EXCLUSIVE: A new app aims to save landlords money on costly maintenance by helping tenants sort problems remotely with contractors.
Help Me Fix sets up an engineer within minutes to help the tenant try to resolve the issue over a video call.
If a physical visit is needed, they can provide all the information and photos to get quotes from other contractors, however, it says 60% of problems are fixed by a tenant under expert supervision.
“Engineers will take tenants as far through a process as they can, but if tenants are not capable or willing to sort an issue, they will send a report instead,” founder Ettan Bazil (pictured) tells LandlordZONE.
“We find that the average call lasts eight minutes – there’s no unpacking of tools, tea-making or parking to take up time.”
Since the pandemic, tenants are less likely to grant access to a property except in an emergency, and are more resilient and willing to tackle issues themselves, according to Bazil, who adds that the service immediately cuts out the £50-100 call-out fee.
App users choose which virtual categories tenants can access, such as gas and plumbing, or they can access help with a wider range including appliances, locks and alarms.
Landlords can also specify how many times tenants are able to use the service and the maximum cost of each call – charges vary from £2-£4 a minute, while a countdown clock on screen lets tenants know how long they’ve got left to talk. Landlords also get alerts when the tenant tries to use the service, and can either authorise or decline each call.
Help Me Fix currently just works with property managers and is adding to its 4,000-strong tenant base with 1,200 new tenants each month, but is now looking to sign up private landlords.