After a successful trial period last year, Dewhurst & Co has launched its fully-fledged ‘Report a Rental Repair’ service for 2016. The innovative reporting system allows tenants to log repair requests on our website in a guided, user-friendly way. In turn, these detailed online reports mean that Dewhurst’s team of local tradesmen – plumbers, electricians, roofers, even chimney sweeps – can respond swiftly and efficiently, whatever the issue.
“Our new ‘Report a Rental Repair’ system is a ‘win-win’ for tenants and landlords,” says Manda Cunningham, Lettings Manager at Dewhurst & Co. “Tenants know that their reports are logged instantaneously, which creates an immediate ‘paper trail’ for future reference. And the way the system gathers specific information means we can respond appropriately, usually the same day and always within 24 hours. As for landlords, they know Dewhurst’s Property Management team are looking after their properties carefully and that maintenance issues aren’t allowed to fester. By encouraging tenants to use the online system as soon as an issue arises, we resolve problems swiftly before they get worse or more expensive to deal with.”
The ‘Report a Rental Repair’ process uses clear online prompts that make it easy for the tenant to log relevant information in the correct category (e.g. heating, electricity, windows, pest, air conditioning, communal facilities). Also, at every stage of the reporting process the tenant is provided with information which may help them to fix simple problems themselves.
This information ranges from videos on how to change smoke alarm batteries to advice on what to do in an emergency. For example, the ‘Smell gas?’ category states: ‘If you have a gas leak or you can smell gas you must immediately evacuate the property and then contact National Grid Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999; after that you must telephone Dewhurst & Co on 01793 709090’.
“If it can be repaired, Dewhurst has repaired it,” says Manda who boasts 29 years’ experience in the Lettings Sector. “It tends to go in phases – for some reason we’ve been fixing lots of washing machines lately! - but the most common repairs are heating and leaks. Normally, we contact landlords to discuss repair details, but if no one is available we’ll take the initiative on behalf of the tenants. If say, a family with children had a heating problem in winter, we’d make sure a tradesman got round to their property immediately. Recently, a tenant reported a swaying chimney pot in high winds, so we got a roofer over to the property before the fire brigade had to be called in!”
“Another benefit of the ‘Report a Rental Repair’ system is that it gives users the choice of 40 different languages, so if we have a tenant who is more comfortable using Polish, Hindi or Spanish they can do so. The key thing is to make sure that people communicate the repair request accurately.”
“In the not too distant future all repair requests from tenants will be processed online,” concludes Manda. “It will mean a better service for tenants and it will help landlords to save money. Like I said, a ‘win-win’ situation and a forward-looking initiative from Dewhurst & Co.”
The benefits of online ‘Report a Rental Repair’
DEWHURST & CO. WE KNOW SWINDON, WE KNOW LETTINGS