Posted on: 07 May 2020

How owners of commercial or residential properties can look after their mental health

As a property owner, it’s likely that renting out property is just one of many different aspects of how you earn an income.

Whilst this brings additional income into your life, it can also come with additional stresses. In this article, we are identifying some of the things that can cause landlords stress, and giving you some tips on how you can deal with stress.

Why landlords experience stress

Whilst many people have the stresses of everyday life, landlords will have additional responsibilities that can often cause stress.

Lack of routine

As a landlord, you will need to be flexible when it comes to working as you'll need to be available to your tenants at the drop of a hat.

This means that there is little chance to have a routine that you can regularly stick to, and unfortunately, the human brain loves routine.

Having a routine allows you to feel more prepared, helps you make decisions and removes variables. This puts less strain on your mental health as there is less impact of having to deal with these kinds of decisions.

Financial pressures

Unfortunately, many situations could land a property owner with financial difficulties.

Some of the reasons are as follows:

  • Tenants don’t or can’t pay rent
  • Repairs to properties
  • Letting agent fees
  • Mortgage interest rate increases
  • Tenant acquisition
  • Landlord licences

Mental health charity, Mind, talk about how money and mental health are often linked together because of our relationship with money. Mind demonstrate a cycle between mental health and money, where money becomes harder to manage due to mental health problems, which in turn causes stress leading to poor financial management, which in turn causes poor mental health and so on.

Legal issues

In the UK, landlords are heavily regulated to make sure that the quality of housing provided for tenants is of an acceptable standard. With this regulation comes a huge amount of information that landlords should know to avoid legal complications.

Whilst many UK laws within this sector are aimed at landlords, legal issues can also be caused by your tenant, such as non-payment of rent, damage to property or other contract breaches which could also lead to stressful legal proceedings and financial pressures.

How to cope with mental health as a landlord

Whilst it can seem as though these stresses are just part of being a property owner, there are ways that you can ensure that they do not affect your mental health.

Be organised

The simple organisation of how you run your business as a property owner can make a difference in how much stress you experience.

Putting in the time to source valid references can be the difference between getting reliable tenants or difficult ones, and having a full inventory of items in a furnished house can give you peace of mind that you know where your belongings are and their current state of repair.

You could arrange some emergency cover for your property or properties so that in the event something happens, such as a water leak or electrical issue, you can simply call your handyman for them to arrange the repairs.

You should also keep in regular contact with tenants, especially to inform them if you are taking time away. If you are uncontactable, make sure that they have someone to get in touch with if they experience any issues.

Keep on top of maintenance

Unfortunately with property, sooner or later, something will become faulty. Boilers, electrical systems and water systems are all likely to experience some issues at some point in their lifetime.

If you are aware that something has malfunctioned, arrange to have this fixed as soon as possible so that they don’t develop into a more serious issue, which can cause more stress. Encourage tenants to report damage and wear and tear, as again, the longer it is left, the more likely it is to become more serious later on.

Having an annual audit on your property, such as the gas check, can bring up faults that you might not have noticed. Make sure that you have these checks carried out annually to give you the peace of mind that your equipment is safe, or that you need to make some repairs.

Use a letting agency

There are many letting agencies around the country that will run your property for you for a fee.

Letting agencies will take a set amount or a percentage of your rental income, but in exchange, they will manage the property for you along with all the potential issues this can entail. Many agencies will offer a guaranteed income scheme, so you will even receive a payment if the tenant hasn’t paid.

Whilst you will have to sacrifice some of your income, you will have less stress in your life, leading to better mental health.

Avoid alcohol and caffeine

Whilst you may feel the need to have a coffee or energy drink to perk yourself up, caffeine has been found to have negative effects on mental health. As an addictive substance, your body can start to over-rely on caffeine, which can contribute to a low mood, leading to poor mental health.

Alcohol is also a very commonly used substance, used to help people relax or even to help cope with a mental health problem, however, as a depressant, alcohol can make mental health conditions worse.

Avoiding alcohol and caffeine can seem difficult at first, as your body struggles with the withdrawal of the substances, but over time, you will start to feel better for not consuming them.

Property insurance with Premierline

Whether you are a residential landlord or own a block of flats or commercial property, having comprehensive insurance cover can also help to reduce stress, as you know that many perils can be covered by your insurance.

Take a look at how we can help you protect your property, income and livelihood, or get in touch with one of our insurance advisors who can review your landlord insurance requirements.

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