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  • Buy-to-Let

    Home Care

    Hi 

    I was just wondering what everyone does for boiler repaires.Do you just pay as and when needed or do you have a home care plan. 

    Thanks 
    David
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    Hi

    in the past i paid a monthly fee to British Gas - which covered all call outs and repairs. As the boilers were fairly new, i then changed this to a lower monthly fee (about £8) but each time the service is used, there is a £50 charge - but everything else is covered. The plus side is that it is easy enough for me to administer remotely, and if i trust the tenant i can authorise them to ring directly - since the next stage of any engineer visit is always arranging a suitable time window, i find its just best to not be the middleman.  I normally ask the tenant to advise if theres an issue then i ask them if they are happy to make the call to British Gas. We agree that this is the procedure prior to the tenancy starting. This means that - if i am on holiday, i don't have to worry about finding a boiler engineer.  Of course, if you have a local plumber who does boilers, this may also work - but all too often a good plumber is not available as quick as one might like. There are other alternatives to British Gas - i havent used them. I use British Gas cos i figure they have a lot of engineers and i stand a chance of getting one sooner - and for £50 my problem generally goes away.

    I find a tenant never has a boiler problem in the middle of a weekday - its always at night ... on a weekend ...

    hope this helps

    si

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    Hi Simon

    Thanks for the reply that's where I think I am heading towards a home care plan as I think it would be best if anything goes wrong.
    I am lucky with my first BTL as the customer will fix any problems for me but I would not be able to call him in the dead of night for my 2nd one. 
    Thanks David
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    You need to ensure that you will get a gas engineer/plumber as I have just rerecently had a gas engineer out to tell me there is nothing wrong with the boiler - charged visit.  We then hired the guy who originally fit the boiler, he couldn't find the problem - another charged visit.  We bought a new programmer followed advise and fit it ourselvesi, wasn't the programmer. Finally hubby decided to look at the actual electrics and fixed it himself.  Many British Gas gas engineers don't understand plumbing, you really need to be able to determine yourself whose knowledge is needed.
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    I tend to alternate between HC or BG (Whichever is cheaper) and ensure that the boiler and Central Heating is covered. I also go for a zero charge call out so that the tenants can call them and manage the repair directly without involving me.

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    Every year when I submit my accounts I see a huge figure across our properties for BG homecare agreements but I manage the properties without an agent and work full time I see it as a fair compromise. 

    I did get a big increase one year and called BG and remonstrated with them and they reduced the increase across my portfolio and I was paying less for about three years and it has just now caught up with what I was paying before. Whilst I have a clutch of properties it isn’t quite big enough to justify an alternative. I have had offers from plumbers to take on the contract but a one man band isn’t solid enough cover IMO sadly.
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    Hi David, most of our landlords opt for pay as you go as we feel that is better value, assuming the property has been well maintained. one can often find with monthly cover that when needed, a lot of issues will not be covered.

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    Pay as you go for me.

    I have found the bigger companies tend to employ the lesser experience heating engineers, those that are capable setting up their own businesses and making more money. I'm sure there are exceptions.

    I have a heating engineer who installs any new boilers required for me, annually certificates them and handles any call out issues.

    He can never blame anything on anyone else as it is all his work.

    He is familiar with each property and each boiler.

    We have an agreed call out charge and I have his mate's number (also heating engineer) should he be away.


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