Two property associations have urged for better tracking of safety regulations today, in a bid to clampdown on cowboy landlords and unsafe housing.
The Lettings Industry Council (TLIC) has called for Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRN) to be embedded within the upcoming Renter’s Reform Bill, so that property safety records can be grouped within a portal accessible by tenants and landlords.
“Each year, in an attempt to combat some of the issues experienced in the private rented sector, including sub-standard properties, rogue and naïve landlords, and untrained agents, more and more legislation has been introduced, confusing even diligent landlords with the complexities in providing a rental home,” TLIC chair, Theresa Wallace said.
“We believe it is crucial to phase in these significant changes in a considered manner over a period of time, avoiding unexpected unintended consequences which only hurt those we are seeking to protect the most – tenants.”
It follows similar calls from the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) yesterday, which suggested the use of so-called property passports, that would help renters find decent housing and landlords prove their homes are compliant.
While the majority of landlords provide compliant properties, such passports would similarly contain copies of all safety certificates and list improvements made to properties.
Local authorities would also be able to run spot checks, to verify the passport is a true record of the state of the property.
For social sector landlords, an independent organisation would have the power to check that local authorities have conducted assessments correctly, the NRLA said.
The White Paper for the Bill, made by Michael Gove’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), should be published shortly.