On the 17th April I attended the annual arla propertymark conference and exhibition alongside Branch Managers Hannah Stanbridge, Chloe Taylor and Charlotte Osborn.
The event with 1200 attendees was opened with a keynote presentation from Parliamentary under-secretary of State and Minister for Housing and Homelessness Heather Wheeler MP. This was a very interesting presentation which included a mention investigating the feasibility of all agents meeting certain minimum standards such as to be fully qualified, having an independent regulator and even the ability to ban an agent, this really is the beginning of the journey to mandatory regulations, they already have a database of rogue tenants and landlords!
After a short break and viewing of the exhibitions, this was shortly followed by a motivational presentation from Justin King, CBE, former Sainsburys CEO, he bought attention to the fact that is very true most agent feel that ‘nobody loves us’ he gave 5 reasons why agents should be cheerful, these included: Population Growth – The population is expected to grow 0.5% just in the next year and Demographic Change – There are smaller families now… this means smaller homes… which in turn means more demand. It was indeed very motivational.
Sally Lawson, arla propertymark president gave her presidential address – she discussed how there has been an 800% increase in traffic to the propertmark website, there are 3 new exciting things that are in the pipeline to be launched, a live tenancy builder this will enable agents to get an up to date tenancy builder at any time, a licencing database, this will help all members keep compliant and safe and also the introduction of a brand new employment helpline – more info to follow on this.
David Cox, the arla propertymark chief executive gave his annual industry roundup, with a lot of discussion most of the day about the imminent tenant fee ban, propertymark really do want the industry on board with this, with visits to local MP’s to ensure they understand the implications. 2017 has been a massive year of change for landlord, landlords really have been it with a lot of new legislation such as the introduction of landlord tax, minimum energy efficiency standards, minimum bedroom sizes, mandatory licencing, GDPR introduction, it really is getting to the point where you wonder if it will ever stop. There had never been a better time to ensure that you have a fully qualified and compliant managing agent who can keep up with the legislation for you!
The afternoon saw a roundtable discussion looking at how agents will deal with the ban on letting fees and the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations, chaired by Julian Worricker including Valerie Bannister Head of Lettings at Your Move, Douglas Haig Vice-Chairman of the Residential Landlords Association, Robert Bolwell Senior Partner from Dutton Gregory solicitors, Katrine Sporle the property ombudsman and Katie Morley Consumer Affairs Editor from the Telegraph.
Shortly followed by the second keynote presentation from Nick Clegg Former Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat Leader, an update on the tenant fees ban from Anne Frost the day was finished off with a 15-to-1 style quiz on lettings law and recent legislative changes.
Neil Newstead, FARLA MNAEA MIRPM
Chief Executive Officer