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X Information from The National Landlords Association (NLA)

It exists to protect and promote the interests of private residential landlords. With almost 14,000 individual landlords from around the United Kingdom and over 80 local authority associates, it provides a comprehensive range of benefits and services to its members and strives to raise standards in rented accommodation.

The NLA seeks to safeguard landlords’ legitimate interests by making their collective voice heard by local and central government and the media. The NLA seeks a fair legislative and regulatory environment for the private-rented sector while aiming to ensure that landlords are aware of their statutory rights and responsibilities. jml Property Services are members of the National Landlords Association in the UK - More information Here

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Press releases Click on a topic for more information

Complete Green Deal solution for landlords launched by the NLA - February 2013

NLA Comments on the Welsh Government's Private-Rented Sector Plans - May 2012

NLA survey finds that Landlords in the UK see Property as Pension - February 2012

Jet-to-Let after the bubble burst - July 2011

NLA Property Woman of the Year 2010 is Juliet Ashton-Taylor - June 2010

NLA welcomes Government re-think on draconian shared housing rules- June 2010

"Well-meaning but flawed" - Register of landlords to be ditched - June 2010

NLA Campaign regarding Capital Gains Tax -May 21st 2010 - More Information on this here

Landlords must be included in new Capital Gains Tax exemptions- May 2010

Green shoots aren't stopping rental arrears-October 2009

Confusion reigns over private landlord registers - State of the Nations - August 2009

Sheffield success story is crowned the NLA Property Woman 2009

Nobody does it better," say female landlords - May 2009

Legal challenge to NLA/NFRL merger fails - May 2009

Proposed database of rental properties is "well meaning but flawed" - May 2009

Landlords: could your property be housing a cannabis factory? 11 March 2009

74% of advice line calls about tenants not paying rent - February 2009

71% of landlords expecting increase in rental arrears: 8 December 2008

Government Minister: "No sense over-burdening good landlords with further regulation": 1 December 2008

Scottish government not delivering for landlords: 19 November 2008

Review marks major watershed in attitudes to PRS: renting is not second best 23 October 2008

Landlords and letting agents unite against ‘tenant-humiliation’ practices : 20 October 2008

NLA publishes draft code of practice for consultation - Sale and Rent Back : 4 August 2008

The National Landlords Association (NLA) and the National Federation of Residential Landlords (NFRL), who together represent nearly 20,000 landlords, have announced they are to merge creating the largest representative body for landlords in the United Kingdom: 9 July 2008

NLA claims a victory for landlords on unfair renewal fees by letting agents: 26 February 2008

Other NLA Info Click on a topic for more information

Carbon Monoxide is The silent killer - November 2009

Boiler scrappage scheme - January 2010

Estate agents assisting with buying or selling overseas property now subject to Anti-Money Laundering regulations- October 2012

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NLA Comments on the Welsh Government's Private-Rented Sector Plans

21 May 2012

Richard Lambert, Chief Executive Officer at the National Landlords Association (NLA) commented: “The NLA welcomes the Welsh Government’s emphasis on professional development of landlords and the promotion of energy efficiency.

“It is also encouraging to see that the Government’s proposals include more joint working between local authorities and landlords. Through this, local authorities will be required to assist vulnerable people and those on low-incomes to access private-rented accommodation through various effective initiatives, such as social letting agencies.

“However, we are concerned the desire to develop a single register of landlords will be counter-productive to the Welsh Government’s unifying strategy and will only serve to duplicate similar council licensing schemes. Local authorities should focus their scarce resources on targeting criminal operators who bring the sector into disrepute.

“We call upon the Welsh Government to firstly conduct a thorough review of existing regulation to ensure there is consistency and clarity throughout the private-rented sector in Wales.”

Source NLA

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Warning: Bogus tenancy deposit website alert

In the July/August 2009 edition of the NLA's magazine "UK Landlord" They wanted to make readers aware of: www.mytenancydeposit.co.uk has nothing to do with with the Government authorises and NLA sponsored tenancy deposit scheme mydeposits.co.uk. If you have used this company, your deposit will not be protected and you should seek legal advice immediately. A company called MTD Secure Ltd is trading as mytenancydeposit.co.uk. It is not part of Tenancy Deposit Solutions Ltd (TDSL) which trades as mydeposits.co.uk. The NLA have informed the relevant authorities.

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Jet-to-Let after the bubble burst

Jet to Letters stay closer to home. The £ pound may have dropped to record lows against the   euro and the economy may be going nowhere, but many Britons in the market for a secure, long term investment are starting to look closely at the jet to let seqgment once again. This a bery interesting article in the July?August 2011 NLA magazine "UK Landlord" running to four pages. To read this you either have to be a member (which is great value for Landlords) or buy a copy of the magazine by clicking on the image above.

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NLA Property Woman of the Year 2010 is Juliet Ashton-Taylor 25 June 2010

Last night saw the country’s leading property entrepreneurs gather together for the prestigious NLA Property Women Awards 2010. Competition was fierce, but it was Juliet Ashton-Taylor, a landlord from Gateshead, who stole the show to claim the title of NLA Property Woman of the Year 2010.

Juliet Ashton-Taylor has a real Cinderella story to tell. The breakdown of her marriage in 1999 saw her lose everything overnight. It was this period that gave her the determination to succeed and turned her into the thriving, independent woman she is today. Juliet has used her business to not only transform her own life, but by always keeping a room free in her portfolio to help someone in difficult circumstances, she has given many other people a step up.

The NLA Property Women Awards 2010 launched its search in March this year. Last night, along with 11 regional awards, accolades were also presented to the NLA Green Property Woman, NLA Young Property Woman, NLA Local Authority Property Woman and NLA Letting Agent Property Woman.

The Awards were presented by property addict and TV presenter Melissa Porter, who praised the winner; “Juliet is a true ‘rags-to-riches’ story and she fully deserves this award. She has proven that with the right application, sheer hard work and determination, property can be a sound investment that has the ability to change your life. She is a true inspiration and I cannot think of a better role model for whom women can aspire to become.”

Left: Samantha Collett, Founder and Director of VirtualLetz.com and Gorgeous Homes Property Management won the coveted award for Women in Property 2010 (West Midlands)

The NLA Property Women Awards 2010 winners are:

  • NLA East Midlands Property Woman - Tracey Abbiss
  • NLA East of England Property Woman - Irene Turner
  • NLA London Property Woman - Bindar Dosanjh
  • NLA North East Property Woman - Juliet Ashton-Taylor
  • NLA North West Property Woman - Tammy Silcock
  • NLA Scotland Property Woman - Mhairi Noble
  • NLA South East Property Woman - Hasmita Reardon
  • NLA South West Property Woman - Fiona Macaskill
  • NLA Wales Property Woman - Jane James
  • NLA West Midlands Property Woman - Samantha Collett
  • NLA Yorkshire & Humber Property Woman - Sandra Widdrington
  • NLA Young Property Woman - Amy Dixon
  • NLA Green Property Woman – Tracey Abbiss
  • NLA Letting Agent Property Woman – Claire Empson
  • NLA Local Authority Property Woman – Kim Waugh

David Salusbury, Chairman, NLA added: “The standard of the 2010 entrants has one again been outstanding. Each year the judges are looking for dedicated and inspirational women who regularly go above and beyond and, in this respect, Juliet is a very worthy winner.

Source NLA

 

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    NLA welcomes Government re-think on draconian shared housing rules 17 June 2010

    Following a campaign by the National Landlords Association (NLA), the Government has today announced it will be looking to end blanket shared housing planning regulations in favour of a more targeted approach.

    Local authorities will need to tailor recent shared housing planning rule changes to areas where high concentrations of shared housing are causing problems.

    Today’s Government announcement of a consultation is designed to ensure new rules work effectively for local people without placing an unnecessary burden on landlords and local planning authorities. The current need for landlords to apply for planning permission for their shared rental properties continues to cause major confusion across the UK.

    However, until the consultation is complete and changes are made, the NLA is calling for local authorities to implement the current planning rules carefully. Councils must make sure they utilise shared housing to help meet their local housing need and do not inadvertently decrease the availability of much needed accommodation.

    David Salusbury, Chairman, NLA, commenting on today’s Government announcement, said: “It is clear this Government understands the contribution landlords make to providing decent and affordable accommodation across the UK. Unnecessary costs and red tape only serve to detract from this core activity and we welcome moves to tackle such costs.

    “The change in the law for shared housing was rushed. As a result, its implementation by councils has created uncertainty and confusion. We are pleased to see the new Government responding to calls to rethink these unnecessary planning burdens on landlords.

    “It is important local authorities continue to engage with landlord organisations like the NLA to help tackle the problems associated with some HMOs, rather than trying to impose rules across the board which seriously limit this much needed form of housing.”

    For the Government announcement, please click here.

    Source NLA

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    Well-meaning but flawed" - Register of landlords to be ditched 10th June 2010

    The "well-meaning but flawed" national register of landlords will not be brought forward by the current Government, according to Housing Minister, Grant Shapps MP, speaking in the House of Commons today.

    Earlier in the week, the Minister had suggested that a national register could well be "another HIPs" and would not encourage further investment in the private-rented sector.

    Today, he went on to make a “promise to good landlords across the country: the Government has no plans to create any burdensome red tape and bureaucracy, so you are able to continue providing a service to your tenants.”

    David Salusbury, Chairman, NLA, commenting on today’s Government announcement, said: "We wholeheartedly welcome the reminder from Government that the vast majority of tenants are happy with the service they receive from landlords. Of course, from the outset, the NLA believed that a national register of landlords, although well-meaning, was flawed. Today, the Government has confirmed our stance.

    "We are very pleased that the Government is rejecting previous attempts to introduce a register: it was the wrong way to go about raising standards in the private-rented sector and would not have rooted out rogue landlords. In fact, we believe the likely consequence could have been to penalise the law-abiding, while at the same time driving the worst landlords under the radar."

    As part of today’s announcement, the Government confirmed they would not be bringing forward any of the planned programme of changes proposed by the previous Government. These changes included:

    • New housing hotline offering free help and advice for private tenants.
    • 'Trip adviser' style word-of-mouth website comparing landlords.
    • Requirements for written tenancy agreements in all tenancies.
    • Nation register of landlords.
    • Full regulation of letting and managing agents.

    "These NLA Scotland events are a fantastic opportunity for landlords of whatever portfolio size to get together and hear about changes which could affect their lettings business as well as get advice from some of Scotland’s top property experts."

    Source NLA

    See: Housing Minister Grant Shapps promises 'no more red tape' for private landlords

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    Landlords must be included in new Capital Gains Tax exemptions 12th May 2010 2

    Capital gains from the sale of residential property must be included in the “generous exemptions” if Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is increased, according to the National Landlords Association (NLA).

    Following a General Election campaign where housing was barely mentioned, the new Government must be focused on encouraging investment in residential property. The new CGT regime will act as a significant disincentive for landlords considering further investment.

    A flat rate of 18 per cent on capital gains on non-business assets is set to be replaced by Income Tax bands at 20, 40 and 50 per cent. The new CGT rates are expected to pay for the increase in the Income Tax exemption threshold to £10,000.

    The NLA is calling on the Government to include capital gains from the sale of residential property as part of the wide-ranging “generous exemptions” which will also include entrepreneurs and other businesses.

    David Salusbury, Chairman, NLA, commenting on the expected CGT increase, said: “When landlords let property they are running a lettings business. Today, we are calling on the Government to ensure profits from this business activity are included as part of the exemptions.

    “We are concerned that a tax increase of this nature will act as a barrier to further investment in residential property just at a time when there is an urgent need for more housing.

    “The NLA will be doing everything we can to ensure that landlords’ activity is considered to be business activity for the purposes of CGT. There should be further consultation with the industry before drastic changes are made. The law of unintended consequences should be considered here.”

    Source NLA

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    Green shoots aren't stopping rental arrears 20.10.09

    For landlords, life may seem as if it's finally getting easier; interest rates are down, and according to a recent RICS survey* rents are on the up. But it's not all green shoots; some tenants are still facing financial pressures, which are leading to increased rental arrears.

    Research conducted by the National Landlords Association (NLA), the UK's leading representative body for private-residential landlords, reveals nearly three quarters of landlords have experienced rental arrears. Worryingly, 43 per cent of these occurred in the last 12 months.

    NLA Rent Guarantee Insurance offers a way for landlords to minimise the risk from loss of rent. Should problems arise during the tenancy, the cover also provides legal expenses and a dedicated 24-hour advisory service. Available to all residential property landlords, NLA Rent Guarantee Insurance offers much needed piece of mind.

    David Salusbury, Chairman, NLA, commenting on the launch of NLA Rent Guarantee Insurance said:"Landlords may not realise they can protect themselves against rental arrears, but our research clearly shows there is a need to safeguard your rental income. Unfortunately we aren't out the woods with the economy just yet, and thanks to redundancy and unemployment some tenants are struggling to pay their rent."

    "While it is wise to take out insurance, landlords should not forget the importance of also taking full references and making checks at the outset of a tenancy. Keep in touch with your tenants too. If they feel they can come to you if they are facing difficulties, you may be able to come to an arrangement before rental arrears become more serious."

    *RICS Letting Survey Q2 2009

    Source NLA

    See also: Response to statistics from NLA on rental arrears - October 2009

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    Confusion reigns over private landlord registers - State of the Nations 28.08.09

    As the Government considers mandatory registration of private-residential landlords there is no agreement between the four countries of the UK about the true value of such schemes.

    The NLA have been working with the Department for Communities and Local Government (England), Department for Social Development in Northern Ireland and officials in the Welsh Assembly Government to help shape future policies concerning the private rented sector and ensure that landlords' views are represented.

    It is apparent that each nation is adopting wildly differing approaches to the registration of landlords. The NLA does not favour mandatory landlord licensing and has made the following recommendations to government:

    • Resources would be more effectively used implementing and enforcing existing regulation.
    • The information required for any registration should be kept to an absolute minimum to maximise security and accuracy, with access to stored data tightly controlled.
    • Any register established must not operate as an additional arm of regulation.

    Confusion reigns over landlord registers, according to the National Landlords Association (NLA), the leading representative body for private-residential landlords in the United Kingdom.

    Currently, each of the four countries within the UK is adopting a widely different approach to whether landlords should or should not be on a central database.

    England: the Government is proposing a national register of English landlords which would include not only their names and addresses but also the addresses of their rental properties. Run by an independent organisation, landlords (or their agents) would have to register every year. In return, landlords would receive a unique landlord registration number to be used in tenancy agreements, court proceedings including eviction, and housing benefit claims.

    Scotland: every council in Scotland already holds a register of landlords and letting agents. If they have not registered, or applied for registration, it is a criminal offence. Since its introduction in 2006 there have been calls for the scheme to be reviewed as 25% of rental properties are not registered.* Landlord registration has failed to have sufficient teeth to deal with rogue landlords who have failed to register.

    Northern Ireland: the Executive has stated clearly that mandatory registration of landlords "would put an unnecessary and unfair focus on those landlords who are already complying with legislation and acting responsibly. It would not provide the most effective means of targeting those landlords who are not complying with current law, particularly those who are unaware of, or who deliberately decide to operate outside the law." ** In other words, there will be no register in Northern Ireland.

    Wales: the Assembly Government has no immediate plans of its own to introduce any type of landlord register. However, it is possible that if legislation is introduced at Westminster, it could be extended to include all Welsh landlords.

    The NLA have been heavily involved in the policy making process across the UK.

    Source NLA 28th August 2009

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    Press release Sheffield success story is crowned the NLA Property Woman 2009 24.07.09

    Shona Davison NLA Property Woman of the Year 2009 - Last night saw the country’s leading property entrepreneurs gather together for the prestigious NLA Property Women Awards 2009. 11 regional winners, the NLA Green Property Woman and the NLA Young Property Woman were all revealed, but it was Shona Davison, a landlord from Sheffield who stole the show to claim the title of NLA Property Woman of the Year 2009.

    Shona's flourishing property portfolio and financial successes, generated by pure hard work and dedication to the private-rented sector, made her stand out. Shona, 31, bought her first flat aged just 24 and has managed to juggle her growing property portfolio alongside a full time job and raising a young family. Now with a portfolio of beautifully maintained properties in Sheffield, Shona’s motivation to succeed has never wavered. Even when recently diagnosed with the debilitating myotonic dystrophy, her desire to achieve something for both herself and her family has stayed strong: "I am now more motivated than ever to build up my buy-to-let portfolio while I am young and still healthy…and will be looking to buy more properties in the near future.

    The NLA Property Women Awards 2009 launched its search in April this year. The Awards were presented by property addict and TV presenter Melissa Porter, who praised the winner; "Shona is a truly inspirational woman who has proved that through hard work and determination absolutely anything is possible. Her positive attitude and business sense has seen her rise up the property ladder, despite the adversity of the current market place, to establish herself as a worthy winner who is proud to fly the flag for women in property”

    Elaine Duthie NLA Young Property Woman Award sponsored by the Association of Residential Letting Agents

    Other Winners:

    • NLA East Midlands Property Woman – Tracey Abbiss
    • NLA East of England Property Woman – Christeen Wilson
    • NLA London Property Woman – Valerie Pierres
    • NLA North East Property Woman – Anne Jackson
    • NLA North West Property Woman – Sylvia Marrs
    • NLA Scotland Property Woman – Gerry Whelan
    • NLA South East Property Woman – Susan Hainsby
    • NLA South West Property Woman – Fiona Macaskill
    • NLA Wales Property Woman – Elizabeth Paterson
    • NLA West Midlands Property Woman – Glenda Houston
    • Humber Property Woman – Shona Davison
    • NLA Green Property Woman – Kathryn Nevell

    Source & Photos courtesy of NLA

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    Press release Nobody does it better," say female landlords - 26th May 2009

    The National Landlords Association (NLA), the leading representative body for private residential landlords, is continuing its nationwide search for Property Woman of the Year 2009.

    According to a survey of 500 property women, female landlords have a different approach to their lettings business when compared to their male counterparts. The respondents felt that female landlords were more likely to be sympathetic to the changing needs of their tenants. During the recession, this is now more important. They also felt that female landlords were likely to pay more attention to detail, spending more time and money on aesthetics and the 'little touches' which make a home more comfortable.

    Launched in April, this year's NLA Property Women Awards is hotting up with nominations coming in from every part of the UK. Alongside the top prize is the NLA Green Property Woman Award, for those landlords who have made their lettings business and properties as green as possible, and the NLA Young Property Woman Award, for those aged under 30 who already successfully manage a property portfolio. There are also 12 regional categories offering landlords the chance to win thousands of pounds in Habitat vouchers and makeovers at Selfridges. To nominate yourself or someone else, go to the NLA Property Women Awards website

    The respondents to the survey also felt that female landlords see their lettings as a 'people business', viewing their tenants as customers. Better communication and a more supportive approach to dealing with their tenants were both held up as differences when compared to male landlords. Interestingly those who replied to the survey also indicated that women landlords would be less likely to delegate tasks to other people (trades people or tenants) than male landlords.

    Melissa Porter, property addict and ambassador for this year's Awards, said: "It comes as no great surprise to me that lady landlords feel they offer something of the 'woman's touch' to their rentals business. It's not a tired stereotype that women tend to be more understanding but that doesn't mean we're a walkover! "The Property Women Awards are designed so that first-class female landlords can get some recognition. So, if you're a tenant with a brilliant lady landlord or you think you fit the bill yourself, why not get nominating? In a year of little good news, the Awards is an opportunity to show that the property market is not all doom and gloom."

    David Salusbury, Chairman, National Landlords Association, said:"From the research it is difficult to know definitively whether men and women run their lettings businesses differently. However, the respondents to the NLA survey certainly seem to feel that female landlords are more approachable, better organised and especially sympathetic. Whatever a landlord's gender, the greatest skills for all property managers have to be flexibility and calmness in a crisis. After all, when you own and manage property anything can happen."

    Lucy Morton, President, ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents), said: "I have been working in the lettings industry for 26 years and it has definitely been female dominated during that time. One of the reasons for that, I feel, is that attention to detail and aftercare for the client has always been at the forefront of the female mindset. And certainly that is a key element in ARLA recently introducing its licensing campaign for letting agents, in that the consumer must always be the centre of attention and standards of professionalism across the sector must be maintained to the highest standards."

    SEE ALSO: Property Woman of the Year - ARLA sponsors young property woman award at the NLA Property Women Awards 2009 - May 2009

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    Press release Legal challenge to NLA/NFRL merger fails - 22nd May 2009

    See also: SPLA/NFRL members vote against merger with NLA

    The National Landlords Association (NLA), the leading representative body for private residential landlords, has welcomed a decision by the High Court dismissing legal challenges to the NLA/NFRL merger.

    In July 2008, the NLA and NFRL (National Federation of Residential Landlords) merged to form the largest landlord association in the UK. The merger was welcomed across the industry as an important step towards a unified voice for landlords at the national level.

    Shortly after the merger was announced, 11 members of the former NFRL started legal proceedings against the NLA and the majority NFRL directors who were in favour of the merger. For nine months, the NLA has been compelled to adhere to a number of strict High Court undertakings which have prevented it from effectively representing and assisting landlords who were members of the former NFRL.

    On Thursday 21 May, His Honour Judge Pelling QC dismissed the legal challenges to the merger. He also ordered those who brought the action to pay the NLA’s costs. David Salusbury, Chairman, NLA, commenting on the judgment, said: “It is a relief that this episode is now over. The NLA remains wholeheartedly committed to the concept of a unified voice for landlords and we never believed that costly litigation would be in the best interests of members or of the private-rented sector.

    “If there are members of the former NFRL who were waiting for the outcome of the legal challenges before deciding what to do, we now look forward to welcoming them on board and helping to support them in their lettings business. It is now time to focus all of our energies on the serious matters facing all landlords, not least Government proposals to introduce a national register of landlords.”

    SPLA/NFRL members vote against merger with NLA

    According to a 3 page article/report in the May/June 2009 edition of "landlord & buy-to-let" magazine, members of the Southern Private Landlords Association (SPLA) (Later trading under the National Federation of Landlords - NFRL) have voted in opposition to the merger with the NLA. The results follow a High Court hearing in March where the judge had ordered members to be questioned about their views over a legal claim led by the SPLA President Mike Stimpson.

    The report goes on to say, approximately 5,200 members were asked their views on the merger. Only 1,7200 actually responded. Of these 892 said they did not support the merger, 40 abstained and 788 said they did support it. Bary Markham of the the SPLA said that vote results were not representative of members views as out of 5,200 questionaires instructed by the court, only 1,700 regarded it important enough to respond. Back to top

    Press release Proposed database of rental properties is "well meaning but flawed" 13 May 2009

    The National Landlords Association (NLA), the leading representative body for private residential landlords, has labelled the latest Government recommendations on the private-rented sector as "well-meaning but flawed."

    The Government has today published its long-awaited response to the Rugg Review, an independent review of the private-rented sector brought out in October 2008. Among various recommendations, the Government proposes to introduce a register of English landlords* to include not only a landlord's name and home address but also the addresses of their rental properties.

    The national register would be run by an independent organisation and landlords (or their agents) would have to register every year, "paying a small fee to cover administration costs." In return, landlords would receive a unique landlord registration number to be used in tenancy agreements, court proceedings including eviction, and housing benefit claims.

    The most controversial part of the national register would be the requirement for all landlords to submit details of their property holdings at the time of registration and re-registration each year. A similar compulsory landlord registration scheme has existed in Scotland for three years and has been shown to not work with one in four rental properties not registered.* This means that good landlords are still suffering at the hands of the minority of rogue landlords who bring the entire sector into disrepute. There has been no direct benefit for good landlords and tenants in Scotland as there are reported to be many instances of local authorities aware of unregistered landlords and doing nothing about them due to lack of resources.

    David Salusbury, Chairman, commenting on the national register, said: "It is possible to see some benefit to a 'no hurdle', low-cost, easy-to-use register for landlords as part of a concerted drive to root out rogue operators. However, the NLA would be opposed to the collection of rental property addresses. We consider this to be overly intrusive and of no direct benefit to tenants or landlords.

    "The private-rented sector is already heavily regulated and many recent changes have yet to settle down. Any further regulation, therefore, has to be very carefully considered. In the current economic climate, the last thing good landlords need is to feel penalised. If a register is introduced it needs to focus totally on pushing up standards and rooting out rogue landlords. We will be looking for assurances that a register would be properly resourced and be of direct and immediate benefit to landlords and tenants.

    "Any changes must not be seen as the 'thin end of the edge' in terms of further, burdensome regulation. Reform must be workable for landlords and not damage the private-rented sector. The challenge now for Government should be to focus on incentives and encouragement."

    Other proposals include:

    • All tenancies should take the form of written agreements.
    • Increasing the threshold for access to assured shorthold tenancies (AST) and the associated legislative framework from £25,000 to £100,000 of aggregated annual rent.
    • Full mandatory regulation of letting and management agents by an independent body.
    • Encouragement of institutional investment in the sector by creating opportunities to invest on a large scale and for the long term. This would include the introduction of a long-term funding model for new private rented housing in England.
    • Development of a more sophisticated and disaggregated understanding of the sector in terms of improving the evidence base upon which decisions are made.
    • Staff in voluntary organisations – Shelter, CAB etc. – should attend training in private rented sector housing management.
    • Encouragement to landlord organisations to make support and training services more widely available to enable better understanding of what is involved in "truly professional private rented sector housing management."
    • Local authorities should be actively encouraged to explore ways in which to improve their engagement with private landlords in their areas.
    • Making accreditation available to all landlords wherever they operate. Consideration should also be given to whether a national accreditation scheme should be established.
    • Increasing protection for tenants whose landlord defaults on a mortgage.

    * Shelter Scotland research

    See Also: ARLA welcomes the Government’s “historic shift in thinking” on the private rented sector towards improved industry standards - May 2009

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    Press release Landlords: could your property be housing a cannabis factory? 11 March 2009

    The National Landlords Association (NLA), the leading representative body for private-residential landlords in the UK, is warning landlords to be vigilant of the way their properties are used, following a BBC report* into cannabis factories.

    According to the report, 29 police forces across the UK revealed a sharp rise in cannabis being produced in ‘factories’ inside rented housing. Although this is not a new problem, the NLA is reminding landlords to be aware of what could be going on behind the doors of their properties.

    Horror stories include a landlord who took six months’ rent up-front from a tenant, only to find the police knocking at his door. The tenant had demolished the internal walls of the property to create polytunnels where he was growing cannabis.

    More worryingly, this kind of criminal activity may not just be producing cannabis. The NLA has heard of methylamphetamine (commonly known as crystal meth) also being produced in rented properties.

    The process, while illegal, is also highly dangerous owing to the nature of the highly flammable elements used in producing the drug.

    Police recommend that landlords complete full and proper reference checks with both previous employers and previous landlords before entering into a tenancy agreement to avoid taking on criminal tenants.

    LANDLORDS SHOULD LOOK OUT FOR: **

    1. Strong smell of de-odourisers or air fresheners to disguise the smell of drug production
    2. Lights being left on all day and night and curtains and blinds drawn
    3. A sudden jump or fall in electricity bills
    4. Possible rewiring
    5. High humidity in the property

    David Salusbury, Chairman, NLA, commenting on the increase of cannabis factories in rented properties, said:

    "Naturally this kind of news is worrying for landlords, but by taking references and making regular visits to your property, these problems can be avoided. "The onus is on landlords to know what is going on in their property; if not they may find themselves responsible for utility bills, or facing huge repair bills if their property is used in the production of illegal substances."

    * BBC: 'Big rise in cannabis factories'

    ** Advice taken from Gwent Police

    See also: Residential property owners need to be vigilant, with cannabis farming on the increase, warns Norwich Union June, 2008 and Landlords in Ireland warned about Drug Factories June 2009

    Residential landlords may not be covered if their property is damaged by tenants using it for cannabis production, warns Norwich Union (Aviva). Mike Colmans, underwriting manager, property owners, Norwich Union, said: "As with most insurance policies, the duty of care element means a landlord must protect his investment and minimise his losses. This means it is important to be aware of the warning signs and make sure all ‘reasonable precautions' are taken."

    He went on to say."With cannabis farming clearly on the ris, there is an increased risk for landlords and their properties. They may not be aware that if their property is damaged by tenants using it for the production of cannnabis, they may not be covered".

    During 2006/2007 there were 5,497 seizures of cannabis plants by police which was a 34 per cent increase since 2005. In 2007 Norwich Union (Aviva) settled around 60 residentialclaims totalling over £1 milion. Damage fromclaims can vary from holes in walls to water or fire damage.

    Mike Colmans went on to say " Vetting the tenant is essential, as is carrying out extensive background checks including checking bank details and references. Don't accept payment for rent in cash, but instead, insist it is paid through a bank. Landlords should be wary if a short term let is requested and sub letting should be discouraged. Once the tenant is in the premises carry out regular inspections, both externally and internallyif possible."

    In a news report in "Landlord & buy-to-let magazine" there was a quote from a spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police whose Operation Dragonfly targets commercial cannabis farms warned " Electricity illegally extracted by the growers to power lights and fans can total tens of thouands of pounds and the utilities companies will seek to recover the cost from landlords".

    The Greater Manchester Police warn landlords to keep a look out for people arriving and leaving the property at randlom times of the day and night, a pungant aroma in the area, large amounts of electricalwiring, chemical and compost and blacked out windows or bright lights all night long.

    More on this here

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    Press release 74% of advice line calls about tenants not paying rent 23 Feb 2009

    The National Landlords Association (NLA), the leading representative body for private-residential landlords in the UK, has published figures showing its advice line has received over 30,000 individual telephone calls in the past 12 months.

    Over the past year the advice line has taken on average 2,500 calls per month. Unsurprisingly, 74 per cent of calls were from landlords seeking advice on how to deal with tenancies when rental arrears start to build.

    As the recession bites, a growing number of tenants are defaulting on their rent payments, leaving many landlords in a difficult position with their own mortgage repayments. Increasingly, landlords are seeking advice on the best way to deal with tenants who have fallen behind with their rent, including the legal eviction process.

    The message from the NLA Advice Line is clear: if a tenant is in financial difficulty they should talk to their landlord as soon as possible.

    But it is not just non-paying tenants causing concerns; landlords contact the NLA Advice Line on a variety of issues from cannabis farms to flooded houses.

    Top Five Landlord Enquiries

    1. What procedure do I follow, when my tenant has stopped paying rent?
    2. What is an Energy Performance Certificate?
    3. I instructed a letting agent on a ‘finder’s fee’ only, my tenant has been there for six months, my agent now wants a fee to just do the renewal paperwork.
    4. How are disputes within tenancy deposit protection handled?
    5. Do I need a licence for my HMO (House in Multiple Occupation)?

    Richard Price, Director, NLA, commenting on the increase of tenants in financial difficulty, said:"No landlord wants to serve notice on a tenant, but the reality is landlords are forced to do this when rental arrears becomes serious. The NLA Advice Line is an important source of information and ensures landlords know how to go about eviction procedures properly.

    The NLA Advice Line is staffed by a team of experienced landlords with a wealth of knowledge on landlord-related questions and issues and is free to NLA members. Back to top

    Press release 71% of landlords expecting increase in rental arrears: 8 Dec 2008

    Of those questioned, just 1% felt that rent arrears would decrease next year, with just over a quarter (28%) expecting no overall change. The study also found that two thirds (67%) of landlords have experienced problems with rent arrears in the past, with 37% facing payment difficulties with current tenants.

    David Salusbury, chairman of the NLA, highlighted landlords are in a worrying situation, and need to do all they can to ensure they receive rent regularly. He emphasised regular communication between both parties is essential to head off any problems. “The money received through rent is vital and with 71% per cent of landlords predicting that rent arrears will rise in the next 12 months, it is more important than ever that landlords are able to make an informed decision about the financial worthiness of the tenants they are taking on. A simple credit or tenant reference check before they make a decision will give landlords some additional peace of mind that their tenants can be relied upon to meet rent payments,” he concluded.

    Simon Gordon, Head of Communications, National Landlords Association, commenting on the Homeowner Mortgage Support Scheme, said: "Given that 71 per cent of landlords expect rental arrears to be a major issue during 2009, the Government should extend the recently announced measures, aimed at helping struggling homeowners, to cover properties secured on buy-to-let mortgage finance. "If the end game is to prevent people losing their homes, then it makes no sense for buy-to-let mortgages to be exempt from these new measures.

    For the more highly-geared and smaller landlord, whose monthly mortgage payments rely heavily on monthly rental income, tenants not paying can quickly spell disaster. "By giving buy-to-let landlords the same breathing space, it would give them a chance to offer any struggling tenants a similar period of time to get their finances in order and prevent the home being repossessed and lenders evicting tenants."

    71% of landlords expecting increase in rental arrears - UK

    The National Landlords Association (NLA) has published research showing that 71 per cent of landlords expect rent arrears to increase during 2009. Of those questioned, just 1% felt that rent arrears would decrease next year, with just over a quarter (28%) expecting no overall change. Back to top

    Press release Government Minister: "No sense over-burdening good landlords with further regulation" 01 Dec 2008

    Speaking at the first NLA National Conference, held in Birmingham on Saturday 29 November, Iain Wright MP, minister with responsibility for the private-rented sector, said the Government was committed to not bringing forward knee-jerk legislation that would hamper the growth of the sector but, instead would target the rogue operators which give responsible landlords a bad name.

    In a thought-provoking speech to landlord delegates, the Minister said the private-rented sector had become a "great tool to help house the people of this country" and that he wanted to see the sector "not just survive over the coming months and years but thrive."

    Dr Julie Rugg, co-author of the recently published independent review of the private-rented sector, spoke about the need for landlords to view what they do as a business and not purely as an investment vehicle. She reaffirmed how little evidence had been presented to support the view that retaliatory eviction was widespread and that ‘studentification' had become a major national problem.

    David Salusbury, Chairman, NLA, speaking at the end of the NLA National Conference, said: "The success of the NLA's first conference has demonstrated that constructive dialogue is the only way forward for the private-rented sector. The ‘trench warfare', which has so often marked discussions between decision-makers and landlords, is now behind us.

    "The Minister has re-affirmed what the NLA has known for years: the people who suffer the most from burdensome regulation are reputable landlords. The rogue operators will usually avoid being noticed; what we must now do is ensure they are not allowed to drop further under the radar."

    Other speakers at the one day event included Richard Dyson (The Mail on Sunday), Andrew Heywood (Council of Mortgage Lenders), Prof. Tony Crook (University of Sheffield) and Mary Latham (NLA Regional Representative for the Midlands). Back to top

    Press release Scottish government not delivering for landlords: 19th November 2008

    NLA Scotland has accused the Scottish Government of failing landlords on the forthcoming introduction of Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) legislation. With less than two months until the introduction of EPCs for Scottish rental properties, the Government is failing to meet its duty to ensure that all landlords are aware of the new regulations. More Information Here

    Back to top

    Press release Review marks major watershed in attitudes to PRS: renting is not second best : 23 Oct 2008

    The National Landlords Association (NLA), the leading organisation for private-residential landlords, has welcomed the publication of the Review of the Private-Rented Sector (PRS) written by Dr Julie Rugg and David Rhodes.

    The Review marks an important watershed and a move away from myth-driven policy decisions towards evidence-based recommendations which acknowledge the important contribution small landlords make to the housing mix. It is a strategic assessment that does away with the claim there is some kind of crisis in buy-to-let or the wider PRS.

    Key points:

    • The Review makes clear its doubts about build-to-let: "Much of this debate reflects the attempt to construe residential letting as commercial letting, when in reality the two sectors are very different."
    • Furthermore, the Review recognises that "smaller landlordism does not necessarily mean financial instability." There is also acknowledgement that many "cottage industry" landlords are lowly geared and have unmortgaged properties thus providing tenants with a high level of security.
    • The Review has identified that focused and targeted policies are needed to root out rogue landlords who do nothing but discredit good, smaller landlords. The Review highlights the critical role local authorities can play, with their existing and powerful tools, to manage the sector at a local level. This requires a level of prioritisation for councils.
    • A recognition that tenancies fail for specific reasons: rent arrears, anti-social behaviour etc. Policy must focus on the reasons why tenancies fail, not on manipulating the tenancy framework itself. The Review proposes an end to the assumption that PRS tenancies always end against the wishes of the tenant.

    However, the Review’s proposals on "light-touch licensing" will need further examination. Much further work is now needed to determine how a model could work and there is unlikely to be a quick-fix solution. The NLA would wish to be at the centre of ongoing discussions.

    David Salusbury, Chairman, NLA, said: "The Rugg Review offers Government a number of policy options based upon sound and independent evidence. The rhetoric has gone and myths have been dispelled.

    "It demonstrates and encourages a commitment to "grow the business of letting" for smaller landlords but also encourages larger-scale investment, where appropriate. This means tax incentives to encourage investment in quality housing across the board.

    "The Review is clear about the positive elements within the PRS and also where the sector faces challenges in raising standards and the wider social contributions landlords could make, especially in “equalising the rental choice."

    "Appropriate, focused and effective regulation of the sector is vital and supported by the NLA as a means of raising standards, improving the management of properties and cracking down on 'rogue operators'. The Review’s recommendations about licensing will need careful consideration but the NLA has a major role to play in the development of PRS policy and we look forward, in the coming weeks and months, to ensuring that landlords up and down the country are represented as the decisions which affect them are made." A full NLA response to the Rugg Review will follow in due course. Back to top

    ARLA Welcomes Rugg Review on the Private Rented Sector - 24 October 2008

    ARLA, the Association of Residential Letting Agents, has welcomed the provisions to stimulate the Private Rented Sector contained in the Rugg Review presented to the government yesterday. The report also contains proposals for licensing, redress and tackling the problems caused by bad landlords and agents.

    ARLA, the Association of Residential Letting Agents, has welcomed the provisions to stimulate the Private Rented Sector contained in the Rugg Review presented to the government yesterday. The report also contains proposals for licensing, redress and tackling the problems caused by bad landlords and agents.

    "The Private Rented Sector has been well served by the small landlord. Without this backbone, the sector would never have been revitalised and the housing market would be having even more problems," commented Ian Potter, ARLA's Head of Operations. "Professor Rugg's comments are very welcome. Stimulating the sector will do much to help us through the difficult times ahead, and at very little cost to the exchequer."

    Agreeing with the Professor Rugg's call for licensing, ARLA pointed out that the Association has been calling for the licensing of all letting agents for more than a decade and is pleased that this demand has now been backed up. The Association also pointed out that, together with other professional bodies in the property sector, it already operates independent redress systems which have the interests of the consumer in mind.

    "The coupling of light touch regulation of landlords, the licensing of agents and the need to encourage small scale landlords into the market, as called for in the Rugg Review, will, hopefully, bring about a sea change in government assistance for the Private Rented Sector with changes in the fiscal regime for landlords and an acknowledgement that REITS cannot satisfy the needs of the residential rental market," added Ian Potter.

    Source ARLA

    See also:

    ARLA launches buy-to-let mortgage comparison site - March 2010

    Response to FSA Paper on Mortgage Lending - October 2009

    Response to statistics from NLA on rental arrear-October 2009

    Demand in rental market returns for the first time since recession began - 28 September 2009

    Review of ARLA Agreement Magazine on Insurance - August 2009

    ARLA welcomes the Government’s “historic shift in thinking” on the private rented sector towards improved industry standards - May 2009

    ARLA launches new licensing scheme to protect consumer interests - Consumer interests safeguarded by letting agent licensing - May 2009

    Regulation needed to protect business of residential letting - ARLA February 2009

    ARLA’s Response to the Law Commission Report - August 2008

    ARLA demands an end to unregulated Letting agents - January 2009

    Back to top of page

    Press release Landlords and letting agents unite against ‘tenant-humiliation’ practices : 20 Oct 2008

    The National Landlords Association (NLA) and the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) which represent over 23,500 landlords and letting agent offices, have joined together to roundly condemn any practices which ridicule and humiliate tenants.

    Recent media coverage of a letting agent who has started erecting signs on the properties of tenants who have failed to pay their rent has shocked many property professionals and attracted much criticism. There have also been questions raised about the legality of this practice.

    David Salusbury, Chairman, NLA, said: "It is very frustrating for landlords if tenants fail to pay their rent and the system does not always provide easy channels for landlords to take action. During these leaner economic times, landlords are as stretched as everyone else and tenants have a responsibility to keep up with their payments.

    "However, there are legal channels available for landlords to gain possession if absolutely necessary. The law is on the side of landlords in this situation but the courts can be slow to deliver, with delays of six months not uncommon. Despite these frustrations, we strongly advise landlords against supporting this kind of behaviour. It is fundamentally a flawed idea."

    Ian Potter, Head of operations for ARLA, supporting this view, said: "This is almost certainly an illegal activity, contravening data protection and planning laws. Apart from that, what do the agent and landlord expect to achieve, and how do they think they will appear to the majority of people in the street? Taking the law into your own hands is dangerous in many more ways than one.

    "Any letting agent who encourages landlords to take this sort of action should be avoided. At the end of the day, this kind of behaviour is severely detrimental to communities and the relationship between letting agents, landlords and tenants." Back to top

    Press release NLA publishes draft code of practice for consultation - Sale and Rent Back: 4th August 2008

    The National Landlords Association (NLA), the leading representative body for private-residential landlords, has asked interested parties to submit their views on their draft Code of Practice for landlords involved in the sale and rent back market.

    Following wide-reaching consultation across the housing and mortgage sectors, the Code places the protection of vulnerable consumers at its heart. More and more people are now facing financial difficulty including so-called ‘payment shock’ and the inability to keep up with their mortgage payments. Ethical sale and rent back could be a way for some struggling homeowners to stay in their homes.

    David Salusbury, Chairman, NLA, welcoming the publication of the draft Code, said:

    "Unsurprisingly, sale and rent back continues to be a controversial issue. Far from being an alternative to the many equity release products aimed at older people, sale and rent back offers flexible tenure for those can no longer afford the costs of home ownership. For some, becoming tenants will be a temporary stop-gap while they get their finances back in order. For others, they will reap the benefits – including cost - of living in rental accommodation.

    "The draft Code should be seen as a work-in-progress. We are putting it out for consultation so interested parties can submit their opinions about how the Code could be improved but also to indicate the seriousness with which the UK’s leading landlord association takes its responsibilities for raising standards across the private-rented sector.

    "As we have said before, people’s homes are not like other commodities. We must act in order to ensure those consumers facing financial difficulty and imminent repossession are protected from rogue landlords."

    The Office of Fair Trading has now launched a market study into sale and rent back which is due to complete its work in September. One of the possible outcomes following the OFT market study could be to encourage the development of a consumer code of practice. Back to top

    XPress release The National Landlords Association (NLA) and the National Federation of Residential Landlords (NFRL), who together represent nearly 20,000 landlords, have announced they are to merge creating the largest representative body for landlords in the United Kingdom. 9th July 2008

    Research among the membership of both organisations has indicated the need for a national unified voice for private-residential landlords. Following several months of negotiations between the governing bodies of the NFRL and NLA, this merger rightly reflects landlords' desires that their views are represented with one voice to policy-makers.

    The larger NLA, combining the strengths of both organisations, will better represent the needs of all landlords at a time when the private-rented sector faces major challenges. The merger will mean a wider range of products and services being made available to members as well as a significant development of local landlord networks.

    David Salusbury, Chairman, NLA, in welcoming the merger, said"The aims and objectives of the NFRL and NLA are very similar. It is these synergies which make the merger an obvious next step for both organisations."

    "The newly enlarged NLA, with almost 20,000 paid-up landlord members, is now the pre-eminent voice for the private-rented sector and this will mean increased commercial benefits to our members but also a greater ability to influence policy at all levels. At a time of doom-mongering headlines about the housing market, this merger is good news for the entire private-rented sector."

    Barry Markham, Chairman, NFRL, commenting on the newly enlarged NLA, said: "All landlords deserve to have their opinions and views represented clearly. Although the current economic climate provides commercial opportunities for the professional landlord, it remains critical that the NLA continues to lobby Government and highlight the important role that landlords play in providing decent and affordable rental accommodation.

    "The NFRL has worked tirelessly to develop an extensive branch network covering the whole country. This enables landlords to feel part of something useful at a local and applied level. With both organisations coming together under the NLA banner, landlords have a representative body that listens and responds and will strive to safeguard their legitimate business interests."

    Current members of the NFRL will automatically become members of the NLA. The five existing directors at the NLA will remain in place but will be augmented by two former NFRL directors. One of the new NLA directors, Barry Markham (former NFRL Chairman), will become a Vice Chairman of the NLA. Back to top

    XPress release NLA claims a victory for landlords on unfair renewal fees by letting agents 26 February 2008

    The National Landlords Association (NLA), which represents almost 14,000 landlords, has welcomed the decision by the Office of Fair Trading to issue High Court proceedings against a major High Street letting agent

    The NLA has received vast amounts of correspondence supporting its recent campaign against these extortionate renewal fees, including from landlords who are being sued by letting agents for refusing to pay-up.

    Currently, many landlords in London and the South East who have been managing a property on their own and who simply want to renew the tenancy agreement for a further 12 months, can expect to pay 10% or 11% of the annual rent as a renewal commission to the letting agent. For many properties in the region, this could be a figure running into thousands.

    John Socha, Vice Chairman, NLA, in welcoming this announcement said: "The NLA has been pivotal at encouraging landlords to come forward and complain about these ‘money for nothing’ fees which seem to have become the norm in London and the surrounding region.

    "We very much welcome the OFT’s decision to seek an injunction in this case and hope this sends out a signal that this fee, where the agent has done nothing to earn it, is unwarranted and unfair and should be abolished as soon as possible."

    Most letting agents in other parts of the UK charge a small administration fee for a ‘let only’ renewal. This covers contacting the tenant, negotiating the length and level of the tenancy along with signing the renewal and returning completed paperwork. This often costs less than £95 plus VAT.

    Press releases 2008

    OFT seeks court order against letting agent Foxtons

    28/08 25 February 2008

    The OFT has issued High Court proceedings against Foxtons Limited seeking a declaration on the application of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations 1999 (UTCCRs) to certain terms in Foxtons' lettings agreements with landlords. The OFT is also seeking an injunction against Foxtons preventing it from using the terms.

    The action taken by the OFT is in response to consumer complaints. If successful in this case the OFT intends to enforce compliance with the law, as declared by the Court, throughout the letting industry wherever similar terms are being used.

    The terms to which the OFT objects in Foxtons' letting agreements can potentially require landlords to pay Foxtons substantial sums in commission, where a tenant continues to occupy the landlord's property after the initial fixed period of the tenancy has expired - even if Foxtons plays no part in persuading the tenant to stay, and no longer collects the rent or manages the property. Foxtons' terms can also require the landlord to pay these sums after the landlord has sold the property. The terms also demand commission where the landlord sells the property to the tenant, even where Foxtons has played no part in negotiating that sale.

    Foxtons contends that its agreements with landlords are not unfair and continues to use these terms, and accordingly, the OFT has issued proceedings so the courts can decide the matter.

    NOTES

    1. The OFT is seeking an enforcement order against Foxtons Limited under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 (UTCCRs).

    2. The UTCCRs apply to standard contract terms with consumers. The UTCCRs protect consumers against unfair standard terms in contracts they make with traders. The OFT, and certain other qualifying bodies (such as local authority trading standards, national regulatory bodies, and Which?) can take legal action to prevent the use of potentially unfair terms. A term is likely to be considered unfair if, contrary to the requirement of good faith, it causes a significant imbalance in the parties' rights and obligations under the contract, to the detriment of consumers. The regulations say that a consumer is not bound by a standard term in a contract with a trader if that term is unfair. Ultimately, only a court can decide whether a term is unfair.

    3. It is estimated in the lettings industry that there are at least 15,000 letting agency businesses in the UK, including a number of national and multi-national companies in addition to many smaller businesses.

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