What is a landlords association?
It is a support network for the private and corporate landlord, including letting agents. Its role is to provide support, to educate in managing rental properties, raise standards and representation. Representation for its members is usually by lobbying Government. Frequent monthly meetings are held by the board of directors, board members along with annual general meetings where members can attend.
An association provides resources like documents, advice, courses and keep their members up to date, with relevant legislation and adopting best practices when managing a rental property.
In the last few years, the Government has phased in new housing law, as well as introducing new tax rules for real estate.
Association’s play a crucial role, in making its members aware of new, or pending legislation. The Tenant Deposit scheme is a good example. Many landlords got caught out, where they were not aware of the new law.
What do I need to consider when joining an association?
- What are the benefits of joining an association?
- What is a national landlords association?
- What is the cost of joining an association?
- How are national association funded?
- Is there a free association that I can join?
- List of associations in the UK
- Which associations can I join?
Landlord association are keen, to ensure all members are aware of any new legislation and best practices, that is relevant to them.
What are the benefits of joining an association?
Generally, they offer the following benefits:
- Helpline for members on all landlord related issues.
- Information for members, on letting issues.
- Information for landlords, on new or pending regulations.
- Good relevant source of case law for England, Wales & Scotland
- Good selection of documents
- Discounts on 3rd party member services
- Meet Fellow investors national or local to listen & discuss landlords’ issues
- Strengthens the voice of the landlord community, which can be particularly useful, when petitioning against unfair regulations.
- Be a voice for its members and seek to influence draft legislation.
- Best practices for property management
- They can help you with difficult tenants
- Access to the latest section 21 eviction notices including section 8 eviction notice.
- Tenant credit & reference checks
- Discounted Insurance and access to lenders who specialise in Buy to Let mortgages
- Letting agents can benefit from joining a landlord organisation like ARLA and or any one of the other national associations. Some of the products discounts available to members can be a considerable saving for any letting agent.
Over the last few years, the government has introduced a raft of new legislation which has a direct impact on the landlord. It is important for letting agents, landlords and property managers be aware of the new legislation so they are compliant. The consequences of non-compliance to the majority of the new legislation means a financial penalty in some cases can be up to £30,000 and making any section 21 eviction notice invalid. These are just some of the recent legislation:
What is a national landlord association?
A national landlord association will cover members in England, Wales and Scotland. The Three national associations are:
- The British Landlords Association – The BLA
- The National Landlords Association – The NLA
- The Residential Landlords Association – The RLA
You can find out from your council housing department if you have any local or regional associations in your area.
Local and regional associations generally do not have the same resources, support or influence as the national ones. However, local ones have a good knowledge of local issues, much better understanding than the national associations. Local associations are incredibly important and some do work alongside with national ones to provide a better service with a louder voice.
The BLA is the second largest organisation when it comes to members after the NRLA. The BLA is totally free, it does not charge for membership. All the services provided directly by the BLA are free too. The BLA claim they are the fastest-growing national landlord organisation in the UK, given their impressive line of free services and free membership it is not surprising they are growing rapidly.
The NLA website gives a brief description which says: The National Landlords Association is the UK’s largest membership organisation for private residential landlords.
It supports and representing 41,000 members. We seek a fair legal and regulatory environment for both landlord and tenant, and actively lobby the Government on behalf of our members.
The RLA website gives a brief description which says: The RLA is the leading voice for landlords in England and Wales, and we are here to help. Get your voice heard today with the help of the RLA. The NLA & the RLA have now merged to create the NRLA which is a national landlord association that covers England, Wales & Scotland.
How are national landlords association funded?
Generally, they are funded by fees charged to members to join. Associations will receive payments from the products sold through them like building insurance, credit referencing, deposit protection and for selling data to 3rd party for marketing purposes.
Revenue is also generated, from advertising through various media that association use.
Is there a free association that I can join?
To the best of our knowledge, the BLA is the only free association in the UK. Not only is it free, but The BLA also does not take a commission on building insurance, eviction services, legal services, and so many other products.
This, of course, means members will receive 100% of the discount passed to them. The BLA does not allow advertising through its website or its social media platforms. The only exception to this is charities the BLA support like CAP.
The staff who work at the BLA, including the CEO and its lawyers are 100% dedicated to helping landlords and campaigning for landlords to be treated fairly. They are unpaid volunteers working full time; this allows the association to offer a unique service to landlords nationally.
Which is the best landlord association to join in 2020?
The best association to join is a matter of preference. We have compared landlord associations in the UK, the service they provide and the cost of the membership.
We have compiled the most important promotional information of the main landlords association’s directly from there website so you have a better idea of what they do and offer:
British Landlords Association – (The BLA)
The BLA is a free national landlord association. The membership is free any landlord or letting agent can join. They currently have just over 21,000 members. It is one of the fastest-growing association when it comes to members. This is not surprising given the membership is free.
They have a helpline for members which currently operates seven days during the Coronavirus crisis. The BLA launched a financial Coronavirus financial aid (CFA) for their members recently.
This helps the association members deal with rent strikes and other related problems. Members do not need to pay for the legal process under the CFA. The association pays for the costs on behalf of their members. The CFA is not available to new members who joined after the 3rd of May.
The BLA claim their support to their members is unrivalled in financial assistance & quality of their helpline.
National Residential Landlords Association (The NRLA)
Without a doubt, the NRLA is the biggest association for landlords in the UK with over 65,000 members. The two association’s the NLA & RLA have recently merged to create the NRLA. The total membership is likely to be around 65,000+. The NRLA campaigning skill and reach far exceeds other associations. The NRLA run a helpline for members Monday to Friday.
The NRLA does not currently offer any financial support for members to deal with rent strike or Coronavirus related issues.
iHowz is previously known as the Southern Landlords Association
iHOWZ is not a national association. However, it is another excellent organisation. It is an old established association, that was created in 1974. It would seem iHOWZ has a solid loyal member base. We were not able to ascertain their total membership numbers. iHOWZ offer various services, all main services other associations provide.
It is an association that is passionate about what they do and the service they provide. Their website states: “Many landlord associations do similar, but iHowz exists purely to help, not make a profit nor pay directors large sums”.
You can choose which one best suit you for your requirement.
What is the cost of joining an association?
The cost of joining one of the national landlord’s association is, as below. However, there are many small local associations too. The only downside to joining a local association is you are unlikely to receive the benefits you would receive by joining a national association.
You can choose which one best suit you, from the information and list provided. The cost varies from full free membership to £160 depending on which association you join.
How do I join a national association?
You have two options: by visiting the website or contacting the association of your choice. All three national associations are happy to go through their benefits and products. The RLA and the NLA are merging this month. The new association is going to be known as the NRLA.
Which is the best-recommended association I can join?
We have found associations scattered around different parts of the UK, covering mainly local areas. The following associations are national landlord associations and appear to cover England, Wales & Scotland. Which one you should join is a matter of preference. However, I would say the BLA provides the best value for its members and the services you get from the BLA in some areas is the best amongst all others.
As a blogger when I was asked to write this article, I spoke to members of other associations. One thing stood out, many landlords when joining the BLA thought there must be a catch, maybe the free membership has limitations of services you can use. With the BLA there is only the free membership no diamond, platinum or premium membership.
Ihowz and the BLA members seemed to be the happiest with there membership out of the ones I spoke to. I could only find a few members from each due to the time factor, so my finding may not be accurate.
The British Landlords Association (The BLA) and the NLA cover Scotland too. The NLA and The RLA have formidable resources and experience in campaigning.
Name of – associations | Cost | Basic association membership information
British Landlord Association | Free | Free Full membership. Membership includes a comprehensive landlord advice line and other member benefits.
Residential Landlord Association | £79.95 | 2 months membership for one landlord plus one free nominated associate.
National Landlord Association | £120 | There is a free “associate landlord” option but comes with limited support. Paid membership starts from £120 a year.
List of landlord associations in the UK 2020
- British Landlords Association (The BLA)
- Devon Landlord Association
- Southern Landlord Association (Now iHOWZ
- Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL)
- Residential Landlord Association (Now NRLA)
- National Landlord Association (Now NRLA)
If we have missed any association on this list, then please let us know.
Date: 1st of July 2020