Landlord Association: Is It Worth Joining One?

Joining a landlord association is a big help for property investors overwhelmed by a flood of new laws as the government reforms the private rental sector.

Thousands of property investors choose to join a landlord association to benefit from professional advice to help landlords comply with the more than 150 property laws already in place.

Signing up to a landlord association gives thousands of property investors a single voice. They are a place to share their experiences and tips to run their businesses better.

But don’t forget landlord associations are businesses, and someone must pay the bills. The members are that someone. Their subscriptions, advertising revenue and income from other activities, like courses, fund the spending.

landlord holding a rent package next to a wooden house

What is a landlord association?

A landlord association comprises property professionals. These professionals provide support, advice and lobbying over landlord interests. Some local groups are only a few people strong, while national groups have several thousand members.

Directory of UK landlord associations

British Landlord Association Logo

The UK has three national associations:

  • British Landlord Association (BLA)

With 47,000 members and growing, the BLA is the only national representation for residential and commercial landlords.

Membership is £69.95 a year online

National Residential LandlordAssociation Logo

  • National Residential Landlord Association (NRLA)

A merger of the now-defunct National Landlord Association and the Residential Landlords Association with around 90,000 members serving landlords with homes to let.

Membership is £60 a year, down from the standard £75 fee

  • iHOWZ

iHOWZ does not publish membership numbers, but the group is active in the sector and pursues campaigns for members. The group is not national but was formed by members of the Southern Landlords Association.

Membership starts from £75 a year

Guild of Landlords

Landlords Guild Logo

Another of the smaller associations with a good reputation for service. Again, the membership details are not published.

Membership starts from £75 a year

Other landlord associations include:

Seven reasons to join a landlord association

An association can do a lot to guide property people through the legal red tape that tightly binds the private rental sector.

Here are some of the plus points for joining in no particular order:

Boost your brand

You and your rental properties showcase your brand by dealing with tenants. Highlighting membership of a landlord association boosts your reputation and credibility as a professional to the people you deal with.

Professional help a phone call away

Most landlord associations have experts on hand to give professional advice and rated tradespeople to deal with emergencies, like leaks.

Keep track of landlord law

With 156 separate pieces of legislation and more on the way with the Rent Reform Bill due before Parliament in the spring, landlords can keep up with the changes and avoid steep fines and even jail time.

Information superhighway

Joining a landlord association is enlisting as a member of a huge online library. This means you get access to all the letting and business document templates most property investors will ever need.

Preferential rates

Landlord associations are the one-stop shops for property professionals with preferred partners selling everything from drain cleaning to tax services. In reality, the deals are no better than discounts offered by other businesses.

A single voice for many

Some landlord associations campaign on behalf of members. This allows members to have a say in policy issues at an early stage.

Training days

Whether online or in-person, training days are an excellent way to get to other landlordswhile picking up some important knowledge on the way. Many landlord associations package courses to keep members up-to-date with law changes and good practice.

So, is it worth joining a landlord association?

Whether it’s worth joining an association depends on the property investor.

Some landlords say the BLA offers more bang for a buck, while others love the NRLA’s campaigning background.

But sometimes the support an association offers is worth more than saving a few quid here and there.

There is no recommendation for which to join. Inevitably we found BLA members voted for the BLA and NRLA members talked up the NRLA.

Is it worth joining a landlord association FAQ

Businessman puts wooden blocks with the word FAQ (frequently asked questions). Collection of frequently asked questions on any topic and answers to them. Instructions and rules on Internet sites

Do landlord associations offer free advice?

The answer depends on the association. Some offer free advice to members, but that means paying a signup fee.

Am I accredited if I join?

No. Accredited landlords generally belong to an association but have to meet an additional list of standards to add accreditation. Becoming accredited means the landlord and their rental properties have to reach a range of minimum standards.

An alternative option is becoming accredited through a council-run scheme.

Do landlord associations sell data?

The NRLA makes money from selling data harvested from members, while the BLA does not.

Can I get cheap insurance and mortgages through an association?

Yes, landlord associations offer cheap insurance and mortgage deals to members, but the cost is unlikely to beat the price of going direct to the provider.

Must landlords join a landlord association?

No. There is no legal requirement for landlords to join an association.

Need More Advice?

IHowz Logo

We spoke to the CEO of iHowz for an episode of our property podcast! You can check out the article here for more information. If you like your information in podcast form then you can find all of our podcasts here. 

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