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Why UK landlords need their own representation body

Do landlords in the UK need their own representative body? The idea for an independent, membership-only body has been put forward numerous times, and many argue that this could solve, or at least help with, the many issues that landlords currently face. These issues include tenant conflict, increased regulatory pressures and sometimes just being in need of some good old advice and support. So how would such a body work?

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Landlord interests

Most landlords in the UK are not wealthy landowners,but small time landlords renting out a single property and making a marginal profit on a long term investment, which may not even result in any tangible benefit until retirement. These people do not have the money to fight expensive legal battles or even pay for legal advice. There are numerous groups that help tenants with conflict resolution and defending their rights. These include The Citizens Advice Bureau and the homelessness charity, Shelter. However, currently no such organisation exists to help protect the rights and interests of landlords, when it comes to conflict resolution. A new organisation could also serve as a lobby group, countering the huge amounts of lobbying that occurs at the expense of landlords who face ever tougher restrictions in the UK.

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The most popular suggestion for the structure of such a body is that it would be a not-for-profit organisation, which means that all the annual membership fees from the UK’s estimated 1.5 million landlords would be ploughed straight back into helping landlords in various ways (after running costs such as staff pay). If each landlord in the UK paid just £10 a year, that’s a total budget of £15,000,000.

Part of an essential landlord checklist

Just like every good landlord has proper house insurance, uses a safety deposit scheme and uses property inventory software such as, the vision for a landlord’s representative body is that it will become the gold standard for landlords all over the UK. So much so, in fact, that lenders may ask that only landlords registered to such a body can take out mortgages.

Most landlords in the UK would argue that there is a serious need for a body which represents their rights, but whether such a body is likely to be formed is hard to predict given today’s uncertain rental market.

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