NFRL / NLA merger – what on earth?
Posted by markharrison on July 9, 2008
On the 25th July June [edit – 26th July!], I announced that I had been appointed a Director of the National Federation of Residential Landlords.
Shortly after that, I was contacted by the Vice-Chairman of the NFRL, to express surprise at this! Apparantly, rather than have a full board meeting, three of the Directors phoned on the evening of the 23rd, proposed me as a Director, and asked her to “vote”. Four Directors (those three plus the Vice-Chair) would have made a quorum.
She said she wasn’t happy with this, and said “no”. Her view is that a phone call out of the blue isn’t a board meeting, even if three other Directors happen to be on the end of a phone!
[Update: Later on the 9th July – as a result of this, it’s not clear whether I ever was a Director – sigh.]
However, on the 25th, the three Directors in question then told me that they’d held a Board Meeting, and co-opted me. They told me that the Vice-Chair wasn’t around because her daughter was ill. I was expecting to go along, but as an “advisor” to the Board, not as a Director. In fact, much of my purpose of being there was to help me decide whether I wanted to be proposed as a Director at the next General Meeting (which, to be fair, might have involved co-opting me at the end of the meeting for a month or two to help prepare for the AGM.)
Once I discovered that something funny had gone on, I figured that the only right thing to do was resign, so on the 29th June, I resigned as a Director. I offered to stand for election by the members at the AGM, but wasn’t happy to be pulled into the middle of something odd.
At the one board meeting I attended, there was a presentation from the National Landlords Association (NLA) about a possible merger. After the presentation, I said that I was personally in favour, but felt that the only correct path was to present the merger offer to the members. At that board meeting, the board also co-opted another Director.
I have now learnt that the board met on the 30th June, the day after I resigned, and agreed to NOT ask the members – but instead move straight to merger. (They have the power to do this under the terms of a Resolution passed by the members at the last General Meeting.)