We have all been there haven’t we? Not quite sure of the answer. Unlike our sales colleagues where legal advice is something for the conveyancing solicitor with lettings we’re supposed to know it all! Landlord and potential landlords come to you for advice and are mightily impressed if they are able to receive it in a speedy manner.

The lettings industry is a minefield of legalities which change frequently. How on earth can staff keep up? Especially in a world where there can be frequent staff changes brought about by the stress of the job. Hopefully the manager will know the answer but where is he? Out earning business of course. Meeting potential landlords. So in the meantime who do you turn to?

The main professional bodies offer an advice line service. As a Member of ARLA and someone that undertakes work for the Guild I am able to compare different services.

As a Member of ARLA I am able to email my question which will find its way to a solicitor specialising in lettings law. It is likely that you will receive a response by email the following day. Unfortunately you are not able to ask a supplementary question but have to go through the route of sending the email via the ARLA website for each and every question. Of course it mustn’t be forgotten that you need to be the Member of ARLA to be able to do this.
With the Guild there is an opportunity to subscribe to the Advice Line either as part of the full membership or on its own. Here any member of staff that is employed in the office that has subscribed can call the Advice Line. No emails here. You talk to someone representing the Letting Training Centre (normally Susie or myself) and on most occasions are given the advice on the spot. If we are unsure of the answer we have our own solicitor that specialises in Landlord and Tenant Law to consult. Susie has been involved with training since 2005 and having manned the Advice Line periodically since 2011 there is little that she doesn’t know. I have been involved with lettings since 2003 and sat and passed the Level 4 Diploma in December 2006. I work in the lettings industry and having been the lettings manager with a portfolio of 450 managed properties both rural and urban there is little that I haven’t come across. That said, if I felt unsure I would still call the solicitor to ensure that the advice given to the client is sound.
In summary there is unlikely to be any difference in the advice received by either channel. However with the Guild the advice is both speedy and personal. And it isn’t unusual to be hit with supplementary questions and even passed to other members of staff who have other questions. The Advice Line is without doubt the single most beneficial reason to join the Guild.
Wyn Morgan