THE BLA CODE OF CONDUCT AND DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE
“COD” hereinafter has the same meaning as “Code of conduct”.
Member’s COD herein forms part of the conditions of membership to the thebla.co.uk. This COD is to be read in conjunction with our T & C’s. On applying for a membership to the BLA each applicant agrees to be bound this COD.
Our COD aims to achieve a high standard of conduct by members of the British Landlords Association.
Our COD aims to protect the public against bad inappropriate conduct or practices and provides a means of complaint against any member who is alleged to have breached our COD.
The COD strives to achieve a high standard for the private rental sector and to develop a good relationship with local authorities, local and national government representatives.
The British Landlords Association will use the latest technology with social media tools to inform its members of current and future legislation. All members understand and accept that we can only offer limited general advice. Further, all member’s accept and understand that any advice given by us must not be acted on unless and until all members in all matters see independent legal advice and guidance.
You accept and understand without reservation, you must not act on any information given by the Association, its members or Officers, or from that contained in any material issued by the Association, without first seeking independent legal advice before you act on any matter, issue directly, indirectly in part or thereof.
The Code of Conduct, and the Disciplinary Procedure, may be subject to amendment from time to time.
CODE OF CONDUCT
Rule 1 – Duty not to be dishonest
No member shall do any act (whether in the business of being a landlord or otherwise) which:
- involves dishonesty, dishonourable, or deceitful behaviour, or which is unfair to members of the public; or
- in any way brings the British Landlords Association and /or its members into disrepute.
The purpose of this Rule is to provide for disciplinary action to be taken against any member whose behaviour may adversely affect the public or the Association, including fellow members. It is not designed to restrict members from competitive business transactions or limit in any way the freedom or rights of the member as an individual. It also aims to protect the integrity of the British Landlords Association and other BLA members.
Rule 2 – Duty to abide by the aims and rules of the Association
All members when conducting business as a landlord or an associated business must conform to the Aims of the Association.
Rule 3 – Duty not to conduct business using improper means
A member shall not use any oppressive or improper methods to gain or transact business; or use any method that involves dishonesty, deceit or misrepresentation.
It is wrong for members to seek or conduct business by methods that take unfair advantage of a tenant’s age, condition, infirmity, ignorance, bereavement, or by conduct that is deemed harassment.
Rule 4 – Duty to comply with legal obligations at all times
A member shall conduct his business to comply with all relevant laws.
Herein we have not written any relevant and or applicable laws into these Rules. It is the responsibility of the member to make himself aware of the laws, legislation, regulations and procedures, pertinent to his business and /or practice. The British Landlords Association is prepared to provide whatever information and advice it can, but members should always seek professional legal guidance as the British Landlords Association will not accept responsibility for any action or lack of that results in the contravention of any law, procedure, regulation, litigation or any eviction process based on information or advice given.
Rule 5 – Duty to report a conflict of interests
A member shall disclose to his client or any tenant or prospective tenant any existing conflict of interest or any circumstance that may involve a conflict of interest, in his dealings with his clients, or tenants or their associates.
A member shall disclose to the Secretary of the British Landlords Association any existing conflict of interest or any circumstances which may involve a conflict of interest in his dealings with the British Landlords Association or any of its members or their associates.
Rule 6 – Duty to protect members of the public
A member will always have an appropriate Public Liability insurance policy.
Note: This includes those members who are property management agents/or letting agents, as well as those who are landlords.
Rule 7 – Property Management & Letting Agents Duty
A member shall make himself familiar with all current legislation and codes of practice and changes affecting the same regarding and relating to the management and letting of property in his capacity as an agent and, in his dealings with clients and other agencies, A member acting in the capacity as an agent for the purpose of property management and letting will have appropriate professional indemnity insurance.
Rule 8 – Duty to fully comply with GDPR
All members shall at all times respect the confidentiality of the British Landlords Association, its business, or its members. Members have a duty to respect the confidentiality of the members within the British Landlords Association, the nature of the business, and any details or discussions held formally or informally at meetings or otherwise. This Rule prohibits the publication of any information, given verbally or in writing, by any individual member or by the British Landlords Association as a whole, without first having sought and obtained written permission from the Officers of the Association.
Rule 9 – Duty not to discriminate
A member will not discriminate in his dealings with clients and/or prospective and existing tenants, members of the British Landlords Association or members of the public. All sections of the population will have an equal access to employment, lettings and tenancies, and no applicant or client or employee or tenant will receive less favourable treatment than others because of his or her colour, creed, ethnic or national origin, disability, age, sex, marital status, sexuality, politics, or his or her responsibility for dependants.
Note: Members will not contravene the Sex Discrimination Act 1985; the Race Relation Act 1976; Disabled Persons (Employment Act) 1944 and 1958; Equal Pay Act 1970 (and Equal Pay Amendment Regulation 1983). A member will always conduct his business with the highest principles of social justice.
Rule 10 – Duty to co-operate in disciplinary investigations
A member shall co-operate with any disciplinary investigation, replying to correspondence, in accordance with the current Disciplinary procedure Regulations. A member may attend the formal hearing of the Disciplinary Hearing Committee (D.H.C.) at which an allegation concerning his conduct is to be discussed, and that he has the right to be heard and to be represented.
Rule 11 – Duty to not to harass or unlawfully evict
Member will not directly or indirectly harass or unlawfully evict tenants. All members must know their legal obligation as a landlord and must have a good understanding of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977, the Housing Act 1985 and the Housing Act 1988 for guidance.
Rule 12 – Duty to be familiar with the legislation current and future
A member will be familiar with all relevant laws and ensure that these laws are observed in full when conducting any business, whether in relation to property management or otherwise, and shall also ensure the same laws are observed by anyone acting on his behalf, whether employed by him or otherwise.
While the British Landlords Association will assist wherever possible with advice and information that is requested, it remains the member’s own duty to make himself aware of current and future legislation pertinent to his business. In all cases and without exception the member is responsible for seeking independent legal guidance at his own expense before taking any legal action.
Rule 13 – Duty to attain good standards of practice
A member will always aim to achieve good standards of practice in his capacity as a landlord, property management agent or letting agent. This will involve maintaining a professional and courteous approach to tenants, clients, and members of the public, and conducting himself in such a manner to encourage respect with all members of society.
Note: This Rule is intended to promote and improve the existing public image and status of the “private sector landlord”.
Rule 14 – Duty to attain high standards of accommodation
A member must aim to achieve good standards of the accommodation offered for rent to the general public. This includes meeting all legally recognised minimum standards.
This Disciplinary Procedure of the British Landlords’ British Landlords Association is an integral part of the Code of Practice and all members must abide by it.
- The procedure that follows will be instigated when a formal complaint is received by the Secretary.
- A formal complaint must be in written form, signed by the person making the complaint, and it must include a contact address, email and telephone number.
- No complaint will be entertained unless the complainant has already taken the matter up as a complaint with the member concerned.
- Full particulars of the complaint must be supplied to the member by the complainant.
- The complaint will only be investigated if the member has responded to the complaint and the Complainant considers that response to be unsatisfactory or has failed to do so within a reasonable period (after having received at least one reminder in writing).
- The member will be expected to have responded in full within 14 days unless there is a good reason for not having done so.
The Association’s complaint procedure is intended to protect the reputation of the private rented sector generally and the British Landlords Association and its members. It is not intended to operate as a substitute for Court proceedings; nor as a means of alternative dispute resolution.
Whilst every effort will be made to hear all sides of any grievance before a decision is made, it should be fully understood that the Disciplinary Hearing’s decision is final and binding. There is an appeal against such decisions only where additional and significant evidence is made available in which case, and at the Secretary’s discretion, a further hearing will be arranged to reconsider the matter.
Note: These Rules apply are binding upon all Members of the Association. If you are not a member yet, then join the BLA today.