Leading repairs and maintenance solution provider Fixflo has dug into its repairs data to discover how the nation’s rental properties were affected in October and early November by Storms Babet and Ciaran – and warns that with more severe weather on the way, agents should get ready now.
With the strong winds, freezing temperatures and heavy rainfall came – unfortunately – property issues. The UK was chiefly affected by Babet, while the Channel Islands and Northern Ireland bore the effects of Ciaran.
In total, Fixflo saw a 42% increase in the number of issues reported during the period before and after Babet compared to the same period in October last year.
The storm’s impact can be seen most in the surge of water leaks reported, which rose over 50% in the week of the storm compared to the previous week. Water leaks occurred most frequently in Yorkshire and The Humber, The Midlands, and the North, with smaller impacts in the South.
Strong winds caused reports of window issues to rise by 68%, while the sharp drop in temperature contributed to a massive increase in heating issues, which rose by 95%.
Regions affected by Ciaran also saw a rise in the number of water leaks and heating issues reported, with the Channel Islands seeing issues double the week commencing 30 October 2023 compared with the previous week.
Agents should expect a similar increase in issues with the next storm, and it’s of paramount importance to be proactive and get ready now.
Property inspections should look out for signs such as cracked pipes, blisters and damp patches that could worsen in the event of heavy rainfall. Weak spots in window frames and external doors can be worsened by heavy winds, so these should be a focus too.
Nicholas Sarac, Head of Customer Success at Fixflo says: “The surge in repair requests we saw as a result of the storms points to the toll that severe weather conditions can have on properties. It’s particularly important for agents to ensure that they have robust processes set up for dealing with out-of-hours maintenance and emergencies to prevent them from being overwhelmed during busy periods like this. Attending repair requests quickly will minimise damage, helping protect both properties and tenants.”