Says Marc von Grundherr, Director of Benham & Reeves: “We do send qualified mechanics to tackle the problems reported to us. But one wonders why the tenant should wait for someone when he can do it DIY”
Benham & Reeves Residential Lettings reveals that more and more tenants are turning to property managers in dealing with small routine repairs that could have been managed by themselves. The trend points to the lack of ‘dad skills’ among the tenants which they may not have inherited from the previous generations.
Of late, there is a drastic escalation in the number of complaints pushed by tenants to letting firms which include demands like changing the bulbs, handling bleeding radiators, tightening door handles, unblocking sinks, changing batteries in smoke alarms and wiping the vapors from the windows.
There are funny complaints too. One gentleman complained that his lights are not working and is too afraid to flick the switch fearing electrocution. Some tenants are unabashed in demanding a brand new microwave for the sole reason that his plate does not fit into the machine. Another tenant was bitter about the late delivery of his TV set when in reality he himself was at fault for his habit of not answering the doorbell as the company tried three times to deliver the TV set.
In one complaint a blocked sink turned out to be a case of plug stuck inside. For another tenant the complaint was that the shower was cold and no hot water was available even though running elsewhere in the flat it was running. Ultimately, it turned out to be a matter of ignorance as the tenant had turned on the shower control from cold water supply!.
The Director Von Grundherr notes that distress calls to property management service had been going up drastically in the last 10 years. He attributes it to the unwillingness of many tenants in fixing even small things as they are scared to tackle anything around the home. Many tenants do not even own a screwdriver or hammer.
The lack of ‘dad skills’ combined with higher expectations about the agencies will keep letting agencies under pressure. Von Grundherr forewarns that this trend can aggravate further as more people start moving into the private rental sector.
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