The benefits of joining a landlord association - Total Landlord Insurance

March 3, 2024
The benefits of joining a landlord association - Total Landlord Insurance

Whatever job you do, there is usually a professional body you can join, be it engineering, sports, trades or insurance, and being a landlord is no exception. Although you may not see being a landlord as a ‘job’, the work involved is increasingly complex and so to be a good and successful landlord, it really is worth joining a professional landlord association.

In Scotland and Wales landlords do have to be registered and, in Wales for example, you have to have taken a training course to manage your own lets. In England, this isn’t yet required, although the up and coming Renters (Reform) Bill, if implemented, is likely to require all landlords to be registered.

What landlord associations can you join?  

Depending on where you let properties, there are different associations, such as the Scottish Association of Landlords, and in Wales there are specific landlord associations such as the British Landlord Association Wales. There are also local landlord associations such as the Eastern Landlords Association.  

However, most landlords join the National Residential Landlord Association (NRLA), which is the UK’s largest landlord association, and this is reflected in a recent survey we carried out which showed of the 42.4% who said they were a member of a landlord association, 88% of them are part of the NRLA. Membership for the NRLA covers Scotland, England and Wales, but not Northern Ireland.


How much do landlord associations cost to join?

Membership costs tend to vary depending on the types of services they offer. NRLA membership typically costs £99 a year, whilst the Eastern Landlord Association annual membership is £70 and the Scottish Association of Landlords has different levels of membership, with the equivalent costing £115.

However, as you are effectively running a business, the cost of joining an association is tax deductible, so net of tax, you could pay a lot less.


What are the key benefits of joining a landlord association?

The main benefit for landlords is the help and support to understand the 400+ rules and regulations of letting a property, which can help make sure you run your let legally and safely and don’t end up being fined for making mistakes, have problems evicting tenants if needed or, in extreme cases, end up in jail!

The services that landlord associations typically offer to help make sure you let properties legally and safely and protect yourself from bad tenants are:


Access to up-to-date documentation

When letting a property there is a lot of paperwork such as tenancy agreements, contracts and templated letters that you will need.

Most landlord associations will provide these documents free of charge as part of your membership fee.


Landlord advice lines

Although these are rarely supported by solicitors, they will have professional advisors that can help with most issues – and this is usually offered as a free service to members. This can be invaluable to landlords as when things go wrong in a let, you will usually need help and advice quickly.


Education and training

Whether you are a new landlord or have been letting for a while, because there are so many national and local legal changes (for example landlord licensing) often every year, it’s essential to keep up to date with the latest rules and regulations. Our guide, ‘Legislation for landlords: Everything you need to know’ covers lots of the detail that you need to be familiar with.

When beginning in lettings, you might start with letting a whole property to a family, but then decide you want to run a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) or invest in buying a property and splitting it into flats to let. HMOs, property development or major renovations will require a lot of knowledge to make sure you carry out the projects correctly from the start so you can let easy to manage properties in the future.

Landlord associations typically run some free and some paid for courses which can be extremely cost effective as they are typically tax deductible.


Recommendations for essential services and suppliers

Another benefit of joining a landlord association is that they usually offer carefully selected services you will need, from mortgages through to insurance, deposit schemes and eviction services. Total Landlord is a recommended insurance partner of the NRLA, as are other products and services in the HFIS group including mydeposits, Landlord Action and the Property Redress Scheme Tenancy Mediation Service.

Not only are these services often exceptionally good for landlords, but they can also sometimes be offered at a discount to buying them directly.


Local landlord events

These can be an excellent way to meet other landlords in your area and landlord associations can also secure great speakers that you may not otherwise have access too, including local housing officers, property market specialists, legal specialists and landlords that have grown their portfolios from one to 100 properties.

Meeting with like minded landlords and lettings experts can help make sure your property is let legally and safely and help save you money and time on the daily tasks a landlord has to undertake.


Help you stand out with tenants

Although there is typically a shortage of rental properties for tenants to chose from, there will be times when it will be harder to let. Letting tenants know that you are a member of a landlord association can be reassuring and mean that, if tenants do have a choice of who to rent from, a landlord that clearly cares enough to join an association is likely to be a safer choice than one who isn’t.


Representing you to government

Over the last 20 years lettings has become a spotlight for governments, mayors, local authorities and MPs. To help make sure that landlords are treated fairly and your point of view is represented, landlord associations will typically have a ‘policy team’ who will be called on to help review and shape future housing policies that will directly affect you as a landlord.

Overall, for anyone who is a landlord in today’s complex and constantly changing lettings market, joining a landlord association can be one of the best investments you make, paying for itself several times over during the year. 

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