ARMA Annual Conference 2017
23 Nov 2017
I attended the ARMA conference last month in London where the theme for the day was Managing the Future.
Much of the focus was, understandably, around Grenfell and future challenges, and ARMA has established an H&S and Fire Committee to provide members with regular updates in this fast-moving area.
The keynote speaker was The Rt Hon Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government who announced a government call for evidence, seeking views on the regulation of letting and managing agents and the approaches the government could take to implement any such regulation. The intention is to help create a property management sector that works for all and the government will consider changing the law so that all letting and management agents, across both the private rented and leasehold sectors, must be qualified and regulated in order to practice. The closing date for submissions is 29 November 2017.
An interesting panel session around the topic of Commonhold tenure followed with talks by Phillip Rainey QC and Professor James Driscoll, a solicitor and mediator, who has written extensively on the subject. It was argued that the intellectual arguments support common hold, it is a much more flexible and fairer form of tenure, and that it would be particularly welcome in Scotland where it would alleviate much of the stalemate that has arisen there. On the other side of the coin, it was argued that common hold legislation is too complex and needs reform, it is untested, and that few mortgage providers will currently lend against it.
In the lead up to lunch, Debra Yudolph and Charles Seifert of SAY Property Consulting presented a film commissioned specifically for the Conference which brought to life what developers expect from managing agents.
The afternoon began with a highly topical presentation by Michael Lee of Michael R Lee Chartered Surveyors on the current position on Grenfell and Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) and also what property managers need to know about Reinstatement Cost Assessments for insurance valuation purposes.
The next session was a thought-provoking presentation by Professor G Jacobides around how organisations need to build and capture value in a challenging environment, including observations on the future of the sector overall and how we can shape it.
It was an informative conference around the challenges facing the industry and the important contribution that ARMA and its members can play in shaping the future.
Don Kennedy // Operations Director