Press Release - Protecting homes and properties from emergencies and flooding leads to rising demand for homesitters
Posted on 30 December, 2019
Research by insurer MORE TH>N[i] showed that more than half (52 per cent) of UK adults have experienced a home emergency at some point in their lives - and 29 per cent have been hit in the last three years. The research also found that 52 per cent worry about a home emergency.
The three most common issues include losing heating or hot water, faulty plumbing and burst pipes. Flooding is a growing problem too with the three months from September 2019 having seen near-record levels of rain with 900 properties flooded across England, according to the Environment Agency[ii].
This fear of things going wrong in the home and the potential damage it could cause is leading to more people employing a homesitter, or live-in guardian if it’s a commercial property, according to Alan Irvine, Managing Director of Homesitters Ltd.
Alan Irvine explains, “For residential and commercial property owners an emergency means the inconvenience of having to take time off work to deal with it, but if people are away on holiday or business when it happens it can lead to thousands of pounds of damage if left unattended for a few days.”
According to insurer Zurich UK[iii] damage from mains water pipes are by far the costliest with the average claims valued at £5,958. Elsewhere in the home, it’s burst water pipes with an average claim of £5,637, followed by fixed water tanks (£5,404), leaking pipes (£4,244) and then malfunctioning household appliances (£3,320).
Mr Irvine says, “We’ve noticed increasing numbers employing a professional to take care of their home or commercial property when they go on holiday or if a property is going to be empty for some time, such as during probate, a renovation or a sale.This means they don’t have to worry as they know there will be someone on hand to deal with any emergency.
“A homesitter or live-in guardian is a cost-effective way to keep a property secure and help prevent damage from emergencies, or even squatters or vandals. We provide homesitters for any length of time, from a couple of days to a few years, giving clients peace of mind that their property is being looked after in their absence.”
One client used the company’s probate service on the recommendation of their insurance company and employed a homesitter to look after the home of his late mother in Lancashire for 11 months. This gave him peace of mind the house was safe and secure, but also saved him a lot of money from potential flood damage which occurred in the area at the time.
One of the homesitters who looked after the property, Sue Carlisle from Derbyshire said,
“Usually our assignments are focused on looking after pets, but with this one the security of the house was the most important thing. When we were staying at the house, there was dreadful flooding in Lancashire and thankfully, we kept it water free.
“The rain was torrential so we unblocked the gutters to stop the house flooding and checked the windows weren’t leaking. Having a homesitter meant that all bases were covered, not only was the house secure from the threat of burglars or squatters, but also from the risk of damage from flooding, storms or power cuts,” adds Ms Carlisle.
Another couple that have been working as both homesitters looking after people’s homes and pets when they go away and as live-in guardians for empty properties are Yolande (67) and Clive Noble (72), from Telford in Shropshire.
The Nobles have done a wide variety of domestic and commercial sits over the past 16 years. Yolande says, “Many of the commercial buildings and houses going through probate are quite large, so every day our routine is to check inside and out and make sure everything is secure and ok.”
Yolande believes having caretakers like themselves for commercial and probate sits is hugely beneficial in preventing break-ins, vandalism, fly tippers and squatters.
She says, “These properties are vulnerable to all sorts of damage if left unoccupied, so employing a live-in caretaker is invaluable. Too many things can go wrong in terms of vandals and squatters, but also general maintenance issues.
“On our most recent sit we saved the client around £300 a month because of a plumbing problem and water being continually heated, wasting a lot of calor gas. We monitored this and recommended a plumber was brought in to fix it. This saved the client a lot of money as it probably wouldn’t have been spotted for months otherwise.”
For more information on Homesitters Ltd services including home and pet sitting, the probate service and live-in guardians for commercial properties visit www.homesitters.co.uk
About Homesitters Ltd
Homesitters Ltd was established in 1980 and is now the UK’s leading nationwide live-in home and pet sitting company, available throughout the year. It has looked after 100,000 plus bookings and has an extensive network of employees throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
All homesitters are meticulously vetted and are conscientious, sensible and responsible homeowners. Many have been pet owners and have experience looking after all different types of animals. It’s tantamount to the outstanding reputation and professionalism of the company that 70% of new clients re-book with Homesitters within two years and many have been clients since the 1980s.