Thursday, February 08, 2007

Merger Mania

The word on the street is that ARLA (the association of Residential Letting Agents) and NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents) are to merge. See this report. The official verdict is that this is a 'major step in the protection of the consumer, the professionalism of the residential property industry and a benefit for all those employed in residential sales and lettings'

However others are not too sure. A later report expresses grave concern. A major letting agency, Leaders have issued a press release on the subject. I myself have spoken to another letting agent who was very worried that ARLA will be subsumed by the estate agents organisation and the needs of letting agents, which differ, will less well catered for. His company is a member of the Guild of Letting and Management. If the merger goes ahead, I suspect that the Guild will do rather well out of it.

Another merger on the cards is between two landlords organisations, the National Federation of Residential Landlords (NFRL) and the Southern Private Landlords Association (SPLA). See this press release. This will mean that there will be two large landlords organisations – The National Landlords Association, and the merged NFRL and SPLA.

Interestingly the National Landlords Association has been awarded a contract to run one of the two insurance based tenancy deposit schemes, the one which is supposed to be aimed at landlords. However the NFRA/SPLA is offering its members a scheme using the other insurance based scheme, provided by the Dispute Service Ltd, which I understand was aimed primarily at letting agents. Could this mean that the two landlords associations do not like each other?

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