Samantha Hensher, Financial Director, Chloe Fox and Emma Bailey Branch Managers attended the annual ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents) conference on Tuesday 12th April. The conference was located at a brand new location, due to the expanding number of delegates attending, The ExCel centre in London.

The day commenced with an industry round up by David Cox the ARLA Managing director. David touched on the changes the industry has seen in the past twelve months.

The keynote presentation’s for the day consisted of the following:

Michael Portillo – A former MP and cabinet minister who is now firmly established as a popular broadcaster and political commentator. He is best known for his five series of Great British Railway Journeys and two series of Great Continental Railway Journeys on BBC2 exploring social and industrial history as he travels.

Brandon Lewis MP – Minister of State for Housing and Planning. As a minister he is responsible for housing, planning police, neighbourhood planning and is also lead minister on the Housing and Planning Bill.

There was a morning roundtable discussion on fees, commissions, rent control and government priorities for the sector, this session was chaired by Julian Worricker the conference moderator. Involved in the discussion was Betsy Dillner, Director from Generation Rent, Roger Harding, Director of policy, campaigns and communications at Shelter, Kevin Hollinrake, MP, Sally Lawson, ARLA Vice President, and Carolyn Uphill, who is chairman of the National Landlords Association.

In the afternoon Deborah Meaden, Dragons Den investor and entrepreneur gave an inspiring talk on ‘Paving the way to business success’. Deborah is a British multi-millionairess who launched her own glass and ceramics export company whilst still in her teens and straight out of Business College, before setting up one of the first Stefanel fashion franchises in the UK. Deborah is a highly sought after motivational speaker her experiences on business leadership and entrepreneurship were second to none.

The last of the speakers was Robert Bolwell a partner at Dutton Gregory LLP gave a very informative Legal round-up of 2015.

The afternoon roundtable discussion was Do Consumer Laws Work? A discussion on Property Conditions including recent legislative changes such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, retaliatory evictions, immigrations and landlord licensing.

A great day was had by all, exploring the exhibitions and networking with many exhibitors, such as Agent Assure, Clive Emson Auctioneers, FixFlo, MOL, Ombudsman services, Qube Global Software, Residential Landlords Association, Rightmove, Tenancy Deposit Scheme and Veco.

Neil Newstead, FARLA MNAEA
CEO – Oakfield Estate Agents