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 6 years ago 76

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* Suggestions made by Mark Alexander, founder of –

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

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?

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Mandy Thomson

3:28 AM, 20th November 2018, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 18/09/2018 - 13:34
An alternative solution, Mark? Rent Smart England. Change the law so that every landlord must register and must demonstrate a basic level of knowledge before self managing, or appoint a licensed agent - just as under the current system in Wales. Moreover, insist that the organisations and businesses (such as you quote) that landlords have to use act as gatekeepers; for example, no registration or licence, no mortgage.

Oh, and BTW local authority licensing would become obsolete - what a pity.. 🙂

Annie Landlord

9:47 AM, 20th November 2018, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mandy Thomson at 20/11/2018 - 03:28
Agree Mandy. A fee of £33.50 per landlord (not per property) every 5 years is far more reasonable than the rip fees of £100s per property for local authority licensing. No system is the right fit for everyone, but Wales seems to have come up with something fairly workable and reasonable.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

9:53 AM, 20th November 2018, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Annie Landlord at 20/11/2018 - 09:47
I agree

John walker

14:17 PM, 20th November 2018, About 6 years ago

Reply to Mandy Thompson and Annie Landlord 20.11.18
I agree, except I do not know how effective Rent Smart Wales have been in nailing the rogue LLs, though Powys CC. have stopped SL in one area in which I manage a property and have currently no plans to extend SL to the rest of this huge county covering approx. 25% Wales' landmass. RSW are happy to collect fees, but do not communicate well with LLs.

Mandy Thomson

8:05 AM, 21st November 2018, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by John Walker at 20/11/2018 - 14:17
You will NEVER stop real rogue landlords under any system. In fact, as we all know and history shows only too well (Rachmanism), if the restrictions on landlords are too severe, the good landlords are deterred leaving the way for a more widespread black market than we have at present.

Mandy Thomson

8:26 AM, 21st November 2018, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mandy Thomson at 21/11/2018 - 08:05
However, it seems that Rent Smart Wales isn't being effectively publicised and this would also suggest that the preventative measures I suggested for a theoretical English system are either not in place or not being properly enforced

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