New research out today suggests being a landlord is becoming an increasingly stressful business. One in four (25%) found being a landlord more stressful than they had expected, 67% said they were more stressed than 12 months ago.
The survey showed that 53% of landlords use up to 20% of their annual leave sorting out issues with their properties. Also 46% of landlords spent up to 20 hours a year on phone calls, negotiating with agents and tenants as well as sorting out insurances, house repairs and maintenance.
Other contributing factors included late rent payments (58%), funding property maintenance and repairs (40%) and tax worries (38%). Expat landlords feel under the most pressure – 86% worried about the potential changes to personal allowance entitlement. Those who had been landlords for 10+ years felt under least pressure.
Other issues and worries for all landlords included properties lying empty with no tenants in place (35%), not having enough time to deal with issues at the property due to work constraints (28%) and expensive agency fees (15%).
Four-legged friends were another ‘pet hate’ landlords had to tackle. While 60% of those surveyed said they don’t currently allow pets in their property, 5% discovered at the end of the tenancy that their tenants had been keeping pets without consent, and experienced some level of damage to the property.
While 74% of those surveyed said they had no plans to stop letting out their property in the next twelve months, 51% said they didn’t expect to make any money in that time either. This ties in with figures from the NLA which revealed more than a quarter (27%) of landlords who let out a single property break even or run at a loss, meaning just a few unexpected expenses can leave them struggling.
Simon Thandi, director at UK Landlord Tax, said: “Following the dramatic increase in landlords in the UK it’s not surprising that they are becoming more stressed. Letting properties is a serious business and with the number of so-called ‘accidental landlords’ increasing significantly it’s no surprise that landlords are feeling the pressure.’
With more than 1.4 million landlords expected to file a return this year, they need be sure to shop around and get several quotes before proceeding. It need not be a high street accountant, in fact online firms are often more cost effective with companies like UK Landlord Tax offering an inclusive service for as little as £95+VAT. Before working with an online company make sure you have done your due diligence; ensuring they are a member of a professional body, comply with money laundering rules, have indemnity insurance as well as an office for you to visit should you wish to do so.’
Simon Thandi of UK Landlord Tax also adds, ‘You should expect at least the same level of professional service from an online provider as you would from a high street accountant.”