The government-backed organisation that is managing the roll-out of Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRNs) has revealed how the initiative will impact landlords and rented property.
GeoSpace, which is a joint venture between government and industry, was created in 2011 to digitise the built environment and help both local and national governments put together a unique list of every address in the UK.
After many years of work UPRNs are emerging from the realm of local authorities, which use them internally, into the wider world including the private rental market.
But landlords should understand that this will make their activities, and their properties, much more transparent to both tax, regulatory and licensing authorities.
This is the conclusion of Geoplace chief Nick Chapallaz (pictured, above), whose organisation is backing the efforts of The Lettings Industry Council to create an MOT-style record for every property within the PRS.
“One element of this is to check whether a property has a valid energy performance certificate (EPC), and the identifier can be linked to this and to gas and electricity meters as part of the validation,” he says.
“It also enables local authorities to cross-reference needs for social services with rental properties, to identify landlords who are avoiding their responsibilities for essential repairs, and helps HM Treasury identify those who are not registered for tax.”
But while some rogue operators will not welcome this kind of digital snooping, it will help drive huge improvement to the lettings process for estate agents and compliant landlords.
Theresa Wallace (pictured), chair of TLIC, says UPRNs will bring down costs by making property management much easier by connecting a host of services to a property via one number.
This will include EPC providers, gas engineers, electrical contractors, CRM systems, deposit protection providers and ombudsman schemes.
What is a UPRN?
It’s a unique 12-digit number that is unique to every address in the UK. For example, No.10 Downing Street is UPRN 100023336956.