The increasing number of property investors buying landlord insurance policies has been reflected in the swelling membership of the South West Landlords Association (SWLA).
For the first time ever, membership of the SWLA has passed 600 and with 73 new members signing up in 2013, a rise of 12% and dozens more with pending applications, the organisation has never been in better stead. A big difference has been made by the SWLA offering accreditation training courses which have proved popular with landlords and local councils including Plymouth City Council and Teignbridge District Council.
The courses give landlords a grounding in the the basics regarding private residential lets with the training based on all elements of the national landlords’ manual including tenancy issues, standards, employing agents, tax, landlord/tenant relations, noise and anti-social behaviour and management practices. Landlords completing the course come away with national accreditation, licensable HMOs and a £60 discount from councils taking part in the accreditation scheme.
Vice chairman of the SWLA, Iain Maitland, said “We are always delighted to grow our member numbers, but this year the growth is particularly significant as it comes at a time when many of us are being that little bit more careful with our money. Membership of the SWLA benefits everyone in the lettings market. Tenants know they are renting from an accredited landlord, and landlords are able to keep up-to-date with changes in the law and learn from best practice. That’s why two councils use and recommend our services – rogue landlords and nightmare tenants are the last thing anyone needs in this tough economic climate.”
Local MP Alison Seabeck, a landlord herself, welcomed the co-operation between the SWLA and local councils, saying “I am delighted that SWLA have taken this important initiative alongside Plymouth City Council to help drive up standards in the private rented sector and drive out cowboys in our city.”