You’ve probably heard the stories – nightmare tenants, houses trashed or renters who just won’t leave. Landlord stress is a major issue and with a little information, we hope we can help minimise the strain a little bit.
Statistics suggest that landlord stress is a growing issue.
A recent study conducted by PropertyLetByUs.com found that 67% of landlords are currently more stressed than they were a year ago and that some 25% of them have found the experience more stressful than they anticipated when they started.
That stress ends up having a negative effect on their broader lives. The same study noted 53% of landlords spent a fifth of their annual leave dealing with tenant-related issues and 46% of them spent 20 hours or more per year on the phone either negotiating with agents or tenants.
The long and short of the story is that it’s never been more stressful to be a landlord.
There are a number of areas which can be stressful for landlords.
Late payment of rent is by far the leading cause of stress for landlords with 87% of landlords in the new study citing it as a major pain point. This is made worse by the reality that in most cases, the issue is only resolved after serving a Section 21 and evicting the tenant – itself an expensive undertaking.
Another leading cause of landlord stress involves difficult or unreasonable tenants. Whether you’re dealing with tenants who take little responsibility or just a general breakdown in relationship, problem tenants are another growing cause for frustration for landlords and one and more often than not, these fractured relationships only end with legal intervention
A third area of stress involves damage to property. 40% of those asked cited having to fund repairs to the property as a major cause of issues between landlords and tenants. Many times, such repairs are minor and inexpensive but in older properties, wear and tear can increase the cost of maintenance and the amount of time spent on the property.
Reading up to this point can make letting out a property seem like a more stressful endeavour than it’s worth but that’s not necessarily true.
Being stressed out as a landlord doesn’t have to be “the way it is” – there are a number of small steps you can take to make sure your letting experience is a pleasant one.
The temptation is to try and save a few pennies by cutting back on insurance that seems irrelevant at the time. Even when landlords have some kind of insurance, the temptation is to opt for basic building insurance cover to protect the physical structure of the property.
Taking out a commercial property owners’ insurance policy can protect you against loss of rental income, provide cover for your contents and even cover you for accidental damage.
A little due diligence at the start of a tenancy can often save you a lot of work later on. A good reference can take any number of forms:
Particularly if you are letting a furnished property, it is worth doing a full inventory of all the contents of the property and the condition that they are in for future reference. This way, you avoid future struggles about damages already being present when your tenant arrived and constantly having to work out whose responsibility it is to address it.
Being a landlord can be a lot of work but with a little foresight and diligence, you can avoid some of the major causes of stress.
Landlord insurance provides cover specifically for renting properties, including loss of rent cover and property portfolios. For more information visit our dedicated landlord insurance page or call us on 0344 892 1664.
Alison Wild BCom (Hons), MAAT, MATT, Taxation Technician is a highly respected industry professional who has been working with and advising SMEs in areas including tax, pensions, insurance and marketing for over 25 years. She is a member of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) and Association of Tax Technicians (ATT) and also has over 20 years' experience as a residential landlord.
Date: September 23, 2015
Category: Commercial Property