Posts with tag: mental health

Mental health in the property industry and why a lot more needs to be done  

Published On: March 10, 2022 at 10:28 am


Categories: Landlord News,Lettings News,Tenant News

Tags: ,

The property industry needs to do more to recognise and support those with mental health issues, says the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC).

Industry factors impacting mental health 

Daniel Evans, chair of the AIIC and managing director of Home Inventories, explains: “The property industry does more hours than most and this can have a damaging impact on many people’s work and life balance. Better support systems in place can help avoid a mental health crisis, something which has been worsened during the pandemic with such a hugely busy market.

“By implementing training in specific areas such as time management, we can help people better manage these obstacles. This will allow people in the industry to learn how to prioritise their workload in a way that does not seep into their personal lives or make their job stressful.

“On the other end of the spectrum, landlords and agents are not the only ones prone to experiencing mental health issues, tenants are too.

“In the property industry, large sums of money that take years to accumulate are dealt with and people’s homes are on the line. As a result, strong emotional responses from customers should be expected. These can sometimes be dangerous with aggressive tenants. Therefore, proper structures within individual businesses should be put in place, and companies that endorse high levels of professionalism should only be used.”

Speaking to people regularly and asking if they need support is necessary to prevent these issues from causing mental health problems, Evans adds.  

“Finding time to see the team in person and arranging social events are ways of combatting this,” he said.

Ongoing impact due to the pandemic 

In 2017, mental health charity Mind reported that one in six people in England experiences a mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) during a typical week. Since then, the pandemic has occurred and sparked an increase in people dealing with these issues. 

The AIIC points out that inventory clerks commonly work alone. Sometimes they have to work in uncomfortable conditions, such as carrying out work in a property that is dark or in a desolate place. The pandemic has heightened this as inventory clerks have been working through lockdown and beyond, with their work deemed to be essential to the continued running of the lettings sector. 

For female inventory clerks, there is a heightened level of fear because of horrific cases of women in the property industry going missing while simply doing their job, such as Suzy Lamplugh.

Evans says: “Being open about mental health and understanding how to deal with issues surrounding this is necessary to move the whole industry forward. Charities like Agents Together have done an excellent job of highlighting the issues and offering support, but we still need to go further.

 “When you work in the property industry you not only represent the business, but you represent the industry. With this on the line, the service these workers provide is often scrutinised, since first impressions are everything.

“At the AIIC we understand the issues that could happen, so through our continuous development and member support, we aim to make the experience better for workers as well as tenants.”