On Thursday, the Residential Landlord Association (RLA) hosted their annual Future Renting Wales Conference, hosted by Lucy Owen. The day promised an event full of guest speakers and a room of exhibitors to which they did not disappoint. Our very own Douglas Haig, as Vice-Chairman of RLA Cymru opened the event and during the day there were talks from David Smith, RLA’s Policy Director. As well as special guest-speakers, Rebecca Evans, Minister for Housing and Regeneration and Justin Tomlinson, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions.
Seraph Property Management were exhibiting at the event, so in between speakers, we had the opportunity to meet the delegates, who enjoyed our free popcorn stand as well as taking part in our visual poll. Landlords had the opportunity to cast their vote on how they felt about being a landlord in the current UK Housing Market. The results showed that 50% of landlords had ‘neutral’ feelings towards being a landlord where some found it, “Hard but rewarding”. 31% found the housing market to be a positive experience with landlords looking at the fact that, “There is always an element of uncertainty but this time of year seems to be great to pick up a deal.”. That left just 19% of landlords saying they felt negative about being a landlord, with one landlady, commenting that she feels, ‘Exhausted’, indicating that some of the government’s recent tax changes (that were discussed on the day) made it more difficult to manage her properties and benefit from these financially.
We thoroughly enjoyed talking to the landlords on the day, most seemed pleased with how their portfolios were running, whereas some came to discuss handling the management of their investment. The conference’s key theme of the day was, ‘How we can make renting better?’, addressing legislation changes such as EPC regulations and Rent Smart Wales which should be driving up the standards of the housing market. The Scottish Association for landlords also spoke, as they seem to be a couple of years ahead in legislation. Interestingly they have more recently implemented a ban on tenant fees and replaced assured shorthold tenancies with a minimum six- month contract to an open-ended contract. A lot of interesting topics!
We would encourage anyone within the industry to attend next year’s conference, it is open to all, however RLA member’s benefit from a discounted ticket prices. To find out more about their events see here.