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1.7 million rental homes need evacuating each year

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31/10/2019
Emergencies such as flooding, fire and infestations can force tenants out while urgent repairs take place
1.7 million rental homes need evacuating each year

Emergencies have led to rental properties having to be evacuated nine million times in the last five years, according to Direct Line for Business.

This is the equivalent of 1.7 million evacuated rental properties every year.

In the last year more than half (53 per cent) of landlords have had to call an emergency contractor to visit one of their properties. On average, they said they’ve called out a contractor once every three months, which amounts to 4.7 million calls to contractors every year, or 13,000 each day.

The tenants who were forced to move out of their home as a result of an emergency were left unable to access their home for 8.5 days on average while repairs were completed.

Why were they evacuated?

The most common emergencies were plumbing related, with 365,000 rental homes evacuated because of these issues each year.

Faults with electrical or gas supplies were the second most common reason (293,000 evacuated), followed by escape of water (267,000) and pest infestations (195,000 evacuated).

Overall, landlords have had to pay out £4.5 billion on emergency contractors in the last year alone. This amounts to an average cost of £764 per callout, or £2,141 per year for every landlord in the UK.

Sarah Larkin, landlord product manager at Direct Line for Business, said: “Landlords are reacting immediately to tenants’ emergencies calling in contractors to resolve issues day or night. When tenants flag an issue early it can be resolved quickly preventing excess damage to the building and the tenants’ contents.

“The true cost of an emergency is unknown until all the work is complete and tenants are safely back in the property. It is essential that landlords have the right insurance cover in place to cope with the incident and avoid added stress.”

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