Property passports and logbooks have moved a step closer after Government organisations agreed to make reference numbers used to identify homes and streets available for free.
These are currently managed by Government-backed data bodies the Geospatial Commission and GeoPlace and will be made available from July 1st.
The data is known as a unique property reference number (UPRN) and the idea is that this data will eventually be used to link and find the various details of a home such as its energy rating or purchase history.
The Lettings Industry Council (TLIC), which has been working on a property passport for the rental sector over the past few years, is hopeful that the dataset can eventually be used so tenants and local councils can check the health and safety requirements of rental properties.
The new Energy Performance of Buildings Register (EPBR) will use the UPRNs and Theresa Wallace, chair of the TLIC, said the next step is to call for the creation of a central register for gas safety and electrical installation reports that could use the reference numbers.
Wallace told EYE:
“It is a long term project but this was the first part that we need before we can move it forward.
“If you think about a car registration and how you log onto one site and can see if it has a current MOT and insurance certificate, this is done through scraping data in the background, the DVLA site doesn’t hold the data.
“You shouldn’t be able to let a property unless it meets a minimum health and safety standard and the property passport can work in the same way.”
The Home Buying and Selling Group, made up of industry executives working with the Government on reforming the property market, is also following the opening of the UPRN data.
Its chair Kate Faulkner told EYE that it was looking at UPRNs as one way to develop a logbook in the sales market to provide more upfront information and transaction history for each property.