Who are you?
I am David d’Orton-Gibson
What does it say on your business card?
It says I am the Managing Director of an organisation supporting those involved in the residential lettings sector.
How long has Training for Professionals been trading?
I started Training for Professionals in 1993.
Why is training so important for letting agents?
Lettings is massively wrapped up in legislation. To stay within the law and avoid problems landlords and agents need to know the legal framework.
How do your training sessions work?
Very well! Jokes aside, we offer in house training where we run courses for a particular company or group and we also offer public courses where anyone can book on our web site and attend. Visit our website to see the latest courses available http://www.tfponline.co.uk/Public/EventsShop.aspx
We also do a good number of online training courses that can be accessed via the internet and the recorded versions are also available through our web site shop at http://www.tfponline.co.uk/Public/Shop.aspx#webinars
There have been many changes to the rental sector in the last year or so, which do you see as the most significant?
Without a doubt, for England, the changes to deposit protection and section 21 notices from the Deregulation Act are the biggest changes. The deposit changes make life slightly better for landlords and agents but the section 21 changes, including retaliatory evictions, make life more tricky overall. Of course in Wales, where the law is increasingly diverging (for example the section 21 changes do not apply in Wales), the launch of Rent Smart Wales scheme has to be the biggest issue. We are very involved in providing training for landlords and agents through our clients in Wales: http://www.tfponline.co.uk/Public/RentSmartWales.aspx
What is the biggest challenge facing letting agents at the moment?
In the biggest sense the changes to the tax system for rented properties probably holds the greatest threat. Landlords who currently make no cash from their rental business may find they will have to start paying tax (on the losses!). Speaking to one landlord in that situation recently he was looking at a £20,000 tax bill and is now looking to sell some of the portfolio (it affects highly geared landlords most negatively).
What is your greatest achievement in your current role and what made it so special?
The great achievement in my current role is undoubtedly the great team of staff we have. Although I am often the face of TFP out running courses, none of it could happen without all the administrative staff. They are a fantastic bunch and make work a fun place to be. I have always loved the phrase, “work is anything you have to do when you would rather be doing something else”, on that basis I have not worked for years!
What is the most satisfying part of your job?
Helping people understand some of the complexities of this business. Sadly those writing the rules seem to have no idea of how things work in real life!
What is your property prediction for 2016?
I think there will be unrelenting pressure on prices as the basic problem is not landlord buying properties (because they are housing people and if landlord don’t buy tenants will be forced to be homes owners and number of properties does not change) but the simple lack of homes being built. If some landlords leave the market due to adverse tax rules this is likely to reduce rental supply further. The net effect of those two is likely to be rising prices and rising rents, can’t be bad.
House or apartment? Apartment
City or countryside? Love living in the country but live right in the centre of town!
Modern and stylish or period and original? Period and original (I presume we are talking about properties and not me personally!)
Rent or buy? Buy
Kirstie Allsopp or Phil Spencer? Phil