The annual ARLA conference took place on the 28th of March and our Managing Director, Nick was one of the many excited attendees at this year’s event.

Taking place at the ExCeL in London, the conference is the UK’s biggest and most prestigious forum for the lettings market. For us, it provided the perfect opportunity to ensure we’re up-to-date with important industry issues and are keeping abreast of changing legislation.

The conference proved to be a great day out with plenty to see and do. There was a number of inspirational speakers including the president of ARLA, Nik Madan, Claer Barrett the editor of FT Money, MP William Hague, Rightmove’s head of lettings, Sam Mitchell and many more.

Nick has reported back to us with some of his key findings from the event and what the lettings industry can expect to see in the near future.

  • The lettings industry is changing fast. Legislation has been in abundance and as Nik Madan mentioned in his speech, ‘the industry is under attack from a government that promised less red tape.’
  • There have been some exciting changes for ARLA. The UK’s leading professional body for lettings agents will be changing its name to ARLA Propertymark. What’s more, they now have over 9000 members.
  • The managing director of ARLA Propertymark, David Cox emphasised how housing needs to be moved up the political agenda. He says that while this has happened, legislation has now gone too far to the right, landing people in financial trouble if they get it too wrong.
  • Client Money Protection (CMP) is leading the way when it comes to ensuring that client money is protected.
  • Every office that is accredited to ARLA Propertymark will need to have the following in place – CMP, Pi and one ARLA member in branch.
  • In last year’s Autumn Statement, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond announced that there would be a proposal to consult on a ban of letting agency fees for tenants. ARLA have been talking to the press in a bid to highlight the concerns of implementing the ban. They explained exactly what agencies do to justify their fees, how agencies face making up to 4,000 redundancies if it does go ahead and how an estimated £200 million in revenue could be lost.
  • ITV’s political editor and host of their new flagship politics and current affairs show, Robert Peston, took to the stage to talk about his predictions for the future of the lettings industry. He mentioned how complicated the world has become thanks to recent political events, whether or not the submission of article 50 will have a big impact on the industry and his concerns about the number of policies which need to be agreed once this goes ahead. He is however optimistic about the future saying that the industry will get through the tape even if there is a hard Brexit.

If you would like more information about any of the issues discussed at the ARLA conference, please feel free to contact us and we will be more than happy to help.

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