NLA or RLA – which is better?

NLA or RLA – which is better?

18:22 PM, 25th February 2014, About 10 years ago 20

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If you were only able to join either the NLA or the RLA, who which would you choose and why?

I appreciate this is slightly subjective as different people will want different things from these landlords associations but I just wondered what peoples thoughts were and what they thought in particular differentiated them, if at all they are that different?

Thanks NLA or RLA - which is better?


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Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

18:38 PM, 25th February 2014, About 10 years ago

Hi Paul

That's a bit like comparing Cats with Dogs -and several similarities can be drawn from that analogy. IMHO they now seem to fight like Cats and Dogs for one-upmanship - sadly, to the detriment of their members.

I have previously supported them both. However, again in my humble opinion, both organisations have become overly commercial. They should, of course, merge but I doubt that will never happen, not least of all due to the ego's of the people running them and the commercial operations that both organisations have become a front for. It's very sad as both organisations have so much to offer and if they were to combine their efforts and include the smaller landlords associations too I feel they could achieve so much more.

This was tried in the 1990's when the NFRL (National Federation of Residential Landlords) formed to unite all landlords association. However, ego's got in the way again and the divorce ended up in vast chunks of component organisations members funds being squandered on pointless litigation 🙁

Given that all landlords associations combined still represent less than 10% of all UK landlords it's probably fair to say that they are a failing business model. Perhaps this is due to their inability to successfully run online social networks to engage their members and increase their member bases?

Ian Hamilton

18:46 PM, 25th February 2014, About 10 years ago

Hi Mark,

Isn't it a dodgy subject to bring up, if you want to garner their support for the Tracker rate increase campaign? Or have neither of them offered any support?


Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

18:58 PM, 25th February 2014, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Hamilton" at "25/02/2014 - 18:46":

Neither organisation have been particularly supportive, I'd even go as far as to say the NLA have discouraged their members from supporting the campaign!

However, that's not what my comment was based upon, that would just be sour grapes and stooping to their levels of competitiveness. I'm very interested to hear what others have to say - genuinely, I really am.

Andrew Miller

19:31 PM, 25th February 2014, About 10 years ago

Both are nations associations that are recognised by central government and hence have a lobbyist value. Both produce a useful readable magazine

On the downside , both especially the NLA are highly geared commercial operators who are of course out to make money from the PRS. Some of their senior management are not even landlords!

Personally I prefer the RLA. My dealing with them have been geared to ensuring that my interests as a landlord have been effectively represented. i am no longer a member of the NLA

You will never beat a local landlords association that brings like minded people together on a regular basis to chew the fat and share on 1st hand terms problems. The NLA never helped our local association out when it came to dealing with our local authority.

The RLA bent over backwards and having access to their very experienced lawyer RICHARD JONES has saved our members at least £1million over the past 10 years.

So for a national the RLA but for local issues join or create your own non for profit local landlords association.


19:43 PM, 25th February 2014, About 10 years ago

All organisations and associations seem to start with good intentions, high morals & sound principles, but sadly, all seem to end up being more interested in helping themselves more than those they purport to support or care about.

Groucho said something similar to: - "...I refuse to join any Landlords Association that would have me as a member..." I'm in full agreement.

9:07 AM, 26th February 2014, About 10 years ago

Which is better in terms of member benefits?

David Lawrenson

11:57 AM, 26th February 2014, About 10 years ago

I have been a member of the NLA for over 20 years and in my opinion it is excellent value for money - less than £100 with access to helplines (yep, even I use them!), discounts on products (some discounts better than others, but hey?) and a great magazine.

Even if I did not have a public face and if I was operating as just a landlord, I would still be a member (indeed I joined when I only had 2 properties and well before I became an author / consultant in this area).

I have not had much experience of the NFRL or RLA, though they seem to have done some good work too.

In comparing the two in terms of a public / political face, it seems to be that the NLA tries to get things done via more of a policy of softly-softly and influencing at govt level, much of it behind the scenes, whereas the RLA generally takes a more aggressive stance. Which works better in the long run, or has achieved the most results, I don't know, I'm no lobbyist, though sometimes the NLA's lower key approach can be frustrating.

That said, the NLA and I do not always agree. I have said directly to the NLA exec that it's my view that they should have taken a far stronger position against WBBS and BOI on the tracker rate cheating (even if they think the chances of success are lower than Property118 do), because if all lenders were able to follow the same tack, this would be a far bigger hit to the income of landlords than any licensing scheme would be (on which matter they have been very vocal).

I do find it odd that they have not done more - nor even made their members aware of the Property118 campaign, even if they do not endorse the approach taken by 118, it would have helped.

And both have been quiet (even silent) on why Newham got exactly a quarter of the £4m rogue landlords cash from govt. Would like to see both ask why this happened when Newham are supposed to have a super licensing scheme in place, and presumably don't need the extra cash.

It is baffling to me that both organisations are so small, representing only a tiny fraction of the 1m or so landlords. (I think NLA has approx. 20K members). Perhaps that is due to marketing, perhaps due to the approach publicly of the NLA, I do not know.

But both organisations have very good people on board - all fully committed to fighting for landlords and advising them.

Any serious landlord ought to join at least one or the other - compare offerings and pick the best one for you.

David Lawrenson

Sian Wyatt

12:22 PM, 26th February 2014, About 10 years ago

I am a member of both and find they have different strengths.

The RLA is better for documents, and are friendly on the phone with general enquiries, although the advice on this site is often more to the point.

I was quite unimpressed with the NLA until I had a problem with my local council and an HMO. They were very helpful, and I have been in contact with them over about six months with the ongoing issue.

So I'm glad I'm with both now!

Sharon Betton

13:14 PM, 26th February 2014, About 10 years ago

I work for a local landlord's association and we are proud to be a local association for local landlords. We are tiny, but believe the personal services we can provide, our first-name relationship with our members and the local contacts with the local authorities and accreditation schemes in areas where we have members make membership with us a worthwhile option. We also have representation at a national level and ensure our voice is heard - something that all landlord's need. With regard to the merits of RLA and NLA - I am pleased to say I have met officer's from both associations and found them professional, pleasant and committed to working for landlords. We offer different things and I see our roles as complementary, not confrontational. Anyone can belong to one or both of the large organisations and is very welcome to join us for our more informal approach, with advice-line, documents to down-load or to have sent out, small training sessions at a nominal charge, regular meetings and easy accessibility - we can offer 1-2-1 assistance with notices, court paperwork etc.
For the small cost of joining 1 or more landlord associations, it is unbelievable that 90% of landlords ignore this fantastic means of gaining knowledge and help.

9:17 AM, 27th February 2014, About 10 years ago

Thanks all for your comments. I had no idea that these associations had so few members amongst the landlord population but bearing in mind the luke warm reception offered by so many of you about them, maybe this isn't that surprising after all. I will consider my options further but am leaning towards the RLA. I also had dealings recently with the NLA through the Green Deal scheme which I feel was very poorly managed, government funding issues aside. Thanks again.

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