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Plans outlined to introduce ‘property MOT’ for the rental sector

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Mon 15 Jul 2019

Plans outlined to introduce ‘property MOT’ for the rental sector

Savills is to integrate a minimum standards-style checklist into its systems as part of plans to introduce a “property MOT” for the rental sector.

Theresa Wallace, a Savills director and chair of The Lettings Industry Council which has been working on the idea, said it could be more effective than, and replace, licensing schemes.

Wallace told yesterday’s Property Ombudsman conference that rental homes would have to pass minimum standards, similar to a car MOT, in order to be fit to rent.

She said Savills was keen on integrating property MOTs and that Hunters had already trialled it.

It would include a checklist to show all regulations have been complied with and would include tenancy agreements and inventories.

She said all properties have their own unique number from the Land Registry so can be identified and listed on a portal that displays ‘Property MOTs’ and could be checked by the public and Trading Standards.

She said: “We do believe there is a place for larger HMO licensing schemes, but there has to be a better solution to additional and selective licensing.

“We think we have identified a not-for-profit company to host a portal and it could also integrate deposit registration.”

Lord Best, chair of the working group on the regulation of property agents, said all agents would need a qualification to obtain a licence and it would be illegal to trade without one.

He said the qualifications would vary depending on the agent’s role.

Separately, Tory MP Kevin Hollinrake, chairman and co-founder of Hunters, warned that rent controls will ensue if Section 21 is abolished, which his own party has advocated.

He said that agents need to make their case properly, to avoid unintended consequences.