The wait is over. When moving jobs, you’re as professional as you can be out of respect to your colleagues, but it’s only human to think of the future. And today, I’ve started my new role as chief executive of the National Landlords Association (NLA).
A bit about my past – I’ve previously been Chief Executive of the British Woodworking Federation (BWF). Here I turned a small subsidiary of a larger organisation into a modern, independent, professional trade association and increased membership by 45%.
Prior to this, I worked as A Policy Director at the British Property Federation dealing with residential property issues, as well as covering planning and wider commercial property matters. My career started as a parliamentary civil servant in the House of Commons, before a brief stint as a commercial lobbyist.
After nine years at the BWF, I’ve been looking for a new challenge, and was delighted to be offered the role of Chief Executive Officer at the NLA.
In a short space of time the NLA has built itself into a coherent and respected national organisation that offers members services and advice, while providing a credible and effective voice for the private rented sector. My goal is to build on that. I want the NLA to work for members at all levels, providing practical support while making their views known in the corridors of power. I’s like to hear from members about what they want from their association.
I’m disappointed the stereotypical ‘Rachman’ and ‘Rigsby’ rogue landlords still prevail in the popular mind, despite the vast majority of tenants having a positive experience in the PRS. It’s our job to debunk this reputation of the PRS, as more and more people depend on it for housing. The NLA has worked hard to develop accreditation schemes and codes of conduct to improve standards, allowing good landlords to stand out from the rest. I’m determined to drive this further. This can be done without the kneejerk calls for more regulations and laws.
As councils find it tougher to provide housing and getting on the property ladder becomes more difficult and expensive, the need for more private rented sector accommodation will only grow. I want the NLA to be at the forefront, leading the way as we help provide this vital housing need into the future.
Richard Lambert takes up his new post of CEO on 3rd October: www.landlords.org.uk