To be a landlord, you have to have some pretty strong qualities. A thick skin, resilience and patience are three things that are tested to the max when renting out a property, and in this we’ll list why.
This is probably the first massive problem any landlord will come into, as it’s the thing that kickstarts this whole journey. Finding a tenant isn’t the most difficult thing in the world, but finding a good one might just be up there. It requires close vetting, patience and a lot of know-how, because the effects of a nightmare tenant are catastrophic.
The main thing about this is that it’s hard to really have a good guess whether your prospective tenant will be good or bad. Even after you think you’re safe, anything can happen to a tenant that can flip the entire situation on its head.
Good tenants are a blessing, but never a guarantee. For every good tenant, there’s a bad one that makes you want to rip your hair out, and needing to stay polite and cordial seems like an impossible task at times.
If you can stay sane with a nightmare tenant, you have our respect.
Even if you do have a good tenant, you still have to put a lot of trust in them. This can backfire hugely of course, as there’s a million and one things that could go wrong. The property’s condition depends entirely on how clean and proactive the tenants are, which is a huge gamble. As well as this, there are neighbours that can send their complaints straight to you if they don’t get on, and don’t even get us started on even just paying rent on time every month.
If you’ve managed to get a great tenant, you should probably be living in fear of the day they move on. It’s tough enough to find a good tenant the first time, but once you’ve had a truly great tenant, you’re left with a hole in your heart. Your expectations may never return to the low standards they once were, and every tenant afterwards will leave a lot to be desired.
You got us started on it. Being a landlord can be like being a debt collector at the best of times, but it can be made hell on earth by a tenant that has an excuse every month, or especially one that flat out refuses. It’s a long, drawn-out process and not a fun one.
If you don’t use a letting agent, you are the letting agent. This might mean more freedom, more money and whatever other benefits you stand to gain from being your own middleman, but is it really worth it? If you can deal with being woken up at 3 in the morning on a Monday because your tenant’s boilers broken, or to be in the shop getting milk on a Sunday and getting a call from a frantic tenant explaining that there’s £1000+ of water damage that you need to fix, then you’re a better man than I.
As a landlord, you’re constantly at the mercy of the market. There are a lot of small changes that can happen throughout your landlord career, and the smallest amount of uncertainty can be enough to force you to sell up. Interest rates could jump up, the housing market could crash, there are a lot of variables that can really punish you for existing as a landlord.
Speaking of being at the mercy of things, the law is unforgiving as a landlord. You have to be squeaky clean at all times or else you can get prosecuted, and playing by the book is an incredibly frustrating experience. The eviction process doesn’t start until the tenant is 2 months in rent debts, and it can last months on end. If you’re buying to let, this can definitely be enough to bankrupt a landlord.
Now the rules are there for a reason, and should be followed, but it can be difficult to see a tenant breaking every law under the sun and knowing you have to just sit and watch until the process comes around.
Lastly, you’re kind of stuck being responsible for things out of your own control, just because it’s your house. Having to fork out huge sums for boilers, radiators, doors, and more or less anything else that can go wrong in a house, is tough. It’s part of the job, but no one likes it.
You don’t have to do most of these steps if you’re on our Rent to Buy scheme. We:
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