Our Authors

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Communications Manager for the RLA and Editor of RPI magazine. With 16 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and editorial content for our media partners.

She issues press releases promoting the work of the RLA and its policies and campaigns to the regional and national media and works alongside the marketing team on the association’s social media channels to build support for the RLA and its work.

India Cocking

India Cocking

India is the Local Government Officer for the RLA. Having completed her degree in International Politics at Aberystwyth University, India is currently working on updating and maintaining the Local Authority Network. This is of importance as it strengthens communication and understanding between landlords, local authorities, and the RLA. India is working towards gathering concise and clear data from all 435 local authorities on their licencing, fees, news, events and contact details.

Before joining the RLA India worked at Martin and Co Lettings Agent in her home town of Derby, the Welsh Assembly, and her local MP, alongside helping her parents run the family buy-to-let business.

Victoria Barker

Victoria Barker

Victoria is the Communications Officer for the RLA.

With a degree in Journalism, she is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and creating social media content.

Before joining the RLA, Victoria worked in the University of Salford’s press office, and during University she represented Smooth Radio at events across the North West, as a member of the street team.

Tom Simcock

Tom Simcock

Tom is the Senior Researcher for the RLA and leads the RLA’s research lab; the Private renting Evidence, Analysis and Research Lab (PEARL). His expertise lies in researching change in society, public policy and quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. Tom’s research on housing has received national media coverage, featuring on the front page of The Times, has influenced government policy making, and has been cited in debates in the House of Commons, House of Lords and by the London Mayor.

Landlord Advice Team

Landlord Advice Team

On-demand phone support from the RLA Landlord Advice Team is a big feature of RLA membership and is seen by many of our members as the most important service we offer. You can call the Landlord Advice Team in total confidence and be assured that the advice you'll receive is friendly, pertinent, up-to-date and practical.

Access to the RLA's Landlord Advice Team is FREE for all RLA Members.

John Stewart

John Stewart

John is the Policy Manager for the RLA. He has over 20 years experience working in politics, as a successful election agent, MP’s assistant, local councillor and council leader, and is a former charity chief executive.

He oversees RLA policy work across all levels of government – central, devolved and local – working to ensure that landlords’ views are represented and officials, MPs, Assembly Members and local councillors have key information and evidence about the PRS before they take decisions.

David Smith

David Smith

David Smith is the Policy Director for the RLA and a Partner at Anthony Gold Solicitors. David obtained his degree and doctorate from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth in International relations before re-qualifying as a lawyer. He is known for his expertise in residential landlord and tenant law and has advised the Welsh Assembly, local government, and numerous landlords and tenants of all sizes.

Stephanie Eaton

Stephanie Eaton

Steph is the Events and Marketing Executive for the RLA. She holds a Media, Culture, Communications and Advertising degree from the University of Lincoln and has had several years’ experience utilising her skills developing content and managing marketing campaigns. She has spent over 5 years in the housing sector which is an area that she is passionate about. Steph is also responsible for the RLA’s event programme and can be often found networking with members on the RLA stand at events.

Daniel Bellis

Daniel Bellis

Daniel is the Policy Officer for the RLA in Wales, working hard to make sure that our members voices are heard by the people elected to office.

Prior to joining the RLA, Daniel worked in MP’s offices and with communications firms, working on election strategies and the communication campaigns of major companies. Daniel also holds a MScEcon in European Governance and Public Policy from the University of Cardiff where he extensively studied lobbying regulations in the UK, US and EU.

Natalie Williamson

Natalie Williamson

Natalie Williamson is the Senior Policy Officer for the RLA and has worked for the Association since 2013. With almost ten years experience in Housing policy and research since graduating from the University of Manchester in Philosophy and Politics , Natalie leads on the RLAs Health and Safety , Welfare and Fuel Poverty Policy areas.

Prior to working for the RLA Natalie worked for a DCLG appointed National Body for Home Improvement Agencies and worked with multiple Government Departments on policies to enable older people and those living with disabilities to remain independent in their own home. Whilst working here Natalie wrote and had published a good practice guide ‘Supporting People in Private Rented Sector Housing’.

Since taking up her position at the RLA Natalie has worked hard to change the narrative of private landlords by working on research projects on welfare and homelessness and also delivered the RLA Safe and Secure Home to help Landlords achieve safe housing for their tenants.

Alan Ward

Alan Ward

Alan is the Chairman of the RLA. He has been a landlord and property developer in the PRS since 1993, became a founding director in 1998, and has been the RLA chairman since 2008.

He believes the PRS provides an essential service to the nation with little recognition for its economic contribution. He says regulation is pointless without effective enforcement, and that requires an intelligence-lead approach to target the criminals.

He has faith in the well-meaning majority of landlords to self-regulate. He despises the criminals and frauds who disproportionately concentrate the minds of those in Westminster and town halls.

Kitty Speakman

Kitty Speakman

Kitty Speakman is the Training Manager for the RLA. She designs and delivers both online and classroom courses and manages the library of courses on offer. A qualified Trainer working in the education industry for 12 years and a qualified Assessor and Internal Verifier, she has vast experience of delivering accredited qualifications to professionals including managing successful Ofsted visits and audits giving her excellent knowledge in the execution and compliance of accredited programmes. She has successfully managed training departments for the last 8 years. Apart from her training career she has been a landlord for 4 years, giving her first-hand experience of the letting process.

Sarah Waddleton

Sarah Waddleton

Sarah works in the RLA Marketing Department.

Dorine Pannarale

Dorine Pannarale

Dorine Pannarale is a Senior Policy Officer for the RLA in Wales. She works to represent landlord interests at local meetings and her scope of duties hinges primarily on managing issues related to Rent Smart Wales, HMO licensing, and energy efficiency. She also works to understand what role private rented sector landlords can play in helping vulnerable tenants and how to mitigate the impacts benefit cap changes will have on both tenants and landlords. Her peripatetic lifestyle affords the RLA special insight into the renting regimes in other countries to include Germany, Italy, and the US. Dorine holds a degree in Politics and Government with an emphasis in International Relations from the University of Puget Sound, Washington (USA).

Matthew Davies

Matthew Davies

Matt is the Brand and Content Executive for the RLA. With a degree in Interactive Media and a Masters in Design and Art Direction, Matt is responsible at the RLA for branding, design, video and our social media channels.

An internationally-published journalist, with previous roles in PR and Advertising, Matt is always looking to create new and interesting content for our audience and to innovate in our communication and interaction with the wider PRS. Drop him a tweet at @rla_news and like us over at https://www.facebook.com/TheRLA/.

Robert Maccabe

Robert Maccabe

Robert is the HR Manager for the RLA. He is responsible for talent management and HR strategy. He also manages the RLA Customer Contact Team, ensuring all members recieve excellent customer service.

Carrie Kus

Carrie Kus

Carrie is a Non-Executive Director for the RLA. She is a landlord herself buying her first property at the age of 23, she continues to build her portfolio. Carrie spent 7 years working at Shelter as a caseworker and then a housing law trainer. She left Shelter to start her own property management company in which she is now a Director. She provides training courses on behalf of the RLA and provides support services to the RLA landlord advice team. She holds a degree in Psychology from University of Wales Bangor and a Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice.

Douglas Haig

Douglas Haig

Douglas is the Vice-Chairman and Director for Wales of the Residential Landlord Association and also runs a group of companies involved in management, maintenance, sales and lettings of residential and commercial properties covering Wales and parts of England as well as being a landlord himself.

As Chair of the Cardiff Landlord Forum for five years he has represented private landlord interests to local authorities and as Director for Wales he is in regular talks with all parties in Welsh Government about the future of the PRS in Wales. He is a member of the Cross Party Housing and Fuel Poverty Groups and has been active in the stakeholder groups of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 and Renting Homes (Wales) Bills and has represented the RLA at the Welsh Affairs Select Committee in Westminster. Douglas is keen to listen and represent good landlords and allow them to operate in an environment that enables them to provide high quality, safe housing which is a good long term investment.

Mark Weller

Mark Weller

Mark works in the RLA Marketing Department.

Gordon Fox

Gordon Fox

Gordon started his professional tax career over 30 years ago with the Inland Revenue and then after several years in a smaller private practice, followed by several further years with a leading international practice, he joined Francis Clark's tax advisory service in 1992 and has greatly assisted its tremendous subsequent growth.

Leah Whitty

Leah Whitty

Leah has been the Welfare Reform Manager at Cardiff Council for over 2 years and has held various roles within the Benefit Department of the Local Authority for the last 13 years. She has extensive knowledge and expertise of Housing Benefit, Local Housing Allowance and Universal Credit Housing Cost legislation and is responsible for ensuring the safe implementation of Welfare Reforms in Cardiff including Universal Credit.