OpenRent Community

NLA / RLA merger

I would be very interested to hear if there are any landlords out there who genuinely believe these organisations provide any help or support to landlords. Particularly in respect of negotiating / campaigning for balanced new legislation.

In view of the recent legislation, which in my opinion is hugely biased toward the tenant, I feel these organisations are doing nothing for the landlord and are little more use than a chocolate teapot…

I must qualify my position by stating I am not a member of either.

I am in NLA had good advice off them . Do you really think any organisation can stop the goverment and local councils doing what they wish to do?

My words would mirror Colin exactly.

I appreciate they may provide good individual advice to landlords like yourself Colin. But I never see them involved in any serious campaigns to support the voices and causes of landlords.

Perhaps I’m not getting to see what they do, not being a member, and I must confess a lot of my attitude is born out of sheer frustration with current legislation. Maybe I am wrong to heap criticism on these organisations, but I don’t see them being very vocal or prominent in debates. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen them on news interviews championing the cause for landlords / the PRS.

And yes I agree, the government will do whatever they wish ultimately.

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Hi Chris,

Both the NLA and RLA have sizable policy teams who do research, collect members’ views and lobby parliamentarians in a way that represents landlords’ interest.

How effect they are at influencing policy is a question you would need to do a serious peer-reviewed study to find the answer to.

They always have a seat at the table when private rented sector (PRS) policy is being discussed. But although professional associations can be useful at amending bills or bringing new information to light, they will seldom dictate policy itself.

Policy is set by the governing party, and the landlord associations are just two voices among dozens competing for attention in the PRS policy ecosystem, such as Shelter, the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the National Housing Federation, etc.

Putting this within historical context, pro-industry groups have been very successful in gaining pro-industry policy reforms since the 80s. For example, when bank lending was being regulated based on risk, buy-to-let loans were given a low risk rating, making it much easier for landlords to invest in buy-to-let. ARLA then persuaded banks to reduce their interest rates on properties managed by ARLA agents. Landlords were also given a very competitive mortgage interest tax relief scheme.

But all of this was only possible because the UK was going through a period of deregulation and liberalisation of lending and housing. That era has ended, possibly due to the PRS now constituting a much larger percentage of UK housing, meaning tenants needs now outweigh investors’ in the party policy calculus.

In summary, the NLA and RLA lobby as well as they can, but they are limited in what they can do by the weather in their policy ecosystem.

Sam

Short answer, yes. Have had some useful advice from NLA although -albeit only on rare occasion-, not always accurate. For critical questions, ask it twice in two separate calls to two different advisors. The answer should ALWAYS be the same, surely?
Usually but not 100%
Chris Daniel (‘Welsh Chris’) knows his stuff re section 21 issue being somewhat of a specialist in this area and he gave me advice I didn’t want to hear but absolutely needed to re abusive emails during an eviction process earlier this year. John Coyne is a good -no nonsense- egg.
Most on the advice line are also spot on and all are charming but… I will say again… cross check your facts where critical.
I had duff advice once re s21 issue timing which would have rendered its service invalid and, earlier this year, had to draw it to NLA’s attention that S21 issue timing was also inaccurately stated in their in-house magazine. It was neither retracted nor corrected in the next issue so far as I could see which was poor show x2 in my view.
In my view, an email should have been sent ‘to all.’

Scarey though that sounds, NLA is, I think, the best of the lot and, when the chips are down, it is reassuring to talk to someone. Conflict creates a lonely hole and dark hours where there is no one to assist. Also, being able to put an organisation after your name must surely act as a partial disincentive to chancers and fraudsters.

Peter
Member NLA (accred.)

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Sorry to hear you were let down by NLA, with what could have been potentially damaging advice, obviously you were wise enough to check it.

It is always advisable to do your own research into current legislation, as I do not believe anyone else has the same interest in the subjects as you yourself, in a situation requiring sound decisions / direction.

I’m sure there are many agents out there also who do not have the legal / contractual capability to provide accurate interpretation of such documents as government legislation. They often accept the headline summary of a policy, without analysing the nuances of it, as I’ve discovered from personal experience.

I often found the local County Court staff to be very helpful, although they will not give advice, they will point out the pertinence of relevant laws.

On one occasion, albeit not letting associated, I was given contradictory advice by a barrister to that given by my solicitor, in a potentially very costly case. So beware… Happily the advice given by the barrister caused the defendant to name a company they had factored my account from as a co-defendant (to spread their risk), and that company settled out of court to my advantage. Consequently, that unscrupulous debt collection company was shut down by the FSA (now FCA) and the CEO who was a solicitor was disbarred from the law society and banned from practicing. I very reluctantly settled for an inconsequential amount, albeit 6x the alleged debt, but my wife begged me to stop as the 3 year case and associated stress was effecting my health. That was a hard decision as I knew I was right and believed in the principles.

The adage that principles can be a very costly virtue, is absolutely true by the way.

The moral of this story being, can you really trust anyone who purports to be an “expert”!

My sincere apologies if this has placed doubt in anybody’s mind, I did not intend to scaremonger, only propose you approach “expert advice” with due care and diligence.

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I used to belong to the RLA but left after a couple of years as I found their advice hard to obtain and the members’ forum was full of antagonistic trolls. Unlike OpenRent! Perhaps the NLA is better. I now belong the Guild of Residential Landlords and have been very happy with their knowledgebase and legal opinions.

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I’ve been a member of the RLA for 4 years and have found them invaluable. I initially joined for their documentation, which at the time I found far clearer, easier to use and applicable to my requirements than the NLA’s - this may have changed since. I also use their services: their referencing and credit checks are cheap, easy to use, fast and comprehensive; their landlords insurance came in well under others (and more comprehensive) than 3 different comparison sites; and their various links (such as to the TDS for deposit registering) are very useful.

I’ve found their articles and forums very useful, and on the occasions I’ve called them for advice (bar one which was a complex issue to do with with the fine legalities of smoke alarm installation in an unusual rental situation) they’ve been very professional and helpful.

If you read their articles, you can see that they are continually striving to have a strong effect on legislation, however as Sam has pointed out, the housing climate simply doesn’t give them as much voice as we would like at the moment.

I hope that when the RLA and NLA join forces, the quality I’ve experienced with the RLA continues.

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I genuinely believe that the NLA do provide help & support to me as a landlord & possibly also in respect of negotiating / campaigning for balanced new legislation, however the positive intent doesn’t guarantee a favoured outcome as the Government are the PowerHouse and what ever they wish to bring forthwith as they will and do regardless of anyone who campaigns etc.

I personally joined the NLA as i am alone in this world mostly and needed the advise line as a sort of advice line or second opinion if you will and i get that service and im rather happy with it.
I also use their documentation, especially the AST to give me piece of mind of the correct uptodate AST for instance.

i also get helpful data and courses to help my knowledge base and all of that is worth it 10fold for me.

lastly, i dont care about the campaigning, lobbying or whatever is claimed to happen for the same reason i have never voted, because i believe its all a fixed game from the outset and that any voice against the grain is drowned out as static noise.

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Andrew 8 totally agree with your posting about the NLA

Hi Andrew, Interesting points there. If you’re open to reading other views on lobbying, then this article summarising a famous study is very informative.

My time would be better served watching paint dry, however thanks for the offer

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andrew i think your sense of humour is similar to mine and I have never voted either!

politics is like a gambling machine, they are fixed in the favour of the owner always.