Passports are fashionable in the rental sector right now. Last month we had deposit passporting and now we have the concept of a so-called rental property passport.
This is the suggestion of Theresa Wallace, head of lettings customer relations at Savills and current chair of The Lettings Industry Council. Speaking at The Property Ombudsman Conference last week, she told delegates the passport “could rapidly improve the quality of accommodation and landlords, and would be far fairer than the slew of licensing schemes now in force”.
It would be based on the DVLA model which manages the details of almost 50 million drivers and 40 million vehicles. Letting Agent Today outlines how the passport might work.
- Each rental property would have a unique reference number. These are already allocated to properties by the Land Registry;
- Any property without a reference number would not be ‘official’, so may have been illegally converted;
- Every advertisement for a rental property must include its reference number and would also include the equivalent of a ‘property MOT’ certificate to ensure it had passed appropriate tests.
Delegates at the conference were told that Hunters have already successfully piloted the scheme and that the Lettings Industry Council has found a not-for-profit supplier who may be able to operate a PropTech portal. This would mean the properties could be quickly and easily viewed by the public and Trading Standards.
If you are a landlord – or a tenant – we’d like to know what you think about this idea, so do leave your comments below.