Saturday, May 23, 2009

SPLA/NLA merger dispute continues

Landlords and property professionals will have been depressed to read an article by Oliver Romain in the excellent Landlord & Buy to Let Magazine, that the legal action brought challenging the merger of the Southern Private Landlords Association (formerly the National Federation of Residential Landlords) with the National Landlords Association, announced last year (and reported in this blog here) it still continuing.

Apparently at a court hearing in March the Judge asked for members to be questioned about their views. Of the 5,200 SPLA members, apparently 1,720 responded, of which 892 said that they did not support the merger, with a similar number supporting the legal challenge. I make that just over 17% of the total membership, which is not what I would really have called a majority.

However it is a majority of those voting, and Mr Stimpson (who is leading the challenge) claims that this justifies his action. A spokesman for the NLA on the other hand apparently claims that large numbers of SPLA are voting with their feet by moving over to the NLA. A specialist marketing company employed to find out members views, apparently found that most of them were sick and tired of the dispute and wanted nothing to do with it.

It is really sad that those leading landlord associations are embroiled in this sort of dispute, when there are so many important landlord issues for them to deal with. Oliver Romain's article concludes that the parties appear unlikely to settle, so it looks as if a contested court hearing may take place. As the costs of this are estimated at some £800,000, landlords may well question whether this is really in their best interests.

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Steve Hilton said...

Some good news: the High Court has thrown out the legal challenge to the NLA/NFRL merger.

More details at:

The full written judgment to follow shortly.

Oliver said...

Thank you Tessa for your kind remarks. Landlord & Buy-to-Let magazine will report on the case in the July/August issue.

Steve, the tiny URL doesn't seem work.

Oliver said...

Sorry the URL does work but it is very slow.

Tessa said...

Information on the decision dismissing the case can be found on my post here.