Support, Advice and Experience within the Property Market

Update From The Arla Conference 2016

From Robert Ulph on April 18, 2016

Last week I attended the annual ARLA Conference and, in its 21st year, the event is going from strength to strength. With over 6,000 current licensed members the conference had to move to a much bigger venue at the Excel London this year as we had outgrown the previous location.

The nation’s biggest lettings conference and exhibition welcomed Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis MP, entrepreneur Deborah Meaden and journalist and former Cabinet Minister Michael Portillo as speakers.

They led discussions on issues around the lettings market generally, policy affecting the industry and the business environment for letting agents and took questions through a Q&A app from the attendees. The speakers were entertaining and included a number of personal anecdotes as well as their broad business and Government knowledge.

There was also a lively roundtable discussion on fees, commissions, rent control and government priorities for the sector. This was chaired by the journalist, Julian Worricker, and involved panelists from Generation Rent, Shelter and the National Landlords Association. There was also a discussion around consumer laws – and whether they work – which involved representatives from Citizens Advice, the Residential Landlord’s Association and Hilary Osborne from The Guardian.

In his speech, Housing and Planning Minister, Brandon Lewis MP said: “The Private Rented Sector performs a vital role in the housing market, and we are committed to its continuous improvement.

“We’re determined to create a bigger, better private rented sector and are attracting billions of pounds of investment to build homes specifically for private rent, which will increase choice for tenants. Increasing supply is the key to raising quality and choice, and improving affordability. We have also introduced measures to ensure tenants can be confident they will get a fair deal.”

This was all encouraging to hear from the Government Minister and after the conference Peter Savage, president, Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) said: “Housing is an issue that is at the very top of the agenda at the moment and the fact that over 1000 people took the time to attend our conference and exhibition shows how true that is.

“The value of hearing from so many experts and debating real issues that face consumers and the industry cannot be underestimated. This year’s conference involved an extremely high standard of speakers, debates and audience which resulted in it being the most successful to date.”

As always the conference is a great way to keep on top of what is important within the sector right now and especially a useful update on the legislation changes we’re all facing. ARLA is an excellent organisation for lobbying Government, helping members stay abreast of changes in the industry and raising the industry’s profile overall.

I’m very proud to be the ARLA representative for Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and look forward to continuing to work in the best interest of our landlords, our tenants and the dedicated team we have at Pennington.

If you have any questions about the conference, ARLA as an organisation or about the property market in general please do not hesitate to contact me on the details below.