Chairman’s Report for GPRLA AGM 2020
Welcome Ladies and Gentlemen to this our 14th AGM of the GPRLA.
To say that 2020 has been like no other year since our formation would not be an exaggeration and not just because of covid 19.
As a council our work load has increased noticeably over previous years due in part to our continuing success as an organisation and the amount of new legislation that has been proposed and the need for the council on your behalf to read the proposals and take part in the consultation process. We are now recognised by most of the various states departments as the go to authority for help with all things related to the rental market. If we do not know the answer we will know someone who does.
The latest membership numbers were 262 members representing 1729 units of accommodation. This makes us the largest single block of landlords and units in the island more than the GHA or the States of Guernsey social housing.
A quick look at what we have dealt with since last year’s AGM makes interesting reading.
AGM 27th June 2019
July draft discrimination law is released for comments
August Request to take part in consultation process for the Energy Policy
October Ask for an update on the General Housing Law
December Received a summary of the Proposed General Housing Law
Request a meeting with Deputy Barry Brehaut and Tobin Cook, the heads of the department drafting the new law, Environment and Infrastructure, to raise our concerns.
January 2020. Made contact with the Guernsey Open Market Forum to see if we have any common ground where we can act together. Zef Eisenberg was the chair.
March covid 19 outbreak. Contacted by the civil emergency authority for our views on how we think the emergency may affect landlords and tenants. Given a contact to report any concerns/ information as the emergency continues.
June. Draft General Housing Law released. An amendment is placed to stop Landlord from advertising “no children “
Letter is sent to all states members stating why if passed this amendment would be a toothless piece of legislation
GPRLA council formalise the councils contingency plan
AGM Postponed due to covid 19
Mailchimp is updated to give us 6,000 messages a month. We are currently exceeding this number.
July. General Housing Law is passed , including the “no children “ ban.
August. Employment and Social Security department (ESS) propose 30k bond on property owners to pay for their long term care. States Members are contacted to register GPRLA opposition to the proposals.
ESS proposals are defeated.
All of the forgoing was extra to dealing with the day to day business of running the GPRLA.
Open meeting are down on previous years but we have managed to hold two
The web site continues to be very informative and is looked after by Mich and our web developer. Mich keeps asking the council for fresh articles to post. If any members have something that they think may be of interest to fellow landlords please send it to Mich at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to have a look at it.
Landlord and Tenant Disputes continue to arise at 1 a week or 50 a year. The most difficult disputes to resolve are absent Landlords. We have seen a rise in the number of landlords that are being unreasonable to the tenant either through being naïve or plain greedy , because they can as they know the tenant either does not know the law or can’t be bothered. I am pleased to note that none of this group are members of GPRLA.
The biggest success story of the past year has been the introduction of the Accommodation request service that we offer prospective tenants. It’s a free service that we have never advertised but for those of you who receive the email messages will know, it’s a steady stream of requests. This is why we are exceeding our 6,000 a month messages with Mailchimp.
Next year promises to be just as busy. The Government are proposing to carry out a tax review which will no doubt be looking to target landlords and property owners.
Some reworked form of paying for long term care may be back on the table
Data protection will start to charge for being registered from 1st January 2021. All landlords will have to register.
I would like to see a review of the Sheriff’s Department and how it operates including its powers of enforcement and debt recovery.
Propose the setting up of a debt register to counter debtors who abscond from the island when in financial trouble, only to return when the coast is clear as the time frame for debt recovery has elapsed.
Try to influence the actual detail of the new General Housing Law, particularly how the deposit scheme will work and try to get mediation included.
It is with regret I have to report that Dan Taylor our treasurer has tendered his resignation from the council due to family commitments with imminent arrival of his second child. He has assured me that he is willing to return to the fold when things allow. Dan has been a valuable asset to GPRLA and will be missed.
I am pleased to report that the remaining members of your council have indicated that they are willing to serve another year should you wish to re-elect them. In closing I would ask you to show your appreciation of your hard working council in the normal way.
Chair of GPRLA