An open letter from 53 organisations operating within the housing market has been published calling on the government to roll-out Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRNs)
Addressed to housing secretary Robert Jenrick, the letter says UPRNs will offer many benefits including the elimination of rogue landlords, increased protection for tenants, better enforcement of housing standards and faster and simpler house sales.
Organised by The Lettings Industry Council (TLIC) and the Institute of Residential Property Management (IRMP), the letter is also backed by many leading estate agents and industry organisations including the Property Redress Scheme, the NRLA, RICS, Savills, Foxtons and Countrywide.
The PRS’ Head of Redress Sean Hooker says he backs UPRNs because it will help bring greater transparency to the private rental market and links a huge amount of property information to a single, easily-used number.
Andrew Bulmer, CEO of the IRPM says a UPRN is like attaching a number plate to a car. “Instead, we attach a unique number of up to 12 digits to all things related to properties including fittings, fixtures, paperwork and surveys so that each property can be uniquely identified with unparalleled accuracy,” he says.
Theresa Wallace (pictured), Founder of TLIC, notes that, “widespread adoption of UPRN’s could revolutionise the property market, this is a really exciting initiative which has industry support and we now need the Government to add theirs.”
The letter details the benefits of widespread market adoption of the UPRN to society, the economy and property sector. These include:
- Improved building, consumer and market safety.
- More targeted enforcement of legislation.
- Increased protection for tenants from rogue landlords.
- Faster conveyancing and transparency in home buying and selling.
UPRNs are backed by National Trading Standards, which says that the “widespread use of UPRNs has the potential to deliver many benefits across the residential property market.”