Belvoir News Article
02 December 2010 – Snow business
As bad weather causes increasing maintenance problems, Belvoir agents work to ensure minimum disruption for landlords and tenants.
Britain continues to be hit by the worst winter snowstorms for 17 years, but Belvoir offices are able to use their leverage to supply contractors to deal with rising numbers of property maintenance issues.
“Many landlords would not have any idea of how to deal with issues such as central heating break downs at this time of year and hard-pressed emergency contractors are less likely to accept jobs from single-property owners,” says Belvoir MD, Dorian Gonsalves.
“Belvoir agents really come into their own when sorting out the kind of problems that are experienced by landlords and tenants in winter. Our unique relationship with qualified and experienced contractors means that we can respond quickly and efficiently to both minor and serious maintenance issues.”
Here’s how Belvoir franchise owners around the country are managing…
Mike Campbell, Belvoir Falkirk, Scotland says: “I have never seen so much snow in my life, but we have managed to remain open every day, although it has taken me more than two hours to get into work.
“We have had an increasing number of maintenance issues, such as heating failures and have sent plumbers out to deal with them. We have done some move-ins, but in many cases new tenants are stranded elsewhere and have had to postpone.
“Many side streets are impassable for viewings, but we are open and we are doing our best to stay warm and provide emergency cover for landlords and tenants.
“We are also checking on empty properties and have added to our standby supply of electric heaters because the concern now is the forecast for low temperatures over the next week or so, which is likely to be even more challenging than the snowfall we are currently experiencing.”
Terry Lucking, of Belvoir Peterborough, Cambridge and Corby says: “We are very lucky, we seemed to be in some kind of snow-free cocoon at the moment, because although surrounding areas have had heavy snowfall we now have just an inch or so on the ground. The temperature has been very low though and we have had a spike of reported water leaks and broken boilers, and so the phones have been busy, but we are able to cope with it.”
Samantha Lees, of Belvoir Grantham says: “We have had heavy snowfall in this area, but everyone has managed to get to work, even if it is by train rather than car.
“We are extremely busy with maintenance issues, including frozen and burst pipes, as well as heating breakdowns. It is a busy time, but we are determined to be here and provide the best customer service that we can.”
John Redden, from Belvoir Tynedale in the North East says: “We have had a lot of snow – I even had to dig my car out of the office car park yesterday!
“The weather has affected our viewings because side streets are closed, but we have had a lot of maintenance issues to deal with. Luckily I know how to fix a few things myself and in an emergency have been able to go and help tenants out.
“Our general maintenance man is still able to go out to small jobs in his car even though his van is out of action in the snow, and our white goods man is fantastic, as he drives out as far as he can and then walks the rest of the way to fix things like washing machines and ovens.
“The North East is severely affected, but we are doing our best to provide our customers with the best service that we possibly can.