Vision for an independent organisation to represent UK landlords

Vision for an independent organisation to represent UK landlords

20:18 PM, 16th September 2018, About 3 years ago 76

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* Suggestions made by Mark Alexander, founder of Property118.com –

Imagine an organisation with 10’s of millions of pounds of budget every year, funded entirely by its landlord members and acting only in the interests of its members. No sponsorships, no affiliations, no sharing of member data or side deals with any suppliers of services to landlords whatsoever.

For decades our sector has been contemplating how this could actually be achieved in practice, and how every landlord in the UK could be compelled to join such an organisation without any legislative change needed.

Support required

If the groups listed below agreed only do business with landlords who are members, this would mean that no landlord could operate without becoming a member.

  • Mortgage lenders
  • Members of The Law Society
  • Members of the professional accountancy bodies
  • Deposit Protection Providers
  • Insurance Companies
  • Letting Agents

In practice, this could be achieved even if only the three Deposit Protection Scheme providers where to agree to support the proposals, but the other groups are also needed to add balance and to unite their expertise without disturbing delicate politics in their own sectors.

The numbers

Even after factoring in a substantial number of landlords leaving the sector, a realistic numbers prediction is circa 1.5 million landlord members, each paying £10 to £20 year. This produces a fund of £15000,000 to £30,000,000 annually.

The proposed organisation would operate on a ‘not-for-profit’ basis and its sole aim would be to serve its membership of landlords only.

With the levels of budget described above it could afford to have dedicated helplines, PR teams, lobbyists, event organisers, regional representatives and meetings, regular member webinars and high profile social media presence.

The organisation would be staffed by its own employees.

Objectives and opportunities

Now consider the influence and power the organisation would wield, with 15 to 30 million pounds of funding every year, on issues such as:-

  • Section 24 restrictions on finance cost relief
  • The campaign to end Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988
  • The ban on tenant fees
  • The campaign for rent capping
  • The ban on tenant fees
  • Universal Credit
  • The new HMO Licensing laws
  • PRA lending rules
  • Tax on insurance premiums
  • Compulsory Client Money Protection for agents
  • Funding of legal action (including Judicial reviews) which are pivotal to legislation and case law affecting its members

The PRS needs this to combat the destructive anti-landlord lobbying of organisations such as Shelter, Generation Rent etc. Their crazy ideas are being listened to but the voices of landlords and their supporting service providers are not.

Landlords Associations have proven to be ineffective, it is time for change.

Organisational structure

All Directors would be voted in annually by members and would serve a maximum of four years in every 8.

Directors would all be seconded by their employers from the sectors outlined in the “Support required” section above.

These organisations could nominate their employees to run for election as Directors on a secondment basis. If they are voted onto the board by members their salaries could then be reimbursed to their employers from the membership fund. Assuming an average salary for Board members of £100,000 a year, the cost of running the Board of Directors would be a drop in the ocean in comparison to the Budget.

One Director would be elected from each group.

The members voting system for the appointment of Directors would be online in a format resembling the following:-

Name Here

Sector
e.g. Tax, Law, Lending, deposit Protection, Insurance
Employer  [company
Salary  £xxx,xxx
Online Profile [website link]

 

UPDATE 2pm 18th September 2018

When I published this article I hadn’t considered Monopolies, closed shops legislation or restrictive trade practices or thought about running my ideas past our Legal Counsel Mark Smith before publishing. If I had done so, this article may never have been published. However, the subsequent discussion would not have happened either, so i think it is important that I leave this page up to facilitate further discussion and sharing of ideas.

So, where does that leave us?

It feels to me like we are back to square one of landlords being an apathetic group of somewhere between one and two million people without effective representation and an easy target for any Government authority to milk as cash cows whenever they see fit.

Anybody got an alternative solution they would like to propose?



Comments

by Gwen Davies

18:51 PM, 21st September 2018, About 3 years ago

Who runs the landlords union? If that was used to kick-start a new movement who would run it if Mark and Neil do not want to? Do they not know of a possible candidate for the job?

by Neil Patterson

7:52 AM, 22nd September 2018, About 3 years ago

We would obviously do our best to support and promote, but Mark and I would just not have the resource time wise as Property118 is certainly 24/7 for me at the moment.

by Lesley Lester

8:27 AM, 22nd September 2018, About 3 years ago

Landlords need a strong lobbying programme, other benefits such as legal advice etc or even a "Bad Tenants" register !

by Mark Alexander

8:39 AM, 22nd September 2018, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by David Lester at 22/09/2018 - 08:27
Bad Tenants Register already exists, see http://www.LandlordReferencing.co.uk

Free legal advice will always be a tough one because you get what you pay for.

Lobbying is the tough one to organise, but I think that’s what we need most. We do our best at Property118 to create awareness of the issues but that’s about as far as we can go because we do not have the resource for much else. If we had a big lump of money to recruit a lobbying team that might be different, but we don’t even have the time resource to organise that.

by JB

9:03 AM, 22nd September 2018, About 3 years ago

I am an NLA member for the following reasons:
1. Discount on mydepsoits
2. Discount on licensing
3. Legal advice
4. Legal forms (e.g. updating my contract)
I think the NLA are useless at representing landlaords but I would not want to give up these benefits

by Luke P

9:24 AM, 22nd September 2018, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by JB at 22/09/2018 - 09:03And herein lies the problem. Nobody is willing to do anything for the greater good anymore…especially not is it (mildly) inconveniences them. What if the way the NLA behaves re its lobbying is costing you more than those benefits? They have actively supported LAs in Selective Licensing in some areas! You get a few piddly discounts and mild benefits in exchange for actively being held back.
It seems turkeys do indeed vote for Xmas and this is why we both deserve and, do in fact willing accept, all we’re given.

by Michael Barnes

15:43 PM, 22nd September 2018, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 22/09/2018 - 09:24
You sound like my wife, with the attitude "there are two ways to do something: my way and the wrong way".

by Luke P

16:10 PM, 22nd September 2018, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Michael Barnes at 22/09/2018 - 15:43At least both are indeed ‘ways’. Doing nothing has been tried. Sticking with the NLA/RLA has been tested. Allowing those that claim to represent us to demonstrate result has been given the time/space to deliver…yet here we are!
You sound like Einstein’s definition of insanity…
I accept there is a desire for a LLs ‘assistance’ service, but they need to break from the poor job they’re making of lobbying and defending LLs interests. The two do not have to go hand-in-hand. That will not be done voluntarily, nor willingly.

by Chris Novice Shark Bait

16:27 PM, 22nd September 2018, About 3 years ago

Given that this site is open to all, it could possibly be really constructive if providers of the NLA and RLA services could comment on the issues already expressed by prop 118 members. It seems unlikely that they do not read comments such as these and their input would be welcomed by me as a positive thing. Is there some simple way we could send out an invitation, or do we pitifully leave matters to unlikely chance?

by Laura Delow

7:20 AM, 24th September 2018, About 3 years ago

Did anyone see on the news or read in yesterday's press about Labour funding a new renters union to give tenants more power? See link below this post.
I know none of us have the time nor wherewithal to set up a landlord union of sorts but we do need to at the very least put our heads together on how best to coordinate ourselves as a collective voice of force that puts greater pressure on the RLA & NLA to lobby more effectively on our behalf.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-private-tenants-renters-unions-conference-jeremy-corbyn-jon-healey-a8551576.html
Question - I read many useful articles on urban.co.uk & wondered if this organisation ought to be approached for their view on this matter.


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