Being a landlord is one of those jobs where there’s no middle ground. It’s either low stress with great tenants and affordable mortgage rates, or it’s the total opposite: high stress, broken appliances, tenancy challenges and ever-increasing costs.
When a property is vacant, there’s worry about how long it will take to find new residents. When new tenants move in, there’s the stress of managing the rent payments, and then there’s the constant anxiety about a boiler breakdown or major leak.
As April is Stress Awareness Month, there’s no better time to look at a few ways you can reduce the stress of being a landlord. Read on for stress-busting tips.
Get a good agent
The first way to relieve some of that landlord anxiety is to find an agent that knows the local market, has a strong portfolio of rental properties in the area, and is confident in finding and dealing with tenants. Whether you manage the property yourself or hire the agent to manage it, there’s a lot to be said for working with agents you can trust and who can take away some of the burdens of being a landlord.
Check all appliances
As a landlord, you’re responsible for any white goods in the property, such as the washing machine, refrigerator and freezer, so it’s important to make sure they’re all in good working order prior to a tenancy starting.
In addition, it’s worth doing a quick recce of all the rooms to see if there are any glaring problems. Make sure the taps aren’t leaking, the loo flushes and the wardrobe doors aren’t falling off. That way, there’s less for people to complain about once they move in.
TOP TIP: Set an annual calendar reminder for things like a boiler service, smoke alarm check, carbon monoxide monitor check and so on. These are legal duties, so get on top of them.
Do your numbers
Despite the rental market being on the up, it’s important to know how much you’re getting every month and to prepare for any unexpected costs. Make sure you know what your monthly mortgage payment is, how much the agent will be taking (monthly or one-off), and costs such as service charges, boiler service plans, insurance payments and so on. This makes your end-of-year tax responsibility easier (which, let’s face it, is always stressful), and helps you in the event of any financial emergencies.
Pay for a professional clean
At the very start of your landlord journey, pay for a professional clean. You might think this is an unnecessary expense, but it means the tenant moves into a property that’s spotless – which sets expectations in a subtle way. So, you can put your marigolds away and enjoy a stress-free move-in.