NLA Annual Report 2010
In a relatively short space of time, the British political landscape has changed out of recognition. As we come to terms with the workings of the Coalition Government, the NLA is also reviewing its position as part of its leadership role in the private-rented sector. All in all, it has been quite a year.
Before exploring some of the NLA’s activity over the last 12 months, I would like to reiterate the essence of what the NLA has actually become:
- The NLA is the biggest and most influential representative body for private-residential landlords in the UK. This is now beyond doubt.
- The NLA offers excellent value for money, with an ever-expanding range of products and services for supporting, advising and informing landlords of their rights and responsibilities.
- The NLA is the only body for landlords recognised as truly national, with members in every UK postcode area.
- The NLA is the only body for landlords to have a seat at the top table in terms of influencing decision-makers across all levels of government. Affecting public policy is our raison d’être.
- The NLA refuses to pursue narrow, sectional interests in favour of taking an industry-wide perspective which is fair to both landlords and their tenants. Any other approach could compromise our success to date.
Of course, I do not restate these facts for reasons of hubris but because these are the fundamental drivers of the NLA and they serve as our guiding principles. Far from sitting on our laurels, these statements bring with them considerable scrutiny from our members, the media and decision-makers and rightly so. A favoured mantra of mine remains, ‘with increased respect comes increased responsibility’.We will bear this in mind as we forge ahead over the next year.
NLA Accreditation has completed its pilot phase and many local authorities have expressed an interest in coming on board as we roll out across the UK. Standards in the private-rented sector must continue to improve and further professional development for landlords can only help achieve this aim. Goodlandlord.org.uk was also launched as an easy-to-use, online website for tenants to check whether their landlord is an NLA member.
On the national policy front, we continue to lobby for changes to the malfunctioning Local Housing Allowance which the Conservatives promised before the General Election. However, this seems to have been dwarfed by the harmful cuts in Housing Benefit payments which could lead directly to landlords leaving this part of the market.We also led a successful campaign against the previous Government’s draconian shared housing planning laws rushed through as a pre-Election sweetener. This ‘nimby’s charter’ has since been largely repealed by the Coalition Government – a great relief to all landlords.
As ever, a year’s activity is not easily covered in one page but I should mention firstly another highly successful celebration of the private-rented sector at the NLA Property Women Awards 2010. I would also like to add the contribution made over many years by John Socha, our former Deputy Chairman, who decided not to seek re-election as a Director at last year’s AGM.
Thank you for continuing to play a part in the NLA’s growth and success – without our members this progress would be impossible.