Landlords Association to join in 2021?
Most associations only represent residential landlords. The British Landlord association represent residential and the commercial sector.
The Commercial sector, save for the COVID-19 pandemic period, has less need for support from a professional organisation, which is due to several reasons.
Most commercial properties are let on a long lease under a full repairing and insuring lease.
Most commercial properties are let on leases that use forfeiture clauses. This means court action as consequences of rent arrears may, in some instances, be unnecessary.
Commercial tenants do not have the same protection as a residential tenants, nor do commercial tenants have a host of charities supporting them like residential tenants.
If you are a property owner with one property or an extensive property portfolio. It is worth considering joining a professional organisation from the list below.
The majority of landlords have been impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic one way or another and will need support.
The eviction procedure, especially the Notice period during the Covid-19 Pandemic, has caused much confusion in the buy to let market.
What is a landlord’s association?
It is a support network for private and corporate professional landlord, including letting agents. Its role is to provide support, educate in managing rental properties, raise standards and representation for the private rental sector.
Representation for its members is usually by lobbying local and central Government.
Frequent monthly meetings are held by the board of directors, board members, along with annual general meetings where members can attend and discuss any relevant issue.
They provide resources like documents, advice, courses, keep their members up to date, relevant legislation, and adopt best practices when managing rental property.
They also play a crucial role in making their members aware of new or pending legislation. The Tenant Deposit scheme is a good example. Many get caught out where they were not aware of the new law.
In the last few years, the Government has phased in new housing laws and introduced new tax rules for the real estate industry.
Are these organisations useful?
They offer expert advice about tenancy issues or the rights and responsibilities of their members.
There is no let-up in the number of new legislation that affects how they can run their business.
They generally know what impact and challenges new legislation may have on their members. Crucially what they need to do to comply.
The private rented sector finds these organisations incredibly useful; it allows meeting fellow landlords, property owners and knowing what is happening in the property investment community.
Association campaign provides a positive collective voice. they offer a valuable support network for their members.
They collate information and views about both the significant and more minor developments in the buy to let market and the experiences encountered by their members.
By disseminating this information, they can help members better understand and prepare themselves for current market conditions and difficulties.
They function as a valuable resource for members where they can offer advice, practical tips and suggestions.
They speak to their members and, in turn, essential decision-makers such as the Government, local councils, and other associations.
They function as an influential pressure group for its members’ voicing concerns. They can use the pressure to influence decision-makers to consider the interests of their members.
What to consider when joining an association?
- What are the benefits of joining?
- What is a national landlords association?
- What is the cost of joining?
- How are national association funded?
- Is there a free one that I can join?
- List of associations in the UK
- Which associations can I join?
They are keen to ensure all members are aware of any new legislation and best practices relevant to them.
What are the benefits of joining an association?
Generally, they may offer the following membership benefits:
- The telephone helpline provides legal advice to members on all property-related issues, including rent arrears.
- Gives members peace of mind, especially when meeting other like-minded people.
- Help and guidance for private well as corporate landlords.
- Some offer access to discounted Deposit Protection Schemes.
- Information for members on regulations and current legal requirements.
- Good relevant source of case law for England, Wales & Scotland
- A broad selection of documents with various assured shorthold tenancy agreement templates.
- Wide range of discounts on 3rd party member services
- Advice on a periodic tenancy
- Meet fellow investors, national or local, to listen & discuss landlords’ issues.
- Strengthens the voice of the 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
- Landlord Training Courses & Accreditation Scheme
- They can help you with difficult tenants.
- Access to the latest section 21 eviction notice template, including section 8 eviction notice.
- Tenant credit & reference checks for prospective tenants through approved providers.
- Landlord insurance and access to lenders who specialise in Buy Let mortgages
- Most national landlords’ associations can help members with the court possession process.
- Health & Safety HSSR Guidance.
- Discount on events relevant to members
- Universal Credit & Direct payment procedure guidance
- Gas inspections: Discounted gas safety certificate
- Property development advice (General)
- Leasehold property, lease negotiation basic advice
Letting agents can benefit from joining an organisation like ARLA. Some of the discounts on products available to members offer considerable savings for letting agents.
It is crucial for letting agents, landlords and property managers be aware of the new legislation so they are compliant.
The consequences of non-compliance to most of the new legislation means a financial penalty in some cases cup to £30,000 and potentially making a section 21 notice invalid. These are just some of the recent legislation:
What is a national landlords association?
A national landlords association will cover members in England, Wales, and Scotland. The two national associations are:
- The British Landlord Association – The BLA
- The National Residential Landlord Association – The NRLA
You can find out from your council housing department if you have any local or regional organisations in your area.
Local and regional organisations 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 significant, and some do work alongside national ones to provide a better service with a louder voice.
The BLA is the second largest membership organisation when it comes to members after the NRLA. The benefit of membership with the BLA is that it is free.
They do not charge a membership fee. 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.
How are the national landlord’s association funded?
Generally, they are funded by fees charged to members to join. They receive payments from the products sold through them like building insurance, credit referencing, deposit protection, and selling data to 3rd party for marketing purposes.
The BLA does not sell its members data.
Revenue is also generated from advertising through various media that association use.
British Landlords Association – (The BLA)
The BLA is a free national landlord association with no annual fee or recurring membership fee. The membership is free; any landlord or letting agent can join.
They currently have just over 32,000 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 five days during the Coronavirus pandemic. The BLA launched a financial Coronavirus financial aid (CFA) for their members recently.
This helps the members deal with rent strikes and other related problems. Members do not need to pay for the legal process under the CFA. The BLA pay the costs on behalf of their members.
The CFA is not available to new members who joined after the 3rd of May 2020.
The BLA claim their support to their members is unrivalled in financial assistance & the quality of their helpline.
The BLA also have a daily online paper that is published seven days a week.
The content is impressive; it covers property industry news and general property issues across the board. They also have templates and downloadable forms for the landlord community.
National Residential Landlords Association
Without a doubt, the NRLA is the biggest organisation for landlords in the UK, with over 65,000 members.
The two associations, 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 strikes or Coronavirus related issues.
iHowz iHOWZ is not a national association. However, it is another excellent organisation. It is an old established organisation 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 numerous services, all primary services others provide.
It is an association that is enthusiastic about what they do and the service they provide. Their website states: “Many organisations do similar, but iHowz exists purely to help, not make a profit nor pay directors large sums”.
You can choose which one best suits you for your requirement.
Resident Landlord Association
Resident landlord association are popular, relatively small and local. Resident property owners are those who rent a room in their homes. Resident landlord association can be a great asset for homeowners who can receive practical advice on letting to lodgers.
They offer their members, who are all private landlords, telephone advice on various topics. Like Gas safety certificates, electrical safety reports, EICR and mediation service.
Benefits of joining a resident landlord association are:
- Landlord Advice
- Notice periods advice for resident landlord
- Rental property insurance
- Lockdown restrictions advice
- Health & Safety guidance
- Free forms to download.
- Housing benefit landlord advice
The disadvantage of a resident landlord is an obvious one. Lack of homeowner’s privacy potential abuse of utility and compromised security.
Commercial property landlord association
The property industry has two sectors, the residential and commercial sectors. Commercial landlords seem to be professional, usually full-time landlords with long term investment property portfolios.
Members who require landlord advice have access to commercial property solicitors. The other membership benefits are the same as their residential counterparts.
What is the cost of joining an association?
The cost of joining a national association vary save for the BLA, which is free. However, there are many small local ones too. The only downside to obtaining membership with a local organisation is you are unlikely to receive the benefits you would receive by joining a national association.
You can choose which one best suits you, from the information and list provided. The membership fee varies from full free membership to membership costing £160 to £75. The fee structure depends on which association and level of membership you take.
Benefits of membership vary from local and national organisations, with national ones providing a more comprehensive range of services.
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 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) Christians against poverty.
The staff who work at the BLA, including the CEO and its lawyers, are 100% dedicated to helping members and campaigning for landlords to be treated fairly. They are unpaid volunteers working full time; this allows them to offer a unique service to landlords nationally.
How do I join a national association?
You have two options: by visiting the website or contacting them by telephone. The two national associations, The BLA and the NRLA, are happy to go through their benefits and products with you should you wish to join.
Once you have joined and become a member, you simply login to your membership account. Apart from legal advice, you can do most things online.
Which are recommended for membership?
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 a free membership, no diamond, platinum, or premium membership.
Ihowz and the BLA members seemed to be the happiest with their membership out of the ones I spoke to. I could only find details of a few members from each of the organisations listed due to the time factor, so my finding may not be accurate.
The British Landlord Association (The BLA) and the NRLA cover Scotland too. The NRLA have formidable resources and experience in campaigning.
List of associations in the UK 2021
- British Landlords Association (The BLA)
- Devon Landlord Association
- Guild of Residential Landlords
- iHOWZ Southern Landlord Association
- Scottish Association of Landlord (SAL)
- National Residential Landlord Association
- Westcountry Landlord Association
- Jersey Landlord Association
- Darlington District Private Landlord Association
- Darlington District Private Landlord Association
If we have missed any organisations on this list, then please let us know. You can click on the links above to access the websites.
Date: 14th of January 2021
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