What does success look like?
What does NRLA success look like? In an ideal world it looks like a market that allows good landlords to thrive and be recognised for their contribution to the provision of good quality homes and economic prosperity.
Of course the real world rarely resembles our idealised notion of success but that doesn’t mean that our work is without merit or that we cannot point to wins that translate into genuine benefits for NRLA members.
Everything that the NRLA does is guided by our vision:
“….a rental sector that works for all”
And must contribute towards our mission:
“….to support landlords by positioning ourselves as the home for responsible landlords”
To that end we are the home for responsible landlords because we advocate with authority, promoting our members and the contribution they make to society.
We consider our work a success when:
We make life easier for NRLA members to do what they do best
We shape the rules and framework by which NRLA members live and work
We challenge invasive, or ineffective, policies which would harm our members interests
We highlight best practice and the positive role played by private landlords; and
When we support landlords to sustain, grow, and develop their businesses responsibly
The NRLA only formed in April 2020 against a backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and the beginning of a lockdown which would change the way that we and our members would work for the foreseeable future.
These circumstances altered the Association’s immediate objectives but not our commitment to doing all that we can to support private-residential landlords.
Our first priority was to make sure our members had the tools and guidance they needed to operate safely and some sense of security in relation to their rental income. This was far from straightforward and we would have liked to have achieved more but in the circumstances we were pleased to:
Successfully called with a broad coalition of interested bodies, for the re-introduction of the 30th percentile regarding LHA. This helped to significantly reduce the risk of arrears for thousands of households.
Help negotiation and evaluate the mortgage deferral scheme. The deferral scheme is far from perfect but it has helped to keep some of the worst affected landlords afloat.
Convince Government to reiterate tenants’ requirement to pay due rent. This may sound like a common-sense statement but when the loudest calls were for rent holidays it was crucially important to obtain public statements and guidance from Government.
Likewise we briefed the Shadow Housing Secretary leading to the Labour Party and were pleased to subsequently see her reject the policy of calling for the cancellation of rent payments. We don’t know what the policy would have been without our briefing but it can’t have hurt.
Assist Government in drafting, and refining, guidance for landlords, tenants, and local authorities
Obtained Government confirmation that the abolition of Section 21 should be separated from the immediate Covid response. This was confirmed via written answers to questions tabled in response to NRLA briefing in the House of Lords.
Produced and published debt guidance endorsed by industry stakeholders. This guidance will play a crucial part in demonstrating that landlords run responsible businesses, and do not need heavy handed regulation to behave reasonably.
At the height of lockdown, we also hosted more than 19,000 individual landlords at virtual national and local meetings. This formed an essential part of our support and guidance package to members who needed up-to-date advice and assistance.
In fact every NRLA member has had the opportunity to attend a regional local event since the organisation’s launch in April. More than 7,000 have taken the opportunity to get to know their local representatives and colleagues at webinars helping to shape and hone NRLA’s services and messages to the wider world.
We have given evidence to the House of Commons Housing and Local Government Select Committee and the Senedd (Welsh Parliament) Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee.
What are lifetime deposits? How will the scheme work and how would they benefit me? These are just some of the questions coming in from members, following the publication of our Renters' Reform Bill proposals. Here campaigns officer Alexandra Williams takes a deep dive into the issues surrounding lifetime deposits.