NLA Annual Report & AGM 2011

It can be very difficult to quantify a year in the life of a busy and growing organisation like the NLA. It would be impossible  to  condense the wide experience of 2010/11 into a few appropriate sound bites for your digestion once every year, but it is  fair  to say that, while the last twelve months have been challenging, we are undoubtedly stronger as an organisation  today  than  a year ago.

 The financial crisis and ensuing economic backdrop has meant that many NLA members have found it difficult to grow  their  portfolios, or in some cases keep their heads above water, but we are proud to have been proven right about the  resilience  of private landlords. The private-rented sector has defied its critics and continued to grow to meet the    increasing  demands of  households from all walks of life, while we have all striven to shrug off decades of bad publicity.

 The NLA is delighted to play its part in making private-renting accessible and preferable to tenants and crucially attractive to potential  investors. This has undoubtedly been a year of consolidation for the Association as well as one for looking to the future.

A number of long-term projects, in which the directors have invested a great deal of time and effort, have come to fruition and will benefit members for years to come. In particular I am delighted that the NLA is once again able to highlight its work, and that of its members, with a new market-leading website which for the first time integrates our highly successful NLA Landlord Library.

We have also seen a phenomenal growth in activity in the regions thanks to a 288 percent increase in NLA branches during the year and a 64 percent year-on-year rise in local meetings. The challenges faced by landlords remain very real, as do the hurdles that providers of rented accommodation have to overcome to be successful. For that reason alone the NLA remains committed to assisting landlords to meet their legitimate goals and to facilitating the management of their lettings businesses. As part of that process, the Association takes its representative role very seriously and relentlessly seeks to meet its responsibilities to its members and the wider landlord community to use our influence to benefit all of those working and living in the private-rented sector.

That said, it is a fact of life that with limited resources we must constantly prioritise our work to ensure that we not only represent the interests of our members but also offer value for money consistently to every member. This is why over recent months the Operations team has conducted member focus groups around the UK, while the Policy team’s member research programme has grown into one of the most influential sources of information about landlords in the country.

Having listened to your concerns we have sought to use 2010/11 to gain an even clearer insight into the NLA’s membership, thereby helping us to ensure that our work remains targeted and relevant to those whose subscriptions fund the organisation.

We are sure that as a result you will see real improvements in the service you receive from the NLA. Thank you for continuing to help the NLA help landlords to succeed. Without our members this would not be possible.

David Salusbury