Ever mounting issues such as regulation, rent arrears, tax and inland revenue are causing more stress and strain than the day job, according to a new report that examined stress levels of landlords.
The study, conducted by PropertyLetByUs.com – a leading online letting agent, reveals that 66% of landlords find managing their properties more stressful than their full, or part time jobs.
The research also reveals that rent arrears (87%) and dealing with tenant complaints (80%) are the top two causes of stress, followed by sorting out repairs to properties (43%), the immigration legislation (40%) and securing finance to expand their buy-to-let portfolios (28%),
A quarter of landlords cite tax and inland revenue as a major reason for getting worried and anxious, while a third say it is void periods. Furthermore, 23% of landlords blame having a partner that doesn’t understand or appreciate the amount of work involved in being a buy-to-let landlord, as a major cause of stress
Jane Morris, Managing Director of Property Let By Us comments: “The good news is that finding new tenants is near the bottom of the stress list, which brings some relief to the plight of landlords. The increasing regulation and the added responsibility that goes with it, is weighing heavy on the shoulders of landlords, along with rent arrears and tenant complaints.
One key way that landlords can help to avoid rent arrears is by conducting thorough tenant reference checks. These background checks on tenants are so important. Picking the right tenant can save a long, costly eviction process further down the line. Be thorough in conducting background checks and reference-gathering, including bank statements for the past three months; previous landlord references to check the tenant paid rent on time; credit checks, incorporating fraud indicators; and employer references. It’s important to also check identity and proof of current address – ideally tax or insurance documents – and talk at length to a prospective tenant.
Landlords should also take the time to compare addresses shown on the application with those shown on the ID documents. Feel free to ask for previous utility and telephone including mobile phone bills and statements, and check if the name and address and other information matches up with the information on the application form. The more information collected on the tenancy application the better, because if the tenant subsequently absconds or leaves owing money, this can be used to give vital tracing information.
In addition, should the applicant make false statements, this document provides evidence for eviction. Applicants who are reluctant to produce their identity documents represent a higher risk to the agent’s obligations for customer due diligence under the Money Laundering Regulations.”