Landlords admit to buy-to-let stress

Amanda Jarvis

February 9, 2006

The survey of buy-to-let landlords, with an average of six rental properties each, found that 91.5% admitted that being a landlord is stressful. The biggest cause of stress for landlords according to the survey is finding appropriate tenants (36.8%), followed by property maintenance (21.7%) and sourcing properties (15.1%).

Nick Clark, managing director of The Homebuyer Show, commented: “Finding reliable and appropriate tenants is one of the biggest jobs for a buy-to-let landlord and it is absolutely crucial that everything is done properly. Contracts, references, deposits and inventory checks can all come back to haunt landlords if they are not watertight and professional. Equally stressful is the responsibility of carrying out maintenance and emergency repairs. No landlord wants to be contacted by tenants in the middle of the night because a water pipe has burst or similar and it can be especially difficult to cope with this if the landlord also works, has several properties or lives a distance away from their properties. On top of all that, landlords also have to worry about complying with government regulations on health and safety standards for houses of multiple occupation, keeping paperwork up-to-date, and making sure they are getting the best deal on their mortgage.”

Experts at the Homebuyer Show suggest that using a professional property management agency can take away much of this stress. Figures indicate that approximately 80% of landlords currently use an agency for various aspects of property management. The most popular aspect to hand over to a specialist agent is sourcing tenants including running reference and credit checks, collecting and holding deposits, and arranging contracts. Many landlords also use agencies to look after the maintenance of their properties. A management agency will have a local team of electricians, plumbers and handymen who will be able to deal with repairs and emergencies without the landlord having to get involved.

Nick Clark commented: “Management agencies are usually able to fill a property quickly with vetted, reliable tenants. They have access to the expertise and resources necessary to take away any worries about contracts, emergencies, collecting monies and the general administration of the tenancy. By using a management agency, landlords do not have to worry about these problems and can just sit back and enjoy their rental yields.”

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