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Agency piloting improved repairs service ahead of national roll-out

A new partnership between AXA Partners and repairs reporting service Fixflo is being piloted in Manchester ahead of what may be a national roll-out.

The service, initially being offered by the Thornley Groves agency to its 3,000 managed properties, sees AXA Partners acting as the emergency out-of-hours contact centre for tenants using Fixflo.

It offers a call-back service within 60 minutes of reporting an issue so tenants living in privately rented accommodation no longer have to wait until normal working hours begin before they can report the need for a repair in their homes.

More than 8,000 issues were reported in properties in Manchester in the last 12 months, with over half classed as emergencies. Almost 3,000 of these problems occurred out-of-hours, leaving many tenants waiting for whole weekends before a repair could be made.

Water leaks were the most common repair reported over the last year at an average cost of £164. Boiler heating issues were the second most likely problem for tenants costing £245 on average.

“The lettings industry has faced a real challenge in overcoming the lack of options that tenants have when trying to report an emergency repair in their home outside of normal business hours. From 5pm daily and over weekends, they are left to source their own repair services, which can often be quite distressing for the tenant when it comes to finding a reputable repairs service and deciding who is responsible for paying for it. We wanted to change that” says Jason Watkin, Thorney Groves’ chief executive.

The AXA Partners’ emergency repair service is also being rolled out across several other locations in the UK, including Wakefield, Huddersfield and Leeds, where tenants in 36,000 properties will be able to use it via Smartphone, tablet or computer. 

Milan Sud, head of innovation at AXA Partners, adds:”Moving away from being a payer of insurance to a partner of solutions-based services we are putting the customer – or in this case tenant - at the heart of what we do, so that they can rent safe in the knowledge that they have access to an on-demand service that guarantees an initial call back within an hour of the repair being reported.”

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