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RLA appoints David Smith as new policy director

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has appointed leading housing lawyer David Smith as its new policy director. 

Smith succeeds long-standing RLA board member Richard Jones, who will continue as company secretary.

Smith specialises in landlord and tenant law, particularly in the residential sector. He deals with civil claims such as possession actions against tenants at all levels from the county courts to the Supreme Court; actions in the First-Tier and Upper Tribunals contesting decisions of local authorities, and defending landlords and agents from prosecution in relation to property matters.


His RLA appointment is a personal position, although he will remain a practising solicitor and partner at Anthony Golds.

Smith has written and spoken extensively on landlord and tenant law and is particularly known for his work on the Housing Act 2004. He has advised at all levels from landlords and agents to tenancy deposit protection schemes, local authorities, and landlord and lettings agent’s representative bodies. Most recently, he served as an expert advisor to the Welsh Assembly Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee for its stage 1 consideration of the Renting Homes (Wales) Bill.

RLA Chairman, Alan Ward said: “David Smith is a recognised expert in residential landlord and tenant law, with a particular focus on changes in the law. He is well known across the sector for his work on tenancy deposit protection, and houses in multiple occupation, and a regular contributor to conferences, the media and landlord forums. At a time of considerable change for the private rented sector, David’s experience and knowledge will be invaluable in guiding RLA policy and making representation to all levels of government.”

Smith said: “I am delighted to join the RLA.  With a new housing bill proposed and major changes to the tax regime, it is a challenging time for landlords. Private renting is crucial to meeting Britain’s housing need and supporting the flexible workforce the economy demands. However, as it continues to grow, it comes under greater levels of scrutiny. I look forward to leading the RLA’s policy work, to secure the best possible outcomes for our members, and the private rented sector in general.”

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  • Bob Leydon MARLA

    David Smith is an authority on all things lettings. An impressive and clear communicator. Good to see him with the RLA. He managed to simplify the Deregulation Act with a neat flow chart - a fixture in my office.

  • Kenny Sahota

    A grand appointment by the RLA, you would struggle to find anyone else with his extensive level of expertise and experience. Let's hope that he manages to ensure the PRS still grows and effectively Britain's housing needs.


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