Emergencies including floods, fires and pest infestations have forced tenants to evacuate their rental properties almost nine million times in the past five years, Direct Line for Business has found.
This is the equivalent of 1.7 million evacuated rental properties every year.
Sarah Larkin, landlord product manager at Direct Line for Business, said: “Landlords are reacting immediately to tenants’ emergencies calling in contractors to resolve issues day or night.
“When tenants flag an issue early it can be resolved quickly preventing excess damage to the building and the tenants’ contents.
“The true cost of an emergency is unknown until all the work is complete and tenants are safely back in the property. It is essential that landlords have the right insurance cover in place to cope with the incident and avoid added stress.
“No landlord wants their tenant to be inconvenienced, but equally they want them to be safe. We have developed our emergency cover to give some control back to both the landlord and tenant when an issue arises.
“Being able to get in touch with a certified contractor will give peace of mind and have a positive impact on the landlord and tenant relationship.”
In the past 12 months more than half (53%) of landlords have had to call an emergency contractor to visit one of their properties.
On average, they have called out a contractor once every three months, which amounts to 4.7 million calls to contractors every year, or 13,000 each day.
Tenants forced to move out of a property as a result of an emergency, for such issues as fire or storm damage, were left unable to access their home for 8.5 days on average while repairs were completed.
The most common emergencies are plumbing related, with 365,000 rental homes evacuated because of these issues each year.
The second most common issue forcing renters to leave their homes are faults with electrical or gas supplies (293,000 evacuated). This was followed by escape of water (267,000) and pest infestations (195,000 evacuated).
Overall, landlords have had to pay out £4.5bn on emergency contractors in the last year alone. This amounts to an average cost of £764 per callout, or £2,141 per year for every landlord.
Fire is the most expensive emergency faced by landlords with an average claim cost of £17,000.