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Aims & Achievements
When a Government proposes new legislation, it is frequently based upon election manifesto pledges.
It is almost impossible to change the Government's mind once it is set, but by being at the heart of decision-making, organisations can influence politicians and civil servants so that any changes are not overly detrimental to their aims and objectives.
In autumn 2008, the National Landlords Association (NLA) celebrated its 35th birthday. But what has been achieved during this time? Are landlords in a better position because of the NLA? Is there a fairer balance between the protection of tenants and landlords?
Tenancy Deposit Protection: alongside ARLA, the NLA successfully lobbied against a Government proposal to only have a custodial scheme. This would have made it mandatory for landlords taking deposits with an AST to hand their tenants' cash over to a third-party. The final result is a victory for the NLA, allowing landlords to hold on to their tenants' deposits if they wish.
- HMO licensing: there is general agreement that HMO licensing is a complicated area but had it not been for the NLA, the rules and regulations would have been even more confusing and unworkable. Throughout the period where civil servants were drafting the HMO licensing regulations, the ODPM (now, CLG) had seconded a NLA policy officer in order to ensure the views of landlords were taken on board at every stage of the process.
- Use of Section 21: the NLA has successfully highlighted to Government the disastrous consequences of any major amendments to Section 21, the landlord's ability to gain possession without grounds. There are just as many bad tenants as bad landlords, and the NLA has been critical in slowing down the campaign over so-called retaliatory evictions'.
- Energy Efficiency: having lobbied for its introduction in the first place, the Landlords Energy Saving Allowance (LESA) would have come to an end in 2009 but after further successful NLA lobbying, LESA will now remain in place for a further seven years. This enables landlords to take advantage of a tax allowance of £1,500 towards their 'green' improvements.
- Fire Safety: the NLA has worked very closely with LACORS to establish a protocol to identify whether local authority or fire authority take the lead on inspecting different types of property. Thus reducing the risk to landlords of duplicate inspections requiring different standards.
Improved Sector Representation: On the 6th October 2010, the National Landlords Association (NLA) announced it was to join forces with the UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA). This represents a ground-breaking development within the private-rented sector.
NLA strives for a society with a private-rented sector that is a safe, secure and viable investment operating in a free-market economy. To this end, the Association works in co-operation with national and local government for a thriving private-rented sector where the legislative framework provides for a fair and equitable balance between the interests of residential landlords, letting agents and tenants.