RLA Press Releases

RLA 20th Birthday


As the association gets ready to mark its birthday in April, property professionals, housing bodies, charities and MPs and peers from across the political spectrum have offered us their best wishes – as well as reflecting on their own personal experiences with the RLA over the last two decades. 

“During my time in the House of Commons I chaired the All Party Group for the Private Rented Sector. This included pressing for improved regulation of the PRS tenants’ living conditions and helping private landlords with a high standards trough their code of conduct. The majority of private landlords are responsible in delivering good quality rented accommodation.  Through the All Party Group, the Residential Landlords Association – which provides the secretariat to the APPG – has been in the forefront of making sure that MPs and Peers are kept well informed and briefed on measures that improve the kind of quality service that the majority of private landlords provide to their tenants.  Without a vibrant private rented sector, greater pressure would be placed on local authorities and housing associations which would have significant financial implications and lead to lower standards of residential accommodation.”

Oliver Colvile (Conservative MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport 2010-2017 and former Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Private Rented Sector)


“I have found the RLA to be on top of tax and other Government measures affecting Landlords; and wisely takes a balanced and pragmatic position to getting change on the issues that are important to Landlords.”

Lord Flight of Worcester (Conservative MP for Arundel and South Down 1997-2005 and a former Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury)


“I value the work I’ve done with the Residential Landlords Association over almost a decade. They are an influential voice in raising standards in a tenure that is now home to over 4.5 million households in England. “The recent part the RLA played in helping secure new powers for tenants to ensure their homes are ‘fit for human habitation’ is just one example of the significant constructive role that the RLA can play.”

Rt Hon John Healey MP (Labour, Wentworth and Dearne  – Shadow Secretary of State for Housing)


“I wish the RLA and its members well, in this anniversary. The private rented sector has changed in recent years. It’s very important that the majority of landlords who are doing the right thing have a clear and effective voice at Westminster. The RLA does precisely that and it’s never been more important, as new regulations come forward.”

Mark Prisk MP (Conservative, Hertford and Stortford – Former Housing Minister and a Member of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee)


“As a Member of Parliament with a declarable interest as owning residential let properties in London and Norfolk, I have always taken a close interest in the work of the RLA and their support for the APPG for the Private Rental Sector. Over the years, we have lobbied the Government on many issues, all with vigour. Sometimes we have altered Governments policy, on other occasions we have not been able to. Overall, however, the RLA is an effective and professional group to work with.”

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP (Conservative, The Cotswolds -Officer of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Private Rented Sector)


 “My work has brought me into increasing contact with the Residential Landlords’ Association in recent years, in my capacity as an officer of the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Private Rented Sector, as the sponsor of the Housing Fitness Bill, and as someone concerned with the impact of short-lets on residential communities. The RLA has been constructive, engaged, highly professional and a source of excellent information. The majority who are responsible landlords are, I believe, well-served by an organisation that defends their interests whilst accepting, and being willing to work to tackle, the real problems of the less responsible minority. “

Karen Buck MP (Labour, Westminster North – Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Private Rented Sector


“The RLA are, without doubt, a force for good in the challenge of building a more professional and responsible private rented sector. Clearly they do a fine job in representing landlords interests, the majority of which deliver good quality homes at fair rents, but also take a systemic and considerate view to make sure that tenants get a good deal. I am delighted to wish them a happy anniversary and many happy returns.”

Kevin Hollinrake MP (Conservative, Thirsk and Malton – Member of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee)


“I would like to thank the RLA for their work.  Landlords in my constituency have felt supported and assisted by the RLA, and it is through them that I have been able to understand this aspect of the housing market.”

Alison McGovern MP (Labour, Wirral South – Member of the Treasury Select Committee)   


“This month I am chairing a meeting in one of Parliament’s grandest committee rooms. The event has been organised by the RLA and will explore important policy issues affecting the future of the private rented sector. I accepted the RLA’s invitation to host and chair this roundtable for MPs and Peers because this organisation has gained a solid reputation for active engagement with Parliamentarians. For many years, I have been on the receiving end of well-presented briefings from the RLA whenever new legislation affecting the PRS has come along. The sector is deeply impacted by policy change, particularly at this time, and the role of the RLA in highlighting key issues from the landlord’s perspective is extremely important.”

Lord Best of Godmanstone OBE (Crossbencher – Former Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation and former President and current Vice President of the Local Government Association)


“I am very pleased to note the RLA is to celebrate 20 years of existence shortly. As a small-time landlord myself I have always found the organisation to be very knowledgeable and helpful and I am sure that other landlords and politicians have found them equally helpful. I wish the organisation well for many years to come.”

Laurence Robertson MP (Conservative, Tewkesbury)


“The UK needs a strong rental sector with top quality landlords. The RLA has a reputation as the industry leading trade association protecting the interests of landlords and tenants, but also promoting the benefits and interests of the rental sector.”

Stephen Hammond MP (Conservative, Wimbledon – Member of the Treasury Select Committee)


“The Residential Landlords Association does an excellent job in ensuring parliamentarians are fully briefed on policy matters affecting the sector. Briefings are always of the highest quality reflecting the concern of the RLA to promote policies which are in the interests not just of landlords but of tenants too and which will promote quality provision in the private rented market.”

Lord Shipley of Gosforth OBE (Liberal Democrat, Housing Spokesperson)


“I have very much appreciated the short, to the point briefings provided by the RLA, based on research with their members.  This has provided very useful information about how policies such as the Right to Rent and universal credit are working on the ground.”

Baroness Lister of Burtersett CBE (Labour)


“As both a member of the shadow cabinet and as a backbencher the RLA have been a source of expert information that has assisted me many times. The RLA understands the crisis in housing and works collaboratively across the industry with landlords and policy makers to build a more professional rental sector. They have a wealth of knowledge obtained from their members and strive to find solutions to the problems that concern us all.”

Teresa Pearce MP (Labour, Erith and Thamesmead – Former Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government)


“I have been working closely with the RLA over the last few months, particularly on the thorny issue of the private rental market for tenants in receipt of Universal Credit. Essentially I think the government have got their approach wholly wrong with this tenant group and private landlords, particularly around (a) automatic payments to the tenant, (b) not informing landlords their tenants are moving onto UC and (c) even after taking on some of my criticisms the DWP still expect landlords to wait 3 months for payment. Ridiculous! I appreciate greatly the RLA providing me with accurate data about how things ‘really’ are on the frontline.”

Stephen Lloyd MP (Liberal Democrat, Eastbourne – Work and Pensions Spokesperson)


“Based in my constituency, the RLA has always been a positive force in the private rented sector and a leading voice for landlords. The RLA has ensured that I and my colleagues in Parliament are well briefed on the challenges the sector faces and has argued effectively that the interests of the majority of good landlords and tenants can be the same. I wish the RLA well in this special anniversary year.”

Mike Kane MP (Labour, Wythenshawe and Sale East)


“Crisis has worked alongside the RLA since 1997 to help support homeless people to access to high quality PRS accommodation. Our partnership has ensured that our own housing services continue to make private rented tenancies a successful option for people moving out of homelessness. Most recently, the RLA have worked with us to support the successful passage of the Homelessness Reduction Act. We have also greatly benefitted from the RLA supporting our Home Campaign, which successfully called for a commitment in the budget to further improve access to the PRS for homeless people. Private landlords currently perform a vital role in helping end the homelessness of many people, although it is also recognised that ending tenancies has grown significantly as a cause of homelessness.  It is therefore important that we continue our successful partnership with the RLA, to make sure that we use our shared expertise and experience to make the private rented sector a safe and secure solution to homelessness, which is ultimately of benefit to tenants and their landlords.”

Jon Sparkes (Chief Executive, Crisis)


“The RLA has matured into a first-rate trade association, with a knowledgeable secretariat that are putting their members’ points across day-in day-out. Their approach to representing their members has become more sophisticated, and as a result grown in stature. They have always had excellent legal and commercial expertise, but now augment that with extensive links in Parliament and policy work underpinned with insightful research. Part of growing older has meant our relationship has changed, but we hope for the better, and certainly with respect for the RLA, its staff and its members.  A very happy 20th anniversary from your friends at the BPF.”

Ian Fletcher (Director for Policy – Real Estate, British Property Federation)


“As Chair of TDS, I congratulate the RLA on its 20th anniversary. Its establishment followed liberalisation of the laws applying to the private rented sector. The changes in the law have led to a massive expansion of the private rented sector, which has created new opportunities for landlords. From the outset, the RLA recognised that these new opportunities also brought new responsibilities. It has sought to increase the professionalism of private landlords. TDS shares with the RLA the view that all those involved in the business must offer high standards of service, both to protect tenants – their customers – and the reputation of the sector as a whole. That is why, in the specific context of tenancy deposit protection, TDS has worked closely with RLA to promote good practice. We also work together to ensure that everything possible is done to exclude criminal landlords from the lettings market. We look forward to continuing our collaboration and co-operation in the years ahead.”

Professor Martin Partington CBE QC (Chair, The Dispute Service)

If you would like to leave your own birthday message please do so in the comments section below.

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