the 1st January) compared to the rest of the year.
TheHouseShop.com carried out research, to get estimated costs for emergency callouts in the two weeks over Christmas and New Year. Recent data shows that landlords requiring services such as window repair, tree surgery, boiler engineers, and plumbers, could see a price increase of between 20 per cent – 50 per cent for emergency repairs over Christmas.
Stephen Jury, spokesperson for home services marketplace, Plentific.com, comments on the likely Christmas price increase 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 per cent more.”
This is a major concern for landlords because not only could they be faced with higher costs for an emergency repair but it could 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.
Co-Founder of TheHouseShop.com, Nick Marr, comments on the research results:
“Not only would the 20 per cent – 50 per cent 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 a very important holiday for tradesmen and business owners because many are family owned and view the festive season 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 all this time of year.
For businesses choosing to remain open during Christmas, many will struggle to find experienced employees who would be available at short notice, are safe to drive to the property and can carry out the repair. This 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, Owner of LondonSashWindows.com, comments on the likely price increase landlords could face over Christmas:
“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 per cent from £320 + VAT to £480 + VAT, depending on the severity of the repair.”
TheHouseShop.com investigated further to find out how much landlords could expect to pay for minor maintenance work over Christmas. For services such as pest control, gardening, cleaning and waste removal, the price increase could be between 20 per cent – 30 per cent.
A spokeswoman for FantasticServices.com comments on the potential difficulty landlords could face in finding a service provider 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 Fantastic Services, 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.com’s advice to landlords is to carry out a maintenance check in early December and contact their tenants, asking them to report any problems with the property as soon as they can, in order to leave them plenty of time to book in a repair before Christmas week. By getting smaller repairs seen to now, such as a small crack in a window, landlords could prevent it from getting worse over Christmas and potentially save themselves a lot of money and hassle.