End of the Road

by Larry Sweeney

16:38 PM, 13th September 2018
About A year ago

End of the Road

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End of the Road

Landlords are reeling, Punch Drunk from the sustained assaults by Central and local Government, not to mention hostile media articles suggesting huge swathes of landlords are preying on tenants offering accommodation for sex.

About time we had a little straight talking, and this brings me to the title “end of the road”. I say categorically that it is time out for the so called associations. We have reached the end of the road with both the NLA and the RLA. Between both these organisations they have approx 90,000 members.

The total number of landlords in the UK in the 2013/14 tax year according to HMRC was 1.75 million, therefore the NLA and RLA represent approx 5% of the sector. This statistic in itself should be enough to set alarm bells ringing for the PRS. How can they represent our interests when their membership take up is so pathetic. Why is that ?

Property118 in the past has been extremely generous to both the NLA and RLA, however I say it is time to wake up and ditch membership. They have done little to nothing for the PRS of late. Take section 24, I am not ,getting this unjust measure completely scrapped was a winnable argument, but what could have been pushed was the cancellation of retrospective taxation. Put simply section 24 is introduced going forward but where Landlords made commercial decisions based on the tax relief, those landlords should not be penalised.

The two bodies representing 5% of our sector could not even win that argument. What about selective Licensing. I took Liverpool to task with the ICO and prevailed. Why did The NLA and RLA fail, or not bother to highlight the Illegality of their scheme. Apologies to the RLA on this point, they were too busy assisting the council introduce their scheme by co regulation. You cannot sit on both side of the fence, unless of course you are the RLA.

Still on the subject of the RLA, I have had sight of letters sent to landlords by the RLA threatening to evict them from co regulation because Liverpool city council allege some disrepair issue. It is hard to fathom, the body supposed to represent landlords is turning on its own members. Both organisations are busy with co regulation of some form or another, apart from Liverpool Sheffield and Wales with “rent smart” come to mind.

The NLA currently offer 9 courses to boost their coffers including a course on Immigration. Landlords who wish to remain au fait with legislation and run their businesses professionally can simply gain all of the knowledge they require on line as well as monitoring Property118.

As regards the “end of the road” I would say that by supporting these two organisations we are actually harming the PRS. Why? Simply because Government and Local authorities can give credibility to any scheme they decide to impose upon us, by claiming the engaged with the bodies who represent us. That however, is not true for two reasons, firstly on the figures quoted above they don’t represent us at all and secondly by assisting councils with their dubious schemes, they clearly represent councils. We landlords are simply an income stream, which should be cut off forthwith.

So where does the PRS go from here. Every landlord ie 1.75 Million plus needs to immediately join Property 118. Membership is free, and before I am accused of being a lobbyist for this site, allow me to explain my rationale. We need to get as many landlords as possible on the same page. The NLA and RLA by their lack of action and derisory membership numbers as well as their affiliation with councils have proved beyond any doubt that they have hit the buffers. Once we get the numbers we can start fighting back and believe me we can fight on many fronts. One final example , I have exposed a flaw in Sefton”s procedure which now must be examined by the ICO. The RLA and NLA were absent from that fight.

Surely they should be examining every Council scheme up and down the land to protect their member”s interests.. The facts speak for themselves. Ditch your memberships. The Associations have run out of Road.

Larry



Comments

Appalled Landlord

13:05 PM, 14th September 2018
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Gromit at 14/09/2018 - 12:49
Richard Lambert, CEO of the NLA, was abject in the last two TV appearances I saw him in.

The first was on Channel 4 News last month. The board at the start of the programme said the number of “People registered as homeless after “no-fault evictions” (in England)” was 4,580 in 2009 and 16,320 in 2017.

But we all know that the tenants will have been at fault unless the landlord wanted to increase the rent, sell the property or move in. And that S 24 has forced some landlords to sell.

Richard Lambert should have made these points but all he was shown saying was that removing “the no fault possession process will cause a great deal of disquiet amongst the landlord community because it is an underpinning of the current system”.

Any viewer who is not a landlord would say “disquiet - so what?” and “underpinning - is that something to do with foundations?” It was a wasted opportunity. Useless against the Generation Rent propaganda.

The second time was on the Victoria Derbyshire programme about Shelter’s mendacious allegation of general discrimination against HB tenants by large letting agents, also last month. She asked Lambert why letting agents-slash- landlords were discriminating. He said he was shocked that they were doing it and said three times that he did not know the reason. He said there had been ”a great reduction in the number of landlords who are prepared to work in the benefits market”, but he did not explain why. He did not mention that S24 was forcing rents up beyond the reach of HB tenants, or forcing landlords to sell up and evict them. He did not mention the disaster that is UC.

Lambert said a ban was wrong, unethical and unlawful - even though a discrimination lawyer and Shelter’s Director of Communication had both just indicated that this has not yet been decided by a court. He betrayed his members by criticising them instead of defending them.

He seems afraid to criticise tenants, and afraid to blame government actions like disallowing interest.

Larry Sweeney

13:15 PM, 14th September 2018
About A year ago

Yes Lambert' interview was shocking. The paucity of his argument further proof of how useless the NLA/RLA are.
To Follow up on this article, I will shortly produce a new Article titled the "Great Betrayal". I am currently collating some facts but the bottom line is that Landlords will be shocked to the core at the Collusion of the RLA with a council and their involvement with a scheme riddled with illegality. A Situation far worse than any of us could have imagined.

Mark Alexander

13:53 PM, 14th September 2018
About A year ago

Hello All

Thank you for the very kind and supportive comments left on this thread.

In terms of numbers, Property118 served 11 million user sessions last year and our forums and News are, and always will be, free to use and funded entirely by donations and sponsorships, well over 50% of which comes from by Neil and I personally.

We are flattered that people think we could build the perfect lobby group to represent landlords, but the reality is that we simply don't have the resource to do that.

Neil is full time just running the Newsletter and monitoring the forums whilst I am hoping to retire from Tax Consulting next year after I have passed on my knowledge to an accountancy business which has retained me for 12 months to do just that.

I also worry about the effectiveness of the NLA and the RLA and some of their policies but the reality is that they are the best placed to represent landlords at the moment. Rather than encouraging people to cancel their memberships with these organisations, my preference is for more to join them and to make it very clear what is expected of them.

If threads like this make them squirm a little and re-think some of their policies then Property118 has achieved its objective, i.e. "to facilitate the sharing of best practice"

Larry Sweeney

14:06 PM, 14th September 2018
About A year ago

Hi Mark.
As you can see from the comments, landlords hold Property 118 in high esteem. I fully understand your reluctance to get further involved and yes it would be a time consuming exercise. I will submit another article shortly which will blow the RLA out of the water it is explosive. For that reason alone I could never support that organisation and clearly Property 118 readers are sick to the teeth of these useless bodies, so Im afraid I disagree with the advise to waste dues on these organisations. For Landlords to support them , there would need to be a monumental change in their approach, and I dont forsee that. They cannot move with the times nor do they understand the frustrations and difficulties faced by our community. Would you assist with contacts if a new Landlord Group was to be set up. What I mean by that is supply Landlord contact details to get such a group up and running. In the Meantime every Landlord in the UK needs to be appraised of the extent of the betrayal I Allude to.

Richard Adams

14:06 PM, 14th September 2018
About A year ago

Larry's post is spot on in all respects. As to Property 118 taking over from NLA/RLA to represent all landlords effectively it would be great if it happened but a truly massive undertaking for Mark & Neil. Bear that in mind please. When this forum was set up post the West Brom splendid victory some of us lobbed in a tidy sum to form a fund for fighting similar actions. Mark reminded me recently two such actions have been successfully won hence the funds used were regained via costs awarded. There is therefore some money in the pot but how it is used is really up to Mark. I've no idea how the numbers of members of this forum have grown since its inception. Those who wish to post are invited to donate but it is not mandatory otherwise I believe membership is 100% FOC. I wonder how many Property 118 members who use and benefit from Property 118 have never lobbed in any money at all? Maybe everybody should as a start base for any change in what Property 118 does and achieves like being a representative body for all landlords?

Paul Routledge

14:37 PM, 14th September 2018
About A year ago

Hi Larry,
landlordreferencing.co.uk / Tenant referencing uk.com has been going for 8 years with its tenant histories and has 100's of 1000's of problem tenants registered that no other referencing company has.
Throughout our 9 year period we have been trying to get the NLA and te RLA to accept our legal site to protect landlords from taking one anothers bad tenants and they will not support us and do you know why?
Because there is no money in good tenants all the products they upsell to their members are related to problems they will have in the future.
Please do not take someone elses bad tenant use tenantreferencinguk.com

Larry Sweeney

14:44 PM, 14th September 2018
About A year ago

Hi Paul,
Perhaps any new organisation could link with your company to offer this service to members. Terms to be discussed but I definately think such a service invaluable and yet further proof of how useless the current organisations are.

Mark Alexander

14:56 PM, 14th September 2018
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Larry Sweeney at 14/09/2018 - 14:06
Hi Larry

If a landlord group was established and we agreed with its aims and objectives then naturally we would support it. However, there are limits. We cannot just give peoples contact details to another organisation for example, that would put us in breach of GDPR. However, we could promote the organisation on Property118, as we already do with all landlord facing organisations that wish to contribute articles or promote their events free of charge in our Events section.

Larry Sweeney

23:08 PM, 14th September 2018
About A year ago

Thanks Mark.. I know you will promote a new organisation if we proceed. I do have some infastructure in place and with Landlord / Tenant referencing in place, perhaps it is not a such a mountain to climb. Without any doubt what so ever There is a massive void and we need to get real representation. A new organisation must without doubt drive the RLA/NLA out of business. That is the reality. We cannot mince words . Its either a new Agressive organisation picking up members weekly or the Status Quo ,Tired outdated Council loving Organisations sucking cash from any source, rather than 100% representing members.

Jim S

12:34 PM, 15th September 2018
About A year ago

I have written to the RLA & the NLA many times and asked them to start a national shame campaign against our City councils and the Government to highlight some of the immoral policies that they have imposed upon landlords. They constantly acquiesce instead of learning how to fight! By fight my suggestion has been the Ghandi approach of "No cooperation" with the Government or local City councils, instead of meetings and talks with the Government why not start to work against them!!! Start shame campaigns!!!
I never ever get a reply when I send them an email about various landlord issues and recently when I read their web articles I would even say that they have started to seem pro tenant even when the landlord could be in the right.
The letters RLA & the NLA no longer stand for Residential Landlords Association and National Landlords Association they now stand for their new meaning which is the Residential Letting Association and National Letting Association!!!!!!!!! This is because they are more interested in selling courses and teaching you how to be a professional landlord than fighting for the rights of the landlord.
I have been a member of the RLA for about 25 years and the NLA for about 15 years and I will CONTIUE TO BE A MEMBER as I think they are an amazing resource and I know they do lots of hard work hard behind the scenes, but they need to learn how to fight!!!
I have asked each association to ask their members for their members thoughts on a strategy of none cooperation to the City councils and Government and national shame campaigns but as usual I had no response. Yes I have the correct email address.

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