So I went to the FUTURE RENTING CONFERENCE
So ... I went to the Future Renting conference yesterday.
I felt the whole day was good, and on the whole relevant to me. (I am a let and forget guy that owns freehold buildings as well). Here are my opinions on the day.
Keynote, Anne Frost.
My mum worked in the civil service at a very high level, dealing with ministers (so I have empathy for Anne's position). I warmed to her and found the way she approached "us" in the property world, was with warmth and a "I'm listening but more importantly hearing you" approach. I could work for Anne .. I even found myself wondering if I should write and ask if she wants me to come work for her free of charge. Out of retirement :-) - so all in all fantastic way to open the show.
Key things taken from this, Brexit is everything in govt and nothing on housing is getting processed.
Tenant controls, Katrine Sporle, Property Ombudsman, Karen Buck, MP and David Cox, ARLA Propertymark
Three very different people. Katrine exactly what you expect, reasoned, calm, aware she only sees the bad things. Karen, although a labour MP I warmed to her very much so, heart in the right place. David, well .. certainly good at speaking, saying the right things, even somewhat of a person who can create discussion. Nothing really came out of the discussion for me but it was good to hear some of the details of redress etc etc.
How to sleep at night – keeping your tenants safe as houses - Ian Halton, NAPIT
Good and humorous at times. It is important but rules are rules and these tend to just be given to us and I felt it was a time filler only. Could have been removed from the list. Ian would be good to have dinner with, he must have stories to entertain all night.
Market Prospects – the Future of Your Portfolio - Kate Faulkner, Property Market Analyst & Commentator, Designs on Property
Brilliant. I could have listened to Kate for an hour or two. Fact not fiction. As a stats man myself I warmed to her nuclear energy and her ability to deliver a fact based presentation on the market. breaking it down by region, road if need be. Next time I would like the RLA to have Kate do more on her work ... maybe even a whole morning on it.
Lunch - lovely!
LA Law – the relentless march of local authority property licensing - Richard Tacagni, London Property Licensing
Doesn't affect me, others may have an opinion. Loved the line about "guy came to a day presentation, walked out 2 minutes in, saying he was over the moon as he had just heard Richard state who is and who is not affected, and he was not affected".
Law and Disorder? New legislation in the private rented sector - David Smith, RLA Policy Director
S21 changes was the big thing here for me .. massive huge changes. Everyone needs to read up on these. RLA will keep us honest. but the S21 changes will affect tenancies that pre date the changes of 2015.
Building the evidence for change - Dr Tom Simcock, RLA Pearl
Dr Simcock knows his stuff.
What I took from this is that our input to the surveys performed by the RLA is 100% important. We all MUST do our bit to keep giving the RLA every bit of data possible to ensure our voice is heard everywhere as one.
Welfare Reform – managing Universal Credit - Sherrelle Collman, Caridon Landlord Solutions
Sherrelle, if a little nervous, was brilliant. UC is going to affect us all, and she was able to get across her points that we will be able to get paid direct, but in short UC is a bit of a faff but we will have to educate our tenants to what is coming. I think UC could have been a session on its own. Maybe a panel approach next time, where we could have questions and answers.
Well done Sherrelle - we have all been there and presented for the first time. The Audience loved you. More of Sherrelle please.
Taxing concerns – mitigating the impact of property tax reform - Sean Hughes, Comprehensive Tax Planning
Liked Sean, however, I did feel like I was being sold double glazing :-)
He knows his stuff and trust me you'd want him in your corner. There was huge food for thought in his presentation on S24 and how to get things into Ltd companies. I'm still not certain it is all legal, even if the law does say it is.
Closing remarks - Clive Bull, LBC & Andrew Dixon, Chief Executive, RLA
Shaheen informed me that Andrew was CEO of Tesco, I had to look this up .. we are in safe hands and I'm glad Sean made that call once to get help from the RLA .. welcome on board (14th day today). I really liked Andrew.
CLIVE BULL - what is there NOT to like about Clive. perfect for the job .. a little more of Clive next time please. question and answers session is a must .. an hour or even more. Hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon maybe, to a panel.
One last thing. We are all seasoned, mostly, PRS / property people ... I would reach out to the membership and offer a stream for newbies or not so knowledgeable people to have a questions and answer session. Maybe a small room, where people feel less "on show". A break out session maybe, where people can meet people that have experience in the PRS. I'd happily be involved, as would one or two others on here.
We see all to often on the forum people that need help when they face problems for the first time etc. They need guidance and "mentoring" almost.
The Peoples Rental Sector (dropping the "private" word) is certainly going through a period of change, change from Brexit, change from maybe a change of govt, change from a global uncertain financial world, technology (less PAYE tax) developments (like UBER, Amazon, Costa, Starbucks paying little tax) , change from many many angles ... and as Govts change, or run away (Cameron and Osborne), so we have to be ready for a very dynamic even fluid tax/legislative model that governs our sector.
I sit here pondering if I will sell up. Should I just stick my money into other things. If I'm doing that, then I'm sure I'm not alone. A straw poll in the room yesterday showed nearly 50% of people were considering selling ... that's a lot of people with property.
all of the above are the opinions and brain dump of a dog walking/lazy/burnt out 40 year investor in property. I never started my property journey to be anything other than my pension. My skills lay elsewhere really ... dog walking mostly these days :-).
Take none of my opinions to heart and I hope to meet many of you in the future, I'll try to get out more. I promise.
ps - one thing I remember is the husband and wife IHT planning. Important to look into setting up a trust asap. Maybe a need for a session on IHT and Trusts or indeed detailed tax planning next time.