Interesting times at Propertymark

The departure of ARLA CEO David Cox has drawn considerable comment, with many people incredulous that the Propertymark Board chose to block Cox from standing for the soon-to-be-created position of head of both NAEA and ARLA.

EYE understands that the Board meeting that took the decision had no ARLA board members in attendance. Where were Valerie Bannister, Richard Selwyn, and John Paul on the day? Were they aware that Cox’s position was going to be discussed?

There is speculation that the issue began to rumble some weeks ago.

There has been no indication of why Peter Savage ( a two times President of ARLA)  and Nik Madan (also a former President of ARLA) suddenly resigned from the Board last February but some believe their departure may have been triggered by dissatisfaction with the direction of Propertmark’s travel under the stewardship of Executive Chairman, Christopher Hamer.

The membership of ARLA, NAEA and the other Propertymark brands will now be wondering who will be selected for appointment to the forthcoming top job.

One possible candidate is Richard Lambert, who was CEO of the National Landlords Association for eight and a half years before it merged with the Residential Landlords Association earlier this year.

Lambert has a c.v. that suggests he might be suitable for the position at Propertymark, especially if the organisation is positioning itself to become the industry regulator in the future.

An Oxford graduate with a B.A. in Modern History, he has a political background having done a ten year stint in the House of Commons as a Parliamentary civil servant, working in the administration and organisation of the business of the House and its committees and working on select committees, standing committees, in the Journal Office and the international section.

He was then a director at the British Property Federation for five years before becoming Chief Executive of the British Woodworking Federation where he stayed for nine years.

His LinkedIn profile says he is:

“Experienced, intellectually versatile CEO, with a track record of building organisations to realise their potential.
“Accomplished communicator and public speaker, and regular spokesman to a wide range of print and broadcast media.
“Effective lobbyist, whose deep experience of government and parliament ensures continuing effectiveness in a changing political landscape.
“Committed to understanding members and their concerns and shaping the organisation’s services and communications to support them, and to developing people, building a staff team and creating an open, empowered culture.”

It also says he is currently:  “Actively seeking my next challenge.”

Perhaps that challenge lies behind the doors of Arbon House where some matters are rather unclear, including how the membership level stayed roughly the same between 2018 and 2019 but membership fee income fell by £1.3m.


Unrest as Propertymark agents mull agenda at this week’s AGM

Propertymark fails to explain why membership fee income fell by £1.3 million in 2019

EYE NEWSFLASH: David Cox has left ARLA Propertymark


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  1. debbiedoesalot

    Apparently the advert for the new role states that applicants ‘Doesn’t need to have a track record in the property industry’! To lead an organisation that is 100% about property? Madness!! David Cox had proven himself in the lettings arm but was denied the opportunity to prove himself in the new role. Just by looking at the posts relating to his leaving ARLA, it is obvious that he was very popular among its members. Aside from his many achievements there, he brought a certain friendliness to an otherwise starchy old boys club. In my mind Christopher Hamer, whom I would describe as having the charisma of Chitty’s child catcher, has made a huge mistake. With regards to Richard Lambert, surely he’s another political yes man that did nothing to defend NLA members from the raft of draconian legislation headed their way during his tenure at the organisation. I worry for the future of Propertymark.

    1. Gloslet

      If David were to revert to the NLA (or the NLRA as it is now) then I suspect ARLA would be empty of members within a year.
      The NRLA is very good on it’s own but a combination of David Cox with David Smith could be a quite formidable setup – there would not be a need for any other landlord or letting agent industry group.

  2. RedRebel

    Time for this organisation to have a root to branch shake-up, time for it to remember who it is supposed to serve and maybe to publish its accomplishments for its members to understand exactly what value it brings. Interesting that the training arm of the Propertymark is owned by the tow who are departing

    1. Ostrich17

      If you are referring to Propertymark Qualifications Ltd, it is wholly owned by Propertymark.

  3. Eric Walker

    ‘Propertymark says it wants someone who does not have a track record in the industry but will need to have an interest in property and a track record in regulation and professional membership bodies’

    This is surprisingly similar to the requirement for an ombudsman or regulator rather than a trade association which requires a leader with whom members identify.

    I am a fan of David Cox and Chris Hamer and it seems a shame that a good team has broken up for whatever reason. Good luck to all in whatever the future holds.

    1. debbiedoesalot

      Yes it seems as though Hamer is trying to realign Propertymark towards being the new Government regulator rather than being a trade association.

  4. Bert

    As an ARLA member we are paying the salaries and expenses of the people who are making these decisions and, in the process, making a mockery of the organisation and the whole of the lettings industry in the eyes of the consumer and of government. These decision makers must have a strategy. But they don’t seem able to explain it so that their members, who, please note, are also consumers, can make a choice.

  5. TF1968

    Deeply saddened by the loss of David Cox who put so much into ARLA as was  – improving the recognition of an industry standard and building respect within government. As a long standing member I am more than somewhat disillusioned by the politics at Arbon House – the staff turnover says it all.

    He will be a hard act to follow and one of the few who was even handed in his support of Lettings and Estate Agency. The industry needs to stand together – fragmenting at this stage is dangerous.

  6. GPL


    Seems this “Body” has no interest in serving its members best interests ……merely positioning itself (as mentioned by others) as the likely candidate to serve the Government‘s whims …….and selling its members down the river.


    As I enjoy my 4th decade in the Property Industry I can’t help but note the ever deepening pool of “scavengers” seeking to profit from Our Industry ……NOT serve it. Hidden beneath their “We’re your Body” Cloak ……their actions/results demonstrate that they serve themselves by dancing to the tune of those in power that can appoint them to a more powerful role.


    Cox indeed.




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