As part of my duties within the steering group of the Council of Letting Agents (CLA) I was invited to attend the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday evening for a meeting with ministers on promoting good practice within the lettings industry. There were many guests there from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, The Scottish Association of Landlords and the Association or Residential Letting Agents. The topic being discussed was best practice with the industry and the positive changes that could be made to it’s reputation.
It was clear that the lettings industry, namely landlords and letting agents are not well perceived. By anyone. Historically, landlord and agents have perceived badly when there were no standards or regulations in place. The environment we operation in now is totally different, and the standard of both landlords and agents being much higher. But the old reputation still lingers.
I met with one person on Tuesday night who clearly stated he hated the sector simply because of a “bastard landlord” he had over 10 years ago. It was clear this person now, for lack of a more eloquent expression, hand it in for the lettings industry. And this view is shared with a lot of people, they all have their “nightmare landlord” stories they like to tell to anyone willing to listen.
There are many individuals and organisations putting in a lot of time and effort to change the perception of the industry for the better. Not because we have loads of free time and nothing better to do, but because we genuinely feel we make a really valuable contribution to the Scotland – we provide housing, employment and a service for people who have no other options.
So the parliament visit was just one way of trying to change the industry for the better. If you have any stories you would like me to highlight then please just get in touch. Scott Weir