The perils of workplace stress
As with any job, being a landlord comes with its fair share of stressful situations. Research indicates that one in four people will experience some form of mental health issue this year, and estimates suggest that at least one in six workers experience depression, anxiety or stress-related issues at any one time*.
In contrast, a third of NLA members said had experienced ill health, such as stress, because of their lettings business. There has been plenty of research into tenants’ mental health, but there has never been a focus on landlords.
Not addressing work-related mental health issues can be costly. It can lower productivity levels, cause you to be less engaged, and for those of you who have staff, lead to increased staff turnover. Many of you work unpredictable hours and 38 percent of you use your lettings business to supplement your income from other employment**. For those of you in the latter situation, any mental health issues as a result of your lettings business can affect your other employment.
For landlords, stress can be the result of late nights and a lack of routine, uncertainty, financial pressures, and legal issues. For most, these stressors will cause tiredness, headaches, irritability and arguments, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, and the consumption of more caffeine, cigarettes and/or alcohol. All of this can lead to further problems if you don’t deal with them.
At the extreme end of the stress scale is Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These can develop after a distressing event, such as actual or threatened death, serious injury or abuse, and witnessing or hearing about someone else’s experience. Some of you will have experienced some or all of these situations, which may have resulted in ASD or PTSD. The symptoms you may have experienced include flashbacks, recurring dreams of the event, avoiding anything associated with it, emotional numbing, insomnia, and irritability.
If you are experiencing any form of stress, regardless of how mild or severe, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. There is a ready-made network any landlord can tap into by attending the NLA’s regional meetings. NLA members can also use the Telephone Advice Line for advice on how to run your business effectively and efficiently, and mitigate some of the causes of stress. However, you also need to recognise when this isn’t enough and you need to seek professional help. A list of organisations that can help you with this can be found here.
**NLA Quarterly Survey (829 respondents)
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