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A Letting Agent's Bank Holiday - The Pointy End of Property Management

Bank Holiday was what we call a Letting Agent's Bank Holiday, dealing with property management challenges!

Bank Holiday was what we call a Letting Agent's Bank Holiday, dealing with property management challenges!

At 9am we received a call from a nice tenant advising they had a water leak through the ceiling in the kitchen, coming through the light. Advised them to turn off the stop cock and not to use the light. I went over to the property and, yes, drips coming through every few seconds. Cracks in the ceiling around the light but not too much damage or water marks as yet.

So I looked for the source of the leak. Checked pipes around the toilet, checked the toilet cistern and all working fine, checked the boiler, the bath and every radiator. No moisture. Took the side panel off the bath. Ah hah! It looked like this could be the problem, but was actually just varnish that looked like water. Nice and dry under there.

At this point I had exhausted the easy options so called a plumber. I could have called one straight away, but why do so when it may or may not be necessary? We are mindful of our landlord’s costs.

He came out within the hour, reviewed the problem and we decided to take up the carpet, underlay and floorboards in the landing. This is less invasive as a first step than taking up the tiles in the toilet or the bathroom, which is where the water was coming through from.

Sure enough there was water pooling on the ceiling beneath the floor boards. Searched for the leak, and our plumber found the water fill pipe to the boiler was leaking. It had rusted through and had done so in a few places. I think it had probably leaked before (from the staining around it), so we decided rather than repairing the pipe to replace it. Much simpler now with modern flexible pipes than it would have been in the past with copper.

As I left the water had stopped dripping through the ceiling, now to make good on the work and tidy up! So we dealt with the leak and resolved it within a few hours of being told about it.

For me, property management is about reacting quickly as the problem arises and using the right contractor for the right job. A proportionate response in the same time or better, than you would deal with the same problem in your own home. We have a few plumbers on our list and all were willing to help which is pretty good for a bank holiday weekend!

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