How were the UK’s rental properties affected by Storm Babet?

Stuart Armstrong

By Stuart Armstrong

23 November 2023

We all know that extreme weather events unfortunately bring property damage. But just what happens when a storm hits and where? To find out, our data scientist Megan Hinds delved into our system data to discover the impact of October’s Storm Babet.

Storm Babet_Featured image


About Storm Babet

Storm Babet affected much of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland from 18 to 20 October 2023. It brought exceptional rainfall to parts of Eastern Scotland, as well as heavy, persistent and widespread rain across the rest of the UK. Storm Ciaran affected the Channel Islands, Northern Ireland and some parts of the South from 1 to 3 November.


What we found

Storm Babet caused a major spike in total issues reported through our platform—42% more than the same period last year. We also saw a rise during Storm Ciaran, but not so much.

Storm babet graph V1


What types of issues occurred the most?

The storm’s impact can be seen most in the surge of water leaks reported, which rose over 50% in the week of the storm compared to the previous week and the same week in 2022. The sharp drop in temperature that occurred no doubt contributed to a massive increase in heating issues, which rose by 95% the week Babet hit, as illustrated by the number of reports we received of boilers not working.

Storm babet graph V2-1

We also saw reports of window issues rise by 68% during that week, presumably due to the strong winds. Regions affected by Ciaran saw rises in the number of water leaks and heating issues.


Issues by region

During the week of Babet, compared to the previous week in October 2023:

In the East of England, water leaks rose by 56% and boiler issues by 109%.

In the East Midlands, water leaks rose by 75% and boiler issues by 109%.

In London, water leaks rose by 37% and an additional 9% by the end of October, while issues with boilers rose by 102% due to October’s temperature drop.

In the North East, reports of water leaks rose by 98% and boiler issues by 88%.

In the North West, water leaks rose by 36% and boiler issues by 82%.

In Scotland, water leaks rose by 39% and boiler issues by 44%.

In the South East, water leaks rose by 37% and boiler issues by 125%.

In the South West, water leaks rose by 25% and reached this high again in the week of Storm Ciaran. Issues with boilers rose by 112%.

In Wales, water leaks rose by 46% and boiler issues by 76%.

In the West Midlands, water leaks rose by 46% and boiler issues by 78%.

In Yorkshire and Humber, water leaks rose by 93% and boiler issues by 102%.


What can agents do?

Sadly, this isn’t the last of the extreme weather conditions, and we’re likely to face further storms as we head into winter, leading to more reports of water leaks, boilers breaking, and damage to windows and external doors. So it’s important to get ready now.

Property inspections should look out for signs such as cracked pipes, blisters and damp patches that could worsen in the event of heavy rainfall. Weak spots in window frames and external doors can be worsened by heavy winds, so these should be a focus during regular property inspections, too.


How we can help

As we head further into the winter, we’re likely to face more storms and a further uptake in issues. There are a few ways that Fixflo can help.

You can automatically instruct the right contractors for the right jobs using Fixflo. Triage steps mean that you can filter out non-emergencies from genuine emergencies without even picking up your phone.

Trouble sourcing reliable contractors to support your maintenance jobs? Our Contractor Marketplace guarantees you 24/7 access to thousands of vetted and qualified contractors who are fully trained on Fixflo work processes. Bulk instruct your planned preventative maintenance tasks to them, and you won’t have to worry about getting them completed on time. Plus, our fixed rate cards and service-level agreements (SLAs) ensure property damage is kept to a minimum, tenants stay safe, and costs stay predictable for your landlords.

Fixflo Contractor Marketplace - The easiest way to find reliable contractors

Combine this with our emergency call-outs solution and video maintenance solution for complete coverage of maintenance issues both in and out-of-hours.


Repairs and maintenance in Winter

For further help with winter weather, we analysed our system data to see what happens to properties during the cold months and found the major trends that every property manager should be aware of, plus what you can do to stay ahead of them.

Download now
Repairs and maintenance in winter_LP


Stuart Armstrong

Stuart is Senior Copywriter for Fixflo. His days are filled with guides, blogs, emails and puns.

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This article is intended for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions related to issues in this article, we strongly advise contacting a legal professional.
These blog posts are the work of Fixflo and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. In summary, you are welcome to re-publish any of these blog posts but are asked to attribute Fixflo with an appropriate link to Access to this blog is allowed only subject to the acceptance of these terms.

Stuart Armstrong

By Stuart Armstrong

23 November 2023

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