The top five tenant issues we receive at PropCall and how we fix them

6 minute read

Our out-of-hours property management team receives a wide range of calls. Working with over 250 businesses on their after-hours offering, you can imagine the variety of issues we get from customers stuck in sticky situations. Our team of property managers has extensive experience across multiple sectors and manages more than 300,000 units nationwide, meaning they know exactly what to do when any one of these calls comes in. 

So, what are our most-received queries, the daily problems, the distress calls, and how do we ensure they’re dealt with quickly and efficiently? Find out here… 

1 – “My boiler’s gone kaput!” 

A nightmare for any homeowner or tenant; the boiler’s packed in… or has it? 

We receive hundreds of calls with boiler issues, which more often than not are simple fixes. 

This scenario is a perfect example of how our video call technology can help tenants quickly, without having to send out-of-hours contractors every time a boiler issue arises, which can become expensive, fast. 

Our process: 

  • Determine the issue – find make / model then check if the electricity is working and the gas supply is on
  • Get the tenant on video call and look for error codes on the boiler 
  • Check the pressure, as often it’s an issue with low pressure – we can guide the tenant through how to repressurise on the video call 
  • If it cannot be fixed, we then find out if there is anyone vulnerable in the property and send out a gas-safe engineer 

As shown above, using our video call technology, tenants can show us the boiler, and we can highlight the issue – literally. Using our software, our property managers can circle the problem and show them exactly how to fix the boiler, within minutes. 

This decreases the number of complaints, callouts and therefore spending – a win-win (win!) 

2 – The dreaded lockouts 

There are not many things worse than getting home to find you’ve lost your keys or simply can’t get in. 

When tenants can’t access their properties, panic naturally sets in and calling their landlord or estate agents may be the first thing they think of. This could prove difficult if you’ve clocked off for the day, or are even asleep! 

That’s where we come in. 

Our process: 

  • Find out who is at fault – is it the lock or have they lost or forgotten their keys? 
  • Most lost keys result in a locksmith. However, with student accommodation, they will often charge a small fee for someone to attend the scene and give access to their room 
  • If the lock is broken or damaged, we would use the video tool to assess the lock and make sure they are using it correctly as sometimes can be user error and can be resolved over the phone
  • If we have determined that the lock is broken and either the property has a security risk, or the tenant is left with nowhere to go, then we would call out a locksmith
  • However, if the client has their own procedure which differs from the above, we would follow their process instead

We can take these calls at all hours of the day (as well as weekends and bank holidays), calmly talking the tenant through their options and using our video call technology to further understand the problem. This type of call often relies on the help of our trusted, local team of trusted contractors, available 24 hours a day. 

3 – Tripped electrics 

Our third most common call reason is tripped electrics. A classic problem that can be a tough situation to navigate on your own, or using the hundreds of YouTube videos attempting to explain the solution. 

Our process: 

  • Check national power or tenant’s supplier for outages in the area
  • Check on prepayment issues or meter 
  • Video call to assess the tenants’ fuse box and if there’s a tripped switch, we would talk the tenant through a general trip test, usually fixing the issue or identifying a faulty appliance 
  • If none of these work, we would appoint an electrician to visit the property 

Our team knows how to deal with tripped electrics better than anyone. On the remote call, we can see where there may be a tripped fuse and guide the tenant through switching each appliance on and off until we figure out the issue. 

Again saving time and money, and looking after your tenant without having to disturb your team during their downtime.

4 – Leaks 

Leaks. A panic-inducing urgent call from a tenant whose bathroom pipe is leaking. Not something you want to deal with once you’ve clocked off, right? 

Our troubleshooting questions: 

  • How fast is it leaking? 
  • Is the leak contained or containable? 
  • If the leak is coming from the ceiling, what room is above it? If it’s a roof, it’s likely to be a building leak 
  • Is it constant or intermittent – could decipher a shower or tap as the culprit! 
  • Can the water be stopped or redirected?
  • If it is from another flat, the tenant would be advised to see the homeowner of the above property. 

Non-urgent leaks: 

  • Advise the tenant to turn off their water supply 
  • Advise to prevent internal damage by using towels and buckets where appropriate 
  • Issue should then be raised with the client to arrange contractor attendance during normal hours 

Serious leaks: 

  • Send a preferred contractor to attend to mitigate risk of damage, where the benefit of sending the contractor outweighs the suspected damage costs. 

We offer 24-hour emergency call-outs, using either your trusted network of suppliers, or our experienced contractors and property managers, who can quickly head out to solve your tenants’ issues at any time of day or night.

5 – Blocked toilets… 

What better scenario to deal with through the phone than when it’s a blocked toilet… 

Our technology means tenants can fix issues like this within minutes. With no need to even download an app, our team can talk through the necessary steps without having to send anyone out to the property. 

Troubleshooting questions: 

  • Is it the only toilet in the property? 
  • Is it an ongoing issue? 
  • Is it a blocked toilet or an issue with drainage? 

Blocked toilet  – we recommend the use of domestic unblocking agents as a first port of call. We would only instruct an engineer to attend if the blockage is in the only toilet in the property, rendering it unusable. Blocked sinks are rarely treated as an emergency.

Drains backing up – Unless there is a severe risk to the health and safety of residents, drainage issues will be dealt with on the next working day. In the event this falls on a weekend, contractors may be asked to attend during reasonable daylight hours, providing the costs don’t drastically exceed normal call-out charges. We only ever send out contractors when there is no other option and never want to hit you with an unnecessary bill, so we will do everything we can to avoid this where possible.
If you’d like to find out more about how PropCall’s out-of-hours property management services could help you, request a callback or get in touch 0161 510 5600.