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Guild of Letting & Management Seminar 2010
This annual event was held at the Emirates Stadium in London. It’s an impressive venue and on a bright Spring day it scored highly in every way. The penalty was that concentration was required with a busy schedule of speakers, but even the most ardent footie fan was won over by the selection of presentations.
Susie Crolla, Chief Executive of the Guild of Letting & Management welcomed the 150 delegates and thanked the event’s sponsors and exhibitors for their support.
The programme started with a hard hitting presentation by Paul Shamplina from Landlord Action who shared experiences and advised on the right way to monitor tenancy problems as they arise and, if necessary, manage tenant evictions.
Staying on the subject of risk, Alexander Barnes of the BJC Group, an insurance broker, spoke about Professional Indemnity schemes. He discussed what exactly they do cover… and what they don’t.
The highlight was a presentation by Lord Richard Best OBE who has, arguably, the most impressive housing ‘pedigree’ in the UK. Lord Best said he only accepted the invitation because he thought he’d be addressing 80,000 people on the red terraces of the Emirates – which brought his first ripple of laughter. He managed to combine a very serious presentation; ‘The Past Present and Future of the Private Rented Sector’ with some very amusing anecdotes and insights into his life.
The Power of Belief; do you believe that you can do everything? Or are you reluctant to try in case you fail? David Key, from Auspicium, is a Behavioural Strategist who delivers training programmes in motivation, management, sales and service. David discussed how thinking and behaving differently can make us happier, more confident and far more successful.
Darren King gave an overview of the Deposit Protection Service and spoke about Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). The DPS has 554,000 protected deposits and has completed 4945 completed adjudications with almost half (45%) adjudicated to be split between the landlord and tenant. 36% were found in favour of the tenant alone and 19% found in favour of the landlord.
Also discussing disputes, Christopher Hamer, The Property Ombudsman (TPO), explained that the TPO is a Redress Scheme for customers of estate and letting agents. Its remit is to resolve issues between agent and client on all aspects of their transactions with the exception of Tenancy Deposit disputes.
Far from resolving disputes, the next presentation by officers from the Metropolitan Police advised delegates that applications from tenants with criminal activities on their agenda often start surprisingly easily. With cash advance payments, an eagerness to move in quickly and a lack of questions or requirements, such tenants can seem personable and straightforward. They will go on to cause distress, damage and expense by using the premises for a wide range of illegal activity including cannabis farming, DVD piracy, brothel keeping and identity fraud.
No lettings seminar is complete without an overview of current legal requirements and this was provided by John Coyne, a Barrister and portfolio landlord. He gave delegates a whistlestop tour of legal issues around key aspects of lettings, providing advice on good practice and clarification.