National Landlords Association

Encouraging renting

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68,000 landlords can’t be wrong…

New to Buy-to-Let?

The business and practice of letting property can seem daunting for the first-timer. From changes in legislation, requirements and, of course, risks, the world of buy-to-let is not always straight-forward, and that goes for everyone – novice to veteran, small-time to full-time.

Whether you are planning for retirement, looking for an investment option with competitive returns or simply establishing a legacy for your children, there are plenty of reasons why being a private landlord can be highly rewarding.

  • Profitability

Over 8 in 10 landlords reported that they either made a profitable full-time living from their lettings income or that it helped supplement their regular earnings.

  • Quality Investment

7 in 10 landlords say that letting out property is better than other investment options.

  • Stable Yields

On average, landlords receive 5.7% in net rental income return over costs.

However, there are still many issues to be aware of, particularly when it comes financial planning and especially when it comes to the law. Staying abreast of legislation and budgetary considerations can often seem overwhelming. To get the most out of your lettings business and to avoid the pitfalls, it is important that you have the right guidance, support and resources at your disposal.

Get started as a landlord with the NLA

The best place to start is through membership of the National Landlords Association (NLA). The NLA is the UK’s largest landlord association, working with almost 68,000 landlords nationwide, helping them through their landlord journey, and representation at all levels of media and politics to help landlords achieve the very best.

As an NLA Full member, you will receive exclusive discounts and offers to our products, services, and training courses. You will also  be given the opportunity to voice your opinions on the issues that matter to you as a landlord, helping us to better represent you in how we communicate and influence media and policy. <can we plug in something on accreditation – may be just a sentence>

Ultimately, full membership of the NLA will enable you to gain a greater understanding of your rights and responsibilities, enjoy substantial savings, help us strengthen our voice and influence, and gain a competitive edge as a private landlord.

For more information on the NLA and how to become a member please visit the website here.

For an introduction to the world of private letting, the NLA’s advice hub Getting Started as a Landlord has a wide range of informative guidance and advice on various aspects of letting property, such as making the right investment, managing tenancies and cashflow, and expanding your business portfolio.

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Politics be damned … life goes on


The momentous decision on 23rd June has altered British politics not just in the membership of the European Union, but also the existence of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

At time of writing three political parties are discussing new leaders, the nationalists in Scotland are trying to work out wither they would win a second referendum, if they called one. Sinn Fein is calling for unification of Ireland, even Leanne Wood in Wales is putting independence on the agenda.

The possibility of a general election in the next 12 months is being openly talked about.

Britain as we know it is being stretched to breaking point.

The political map has been redrawn with the decision to exit the European Union.

The next few months are set to be marked by political parties looking inwards, talking to themselves or (arguably) committing regicide.

The priority for the Government is survival until a new leader can be elected and a new agenda will then be set in place. A general election could then take place!

What this means for the private rented sector is unknown. The government does not have much goodwill or time to spend on legislation that is not around the renegotiation of treaties and the exit from the European Union.

All these shenanigans make it seem more like an episode of Game of Thrones than a modern democracy, but hopefully with less bloodshed.

What we do know is that while the future of the United Kingdom is largely beyond our direct control – insert debate about democratic mandates, campaign slogans and the will of the people – we may have a little more control over the immediate future of the private-rented sector.

The fascinating thing about property investment is that it tends to be categorised by long-term stability and a seemingly contradictory trend towards incredible short-term volatility. At the moment we are in danger of feeding that volatility and talking ourselves into a dramatic downturn, which needn’t be inevitable.

We know the market is nervous, domestic buyers are reluctant to commit – and that is understandable. However, perhaps counter-intuitively given what is happening elsewhere, demand from overseas is strong for property in high demand areas, partly in response to the weak Pound and partly because UK property is still seen as a good long-term bet. Likewise uncertainty offers opportunities to those with a long-term plan and superhuman resolve.

Overall there remains (just) enough interest to keep the market afloat, as long as we don’t allow our own actions, or lack there-of,  to bring it down

So what now? There aren’t many certainties, but we can draw hope from one or two.

Firstly, whatever happens we will have a new Prime Minister in a few months’ time and almost certainly a new Chancellor. There are no guarantees that this will be an improvement, but few landlords will shed a tear to see the end of Osborne’s reign of terror.

Secondly, the machinery of government in the UK is set to make itself very, very busy for the foreseeable future.

Most importantly whatever happens people will still need somewhere to live. And if the market makes it difficult for landlords to borrow and buy, we can be fairly confident it will be even worse for first-time buyers – meaning there will continue to be a place for private landlords for some time to come.


At this time of complete uncertainty, please help us to keep up to date with landlords’ views and experience by taking part in our quarterly survey by CLICKING HERE.

It takes about 10 minutes to complete, and landlords completing the questionnaire may enter a prize draw for the chance to win a Fortnum and Mason hamper worth £150.

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EU Referendum: Making your mind up!


With two days to go before the polls open it is make your mind up time on Britain’s future relationship with the EU.


NLA Public Affairs Officer, Matt Oliver talks us through the NLA’s referendum polling (with a little help from Cheryl and the gang)

As you know the NLA is a non-politically aligned membership organisation. We are therefore not taking a position on whether the United Kingdom should remain a member or leave the European Union as it would be inappropriate to do so.

We are therefore also not advising members how to vote, but we did poll them to see what they were thinking.

For the more apathetic of voters however, when polled, a key reason to vote is (believe it or not) the possibility that the UK could be thrown out of Eurovision.

That there comes a timefor making your mind up. 

According to our research, landlords are evenly split, with 35 per cent intending to vote leave and 35 per cent intending to vote to remain.  The news comes just days before the referendum, taking place on June 23, which will decide whether the United Kingdom will remain or leave the European Union.

And try to look as if you don’t care less 

One in three (30 per cent) landlords are still undecided about whether they will vote to leave or remain in the upcoming referendum on the European Union (EU).  It is perhaps hardly surprising our members are having trouble making their minds up given all the conflicting advice and claims from each of the respective campaigns.

And run for your money and take a chanceAnd it’ll turn out right 

Landlords were also divided about whether EU membership would be beneficial to their future business prospects, with 53 per cent believing that EU membership would be beneficial, and 47 per cent believing it would be harmful.

As our future participation in Eurovision is (apparently) so crucial in this debate, we looked for guidance in the lyrics.  Whilst least said perhaps about not letting your indecision taking you from behind, the composers were probably right when they wrote that “trust your inner vision, don’t let others change your mind.”

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Wales: The state of play and our call for planning reform.

Post-election Kafuffle

The Welsh Assembly elections last month culminated in a Labour minority Government being backed up by the one remaining Lib Dem AM and casual support from the increased Plaid Cymru contingent.

wales makeup 16

Full make-up of the Welsh Assembly – 2016 Election


In return for this propping up, Lib Dem Kirsty Williams secured herself a Cabinet position as Education Secretary while Plaid made a deal that sets up three liaison committees to “formalise joint working on future priorities.”

But what does this all mean for the PRS in Wales? Well hopefully very little. There has been no mention of the sector throughout the negotiations, and the “progressive agreement” reached between Labour and the Lib Dems doesn’t touch upon it either.

Labour never mentioned it in their manifesto pre-election so it would seem they are content with changes already made through the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016. However, as with the Housing & Planning Act in England, there is still plenty to be done through secondary legislation.

The devil is in the detail…

The whole raft of regulations that are set to be spawned from the Renting Homes (Wales) Act will include electrical safety checks, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, a streamlined abandonment procedure, and many more.

However, the most important question for landlords with properties in Wales will be how exactly the Government will define the “fit for human habitation” requirement – a standard that all rented properties will have to achieve and maintain before and during tenancies.

The NLA will be representing landlords to try to ensure that any regulations that come out of this Act are not over-burdensome on landlords in their pursuit to drive up standards. The main worry on this front is now that the minority Labour government is relying on informal support from Plaid, they could be pulled towards stronger regulations.

Plaid said in their manifesto:

“We will raise the legal requirements for the condition of privately rented homes, to ensure that all rented properties are of a decent standard.”

This could go beyond having a lack of hazards and, with their new influence over the Labour Government, they could force regulations to become more hard-line than they were originally intended to be. Let’s not forget, this is the party that loudly advocates for rent controls in Wales.

Our call for planning reform

On the proactive side of things, the NLA is looking for recent changes in Welsh planning regulations to be tweaked just a little to bring them in line with England, and reduce the damage they could do to the sector.

On 25th February 2016 two orders came into effect that created a new use class (C4) for Houses in Multiple Occupation (3-6 people), and granted permitted development rights when changing use from a small HMO to a dwelling house (C3).   As such, current rules impose a blanket requirement for planning permission in order to change use from a domestic house to a small HMO in Wales.

These changes place an unnecessary regulatory burden on the private rented sector (PRS) in areas that do not have problems with HMOs, enforcing a one-size-fits-all policy on local planning systems that deters investment in much needed low-cost housing. This could have knock-on effects that damage not only the labour market, but also councils’ ability to discharge their homelessness duties.

You can read our full briefing on the issue here.

The same policy was adopted in 2010 by the then Labour Government. However, soon after coming into power the Coalition Government, recognising the damaging effects this would have on low-cost housing across the country (and honouring the Conservative’s pre-election pledge to the NLA), granted permitted development rights for changes of use from C3 to C4 later that same year.

We have already written to the ministers, regarding our proposal, and look forward to receiving a constructive response.



NLA Donates to Tenant Tax Fund

NLA Chief Executive, Richard Lambert, discusses the NLA’s decision to donate £10,000 to the ‘Tenant Tax’ legal fund.

The last few days will be the nearest I will get to living the life of Jack Bauer from the TV series 24.

To say they have been eventful is an understatement and so I thought members should know a little more about the background of why, on Thursday, I announced that the National Landlords Association (NLA) has decided to donate £10,000 to support the Judicial Review (JR) against the Government’s controversial decision to restrict tax relief individual landlords’ finance costs.

More details here!

As hopefully you will know by now, the removal of finance costs relief – announced in last year’s Summer Budget – will be introduced in 2017 as part of the Finance Act and will restrict the rate of mortgage relief to the basic rate of income tax (20%) for all landlords regardless of their personal tax bracket. If you aren’t aware of the changes or if you want to refresh your memory, take a look at the campaign page on the NLA website here.

The measure has been widely criticised and a crowd funded Judicial Review was launched by Chris Cooper and Steve Bolton, two hard-working property business owners who invested in property as a prudent way of securing a modest pension (Chris) and to provide an alternative income (Steve).  Both are NLA members.

You can find more details here.

In the days and weeks following the Chancellor’s Summer Budget, the NLA assessed the various possibilities and lobbying strategies open to us.

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 12.38.09

We looked at a number of different approaches and spoke to many members, politicians, campaigners, government departments and legal advisers.   We also took advice in relation to the possibility of embarking on a direct judicial review of the policy.  In doing so we came to the conclusion that a judicial review was very unlikely to lead to a positive outcome.

Whilst the policy is certainly unfair, and in our view unjust in the context of existing tax provision, we were unable to identify an argument likely to lead a judge to decide the policy is unlawful. (There is an explanation of what constitutes a judicial review, and their limitations on the judiciary website here:

We reluctantly decided the chances of success did not justify the likely outlay of tens of thousands of pounds (possibly escalating into the hundreds of thousands) or asking members to donate with no reasonable chance of return or success.  You can see our initial statement here.

When the judicial review campaign was launched, we referred those members interested to the crowdfunding page and concentrated on our direct lobbying efforts.  A significant number of NLA members agreed with our position but decided to donate individually as well.

So what changed our minds?  There were several contributing factors, but two primary reasons clinched it.

Firstly both Steve and Chris indicated to us a few weeks ago that this was a critical time in the fundraising effort.   They predict that they need to raise another £250,000 to fund the hearing, if their application is accepted.  They told us about a conference they were holding at Earls Court for donors and invited us to attend.  We reluctantly declined the invitation to attend because the event clashed with a prearranged Conference For all our local and regional representatives in Bristol.  We agreed that a statement of the efforts the NLA had made to lobby against the changes would be read out on our behalf.


Secondly, this has been the year of the unexpected.  If anyone predicted this time last year that Jeremy Corbyn would be Leader of the Labour Party, Donald Trump the Republican Nominee for President, and Leicester City Premier League champions, they would be very rich indeed


To be clear, the NLA has yet to see an argument which would convince us to change our mind about the Judicial Review’s chances of success, but we have to recognise that there is always the possibility that we may be wrong.  For all the humble pie I would have to eat, I for one would be quite happy to be proved wrong on that judgment.

So as a goodwill gesture to the campaign, in recognition of our shared aim of fighting on behalf of landlords, we decided to make a one off donation.  When the conference opened yesterday morning, the campaign had raised £83,000.  The NLA is the largest landlord representative organisation in the country, and we have never wanted to be seen in any way to stand in the way of the legal challenge, irrespective of our views.

Given the circumstances, I agreed with the Chairman that I should change my travel plans to speak in person at the conference, and then make a delayed appearance at our own event.  We thank Chris and Steve for not only fitting us into the schedule, but giving us the first speaking slot available at 10am.

If any of the attendees were bleary eyed after a long journey to London for a 9.30 start, they were certainly awake by the time I had finished my speech. The stunned delight of the campaign organisers when we tipped them off beforehand and the burst of applause from the audience (many of whom were NLA members) I think justified our decision. You can see my full speech here.

Whilst it wasn’t quite Jack Bauer to the rescue, we hope that our £10,000 will ensure that they get their day in court.

The NLA is committed to continued lobbying to achieve a political solution to the problem presented by this disastrous government policy and we still hope to achieve a positive outcome for the hundreds of thousands of landlords whose businesses are currently in jeopardy.


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4G Freeview Interference – how will landlords be affected?

This is a guest blog from at800

What is 4G Freeview Interference?

New fourth generation mobile services, known as 4G, are being switched on across the UK. This is great news for mobile users, as 4G provides people with much faster data speeds and access to the internet on smartphones and tablets.

However, there is a small chance that some 4G mobile signals can cause interference to Freeview, which is received via an aerial. 4G signals sit next to the frequencies used by Freeview, so they can overload the receivers in TVs and set-top boxes causing interference.

Signs of interference include loss of channels or sound, pictures going blocky, freezing or the TV screen going blank or showing a ‘No Signal’ message.

How will landlords be affected?

Interference may present a problem for landlords who are responsible for properties with communal aerials.

While the vast majority of homes across the UK won’t be affected, viewers are being sent postcards advising them to contact at800 and tell their landlords should they experience Freeview interference.

As a result, it is possible that landlords may begin to receive reports of problems or complaints from their tenants.

What help is available?

Set-up under government direction, at800 offers support to those that rely on Freeview for their TV so that people can keep enjoying their favourite programmes.

If you are responsible for properties with communal aerials, and are aware of your tenants’ having problems with new interference to Freeview, you should contact at800 and register the details of the property or properties you manage.

at800 will provide a free communal filter – to you or your aerial contractor – which should be fitted to the communal aerial system and will enable viewers in all of the properties it serves to continue receiving and watching Freeview as normal.

Cable and satellite TV, like Sky or Virgin, won’t be affected. However, if tenants do have cable and satellite TV and also watch Freeview, free filters and advice can again be provided.

Landlords should contact at800 on:

For more information, please visit


New Law Proposed to Stop Councils Forcing Tenants to Wait for Bailiffs


The proportion of all repossession claims that have to be resolved by bailiffs in the last 12 months has shot up to 40%, compared to just 25% in the same period 5 years ago according to recent Government stats.

Possession claims will only progress to bailiffs after a tenant has received an eviction notice and failed to vacate a property by the date specified.

Recently, local councils have come under fire (from us) for turning away tenants’ housing applications unless an order for possession has first been granted by a court. Instead, local councils have advised tenants who have been served eviction notices to stay in their properties until the bailiffs knock on their door.

Results from the NLA’s quarterly Tenant Panel show that half (49%) of tenants who have been served a section 21 eviction notice reported that they had been told to ignore it by their local council or advice agency such as Shelter or the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) in favour of waiting for a court order to vacate the property.

In March, Housing Minister Brandon Lewis wrote to all local councils in England to address the issue and to clarify the homelessness guidance that should be issued, following NLA pressure.

Unfortunately, councils have ignored him and we continue to have members get in touch with us because their local authority is advising tenants to wait it out until the bailiffs appear.

The NLA has consistently warned that putting vulnerable households in this position is detrimental to both landlords and tenants alike. Tenants often accrue further rent arrears and other associated costs that make them more susceptible to homelessness, while landlords could fall behind on mortgage payments as they are dragged through a lengthy and costly court process.

As a result, landlords are becoming more reluctant to let out their property to vulnerable households (such as homeless ones) as their confidence in their ability to regain possession without substantial financial damage is diminished.

Despite previous assurances that the Government would consider a legislative solution to this problem, the recent Queen’s Speech showed us that it was not on their agenda for the next year.


A little Bill goes a long way

Due to lack of Governmental action, we felt it best to take matters into our own hands.

Last week was the ballot for Private Members Bills, giving 20 lucky MPs a shot at having a piece of legislation being brought to the floor of the Commons.

While Parliament is in recess this week those lucky few MPs have no doubt been inundated with requests from trade associations, charities and pressure groups while they make up their mind on which Bill to submit.

We’ve put together a short, sharp Bill that would solve this repossession problem once and for all. Simply, it will amend Section 175 of the Housing Act 1996 to:

  • Double the definition of threatened with homelessness from 28 to 56 days, and
  • Force local authorities to accept a valid Section 21 notice as evidence that an applicant is threatened with homelessness.

These two minor changes taken together would ensure that councils will have to step in almost as soon as an eviction notice is given, providing the tenant with sufficient support and saving the landlord from a costly, lengthy and wholly unnecessary dragged out court process.

We have presented this Bill to MPs we think may be interested, but even if we are unsuccessful on this occasion we shall be pressing on this issue until it’s resolved.


NLA Property Repossession

If you are looking to legally evict your tenant(s) and get your property back as quickly and as simply as possible, then contact our NLA Property Repossession team, who can help alleviate the pressure on you, and avoid elevated costs. Find out more here.