Are You a Workaholic? How to spot the signs of landlord burnout

If landlording is your side hustle, how can you protect yourself from stress and burnout?

Research conducted in 2019 showed that a third of landlords have day jobs and while you may be hoping to grow your portfolio to a point where you can make that your full time job, in the meantime, you’ve probably got a day job on the go too.

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There are a few differences between landlording and an office-based 9-5:

  • More responsibility. Depending on your day job, you may have a lot more responsibility as a landlord than you do at work. After all, you are not only responsible for a property outside your own residential (perhaps multiple properties), you are also responsible for the safety of the people who live there
  • More liability. As a landlord, you can face fines and even jail time if you don’t meet your legal obligations. It’s unlikely that you face the same consequences in your day job!
  • More availability. You probably have set hours in your job and no one contacts you on your annual leave. But landlording doesn’t stop. If there’s an emergency in the property in the early hours of the morning – your tenant will need to contact you. The same goes if you’re on holiday

What are the signs of burnout?

Top up the standard worries with the recent pandemic and cost-of-living crisis and you are probably feeling a lot more stressed out than usual. 

Global issues could be having an impact on your work life as a survey found that over half of workers experienced burnout in 2021, with 67% claiming it got worse throughout the pandemic.

Recent news will be troubling your landlord business too, as you may be worried about covering emergencies or your tenants’ falling behind on their rent. So make sure that you are keeping a close eye on your mental health and getting the help you need, when you need it.

landlord burnout

Look out for the common signs of burnout: 

  • Tiredness. It’s natural to feel tired if you’ve had a busy few days, but feeling drained or exhausted most of the time isn’t right and could be a symptom
  • Feelings. If you are feeling helpless, trapped or alone a lot of the time, or finding your outlook is constantly negative, this could also be a symptom of burnout and it’s worth getting support
  • Self-doubt. Self-doubt is completely normal and happens to the best of us, but if it has become permanent or is holding you back, it’s time to get some help
  • Procrastination. If you’re a natural procrastinator, this might be normal for you, but if you’re usually more proactive and finding yourself procrastinating more and more, think about why that might be
  • Overwhelm. Juggling landlording and a day job can be a lot of work, but if you are feeling completely overwhelmed, see if there is something you can do to ease the burden

How to handle landlord burnout

If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms or you’ve noticed a decline in your mental health, make an appointment to see your GP. Your symptoms could be due to something other than burnout and your GP will be able to help you towards diagnosis and treatment or support. 

However, there are some practical steps you can take to ease the pressure and feelings of overwhelm. If you are struggling, you may find even these steps difficult to take, so we recommend asking a family member or trusted friend to help you:

  • Automate as much as possible. Landlording relies heavily on interpersonal relationships and you being available when your tenant needs you. However, you can automate some of what you do. Use our free Document Storage tool to store all of your legal documents, so you know they are all safe and in one place. Our tool will also remind you when they’re nearing expiry, so that’s one less thing to worry about! Using our free Expense Tracker will also make storing your receipts easier, so tax time will be less stressful
  • Give yourself peace of mind. When you’re looking for a new tenant, be sure to take all the steps you can to assure yourself that they’re the most reliable person possible. Be sure to reference them and look into Rent Guarantee Insurance, to be on the safe side
  • Set yourself boundaries. You will have to answer if your tenant calls about an issue with the property, but you can set yourself boundaries about when you do the admin. Don’t allow it to build up to an intimidating degree. Commit to 1 hour a week, on the same day every week, to keep on top of everything 

We’ve all had it tough over the last couple of years and sometimes life can come at us relentlessly. Do what you can when you’re feeling your best to support yourself through trickier times and always reach out when you need help. Don’t try to go it alone!

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