One of the roles of the NRLA is to host meetings with representatives of all of the UK associations representing landlords, to ensure that their focus when talking to central government is correct and actions across the industry are coordinated. The team meet quarterly and the PDPLA are represented by its chair, Martin Silman. His notes on the meeting follow...
Good attendance – 20 people of whom 8 were NRLA.
The big change is that the former chair (Jodi Berg) seems to have stepped down, which is a shame (though she was still in the meeting) – new chair is a lady called Claire Jenkinson. Not as prestigious as her predecessor but probably more suited to a smaller trade body like the NRLA.
First presentation was from Meera Chindooroy with a Covid-19 update. Press release went out last week showing around 25% of tenants have some arrears – they are meeting a lack of understanding from politicians who don't seem to understand that a tenant with arrears will find it very difficult to find a subsequent tenancy in the PRS.
I raised the issue about local councils being desperate to quantify the potential volume of forthcoming evictions. Meera will share a document they hope to produce in the next week and Paul Shamplina has some stats which may help. We also talked about using local politicians to deliver the same messages that the NRLA are trying to deliver to central government.
Paul Shamplina updated on courts and enforcement – in the past 3 months Landlord Action have taken on 3 more solicitors as business volumes have been growing so fast. Apparently review hearings are not working. His worry is that with 292 bailiffs in the country, any increase in Section 8's will break the system (he has seen predictions of 11,000 to be served this month). Landlord/Tenant disputes during lockdown increased 5-fold based on Paul's data.
Paul pointed out that 70% of possession claims are in social housing. He also said that 50% of landlords write off arrears and use S21 to get rid of tenants. Thus when S21 goes, there will be a lot more tenants with money orders against them who will find it much harder to find new homes.
Chris Norris talked about NRLA polling and research. Obviously lots going on but one item that caught my eye – they just completed an external perception audit on the PRS, so although we know what that will have found, I look forward to seeing it quantified.
The final topic was the 'Alternative White Paper' – as the rent reform bill has been delayed, the NRLA are trying to get ahead of the government by producing an alternative white paper that provides suggestions for the policy solutions the government need to adopt. Possession reform, conciliation, court reform, redress, enforcement, lifetime deposits, etc. Chris and Ben asked for help in creating a document that works for all and something we can all champion. The PDPLA have submitted their input, but are also considering additional work in the area of mediation and conciliation.
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