Writing to your MP Toolkit
Why should I write to my MP?
As one of their constituents, an MP is more likely to read and take note of anything you send than any national information sent by the NRLA. Your MP has a duty to represent you as their constituent, and a letter from your MP will have more weight than individuals writing to the Secretary of State directly.
While we make the case for landlords at the national and ministerial level, you can help build support for landlords by writing to your MP, explaining your concerns and asking them to write to the Secretary of State on your behalf.
As emergency measures begin to lift, policymakers are looking at the post-lockdown housing market. It’s now even more important to contact your MP and call for action to ensure tenancies are sustainable.
What should I write to my MP about?
Ultimately, you should be writing to your MP about things that concern you as a constituent and a landlord.
However, the NRLA is currently campaigning for some specific goals that would benefit from inclusion in a letter to your MP.
The UK Government has confirmed that the courts will not be hearing possession cases until at least 23 August 2020, extending the stay on evictions by two months in England and Wales. They have stated that they intend to ‘transition out’ of these measures at the end of August. It’s essential landlords’ voices are heard as the process for possessions is agreed.
Join us in our campaign and support our five-point roadmap for the private rented sector by contacting your MP:
For further details on why we are calling for this, along with the key points of our research please see our call for action.
How should I contact my MP?
In the current circumstances, the best option is likely to be via email. You can find your MPs contact details via the MP directory on the Parliament website.
Some MPs prefer to be contacted via letter however. All letters should be sent to House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.
Tips for writing content for your MP
Research your MP - By checking www.theyworkforyou.com/ you can find out if your MP shares your concerns. If they do, don't forget to thank the MP for previous work they have done in the area. MPs are rarely thanked by their constituents and a thank you goes a long way.
Be personal - By linking your concerns to real examples you will engage the reader and help them to sympathise with your concerns.
Focus on the local - Your MP is more likely to support landlord concerns if they understand how it impacts on their constituents. For example, if your local authority charges additional council tax on empty properties you may not be able to afford to allow your tenants to surrender their tenancy early.
Relate your concerns to your tenants - The more constituents that are helped by supporting landlords, the greater the chance the MP will be convinced of your argument.
Be succinct - Try to limit yourself to no more than two pages of A4. MPs receive numerous letters every week. By keeping it short you will stand out from the rest, increasing the chance they will process all the information you give them.
Provide solutions - A letter to your MP is not just a chance to educate them about an issue, it's a chance to propose solutions as well. If you have a sensible plan of action, laid out in a clear way, they are more likely to support it.
Ask them to write to the SoS - if your MP writes to the Secretary of State on your behalf they are obligated to provide a response. This increases the chance that your solution will be adopted.
Useful research links
One of the best ways to convince your MP is to provide them with compelling evidence that supports your concerns.
NRLA Research - for all reports and analysis produced by the NRLA's in-house research team
English Housing Survey - for general statistics on the private rented sector
Essential things to include in your letter
It is a parliamentary protocol that MPs respond to constituents only, so it is important to confirm you are a constituent by including your address including your postcode.
You should also ask for a response so that you can refer to it afterwards if you do not receive a reply.