Dean Velani, the NLA’s Parliamentary Officer, looks back at the NLA’s contribution to the recent Select Committees.
Recently the National Landlords Association (NLA) was invited to give evidence to Parliamentary Select Committees.
Select Committees hold inquiries and report their findings to Parliament. Investigations can examine an existing or proposed policy, an area of public concern, or the work of one of the bodies associated with their department. As part of their investigations, the Committee calls for written evidence within the terms of reference for the inquiry. Based on this written evidence and who the Committee believe to be key stakeholders they will then put together a list of witnesses to take oral evidence from. Oral evidence is almost always held in public and the public are welcome to attend. The witnesses are questioned by the committee and their testimony taken down verbatim, to be published.
The NLA gave evidence to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee at their inquiry into the Private Rented Sector. Richard Lambert, CEO of the NLA, responded to questions on rogue operators in housing, licensing in Newham, investment to increase supply and regulating landlords. Members of Parliament are not known to be shrinking violets and their lines of enquiry were robust. However, it must be said that the NLA made simple, coherent arguments that buttressed our policy positions.
Likewise, the evidence given to the Welsh Affairs Select Committee on the impact of changes to housing benefit in Wales was a resounding success. Lee Cecil, the NLA’s representative for Wales, gave examples of the impact of welfare reform on landlords and tenants in Merthyr Tydfil. What particularly impressed the Committee and those watching were the practical solutions to current problems put forward by the NLA.
As an organisation which aims to improve the private-rented sector for everyone, it was a privilege to be given the opportunity to explain our policy position, to talk about our industry and to provide practical solutions to some of the UK’s housing problems.