iHowz CEO Peter Littlewood is keen to move with the times, regularly posting topical videos online to keep members up-to-date, but he’s conscious it needs to use social media if it’s to move forward and engage with younger landlords.
“I know I should do more tweeting,” Peter laughs ruefully.
The South East landlord association has embraced Zoom throughout the lockdown and is even considering running more of its regular face-to-face meet-ups online in the future.
Leaving the sector
Engaging with technology has become increasingly relevant because several of its loyal older members – some of whom still prefer to get their quarterly newsletter posted – are now selling up and leaving the sector, Peter tells LandlordZONE.
They’re simply fed up with all the red tape we’ve been swamped in of late. “They’ve had enough and the final nail is the probable scrapping of Section 21 which they believe will make their lives more difficult,” he explains.
iHowz can trace its roots back to 1974 when a group of Brighton landlords got together to put their views across to the local council.
It works to present a positive image of the industry, raise standards, influence national policy and help local councils meet housing needs.
Local and national coups
In recent years it’s proud of having effected change on a local and national level: it sponsored a landlord taking his case to the Supreme Court – in Kumarasamy vs Edwards – over responsibility for a tenant who sued after tripping over a paving slab outside his house that resulted in a change in the law, and successfully helped tone down Southampton Council’s licensing scheme.
A former landlord who’s been with iHowz for more than 15 years, Peter’s keen to ensure it continues working on their behalf as the, “friendly face of landlord associations”, offering a variety of benefits for its almost 1,000-strong membership – from a helpline, to workshops and training courses where experts join meetings to give advice on subjects such as tax.
“Education is so important – if you want to be a landlord who’s responsible for someone’s home, you should be trained and accredited,” he adds. “But it’s not just about what we can do for people, it’s what they can do for us that can make a difference.”