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Backing for a new rental property quality mark has been confirmed by the National Residential Landlords Association.
It said it recognises the advantages of adopting so-called ‘Property MOTs’ as a replacement for ‘the myriad of local licensing schemes’.
Mooted as a light touch, self-regulating opportunity for landlords to demonstrate good practice and give assurance to tenants, MOTs would rely on safety certification, rather than local authority inspection.
MOTs would incorporate currently required gas and electrical safety checks as well as a range of less frequent checks such as the EPC rating.
‘The landlord would also check and self-certify against a range of health and safety criteria’, said NRLA.
MOT quality assurance marks would give prospective tenants simple, inclusive and standardised assurance that standards had been met. And it could also mean that lengthy licence applications and administration costs would be avoided, it suggested.
Property MOTs formed part of the Property Passport scheme, which was originally mooted by The Letting Industry Council (TLIC) to improve the quality of accommodation the fairness of local licensing schemes. The MOT forms the most important aspect for landlords and tenants, NRLA said. And its surveys have shown that on balance most landlords think Property MOTs would be a good thing.
Although it looks unlikely that licensing regimes across the country will be disbanded, private landlords continue to be in favour of Property MOTs in order to maintain standards in the private rented sector, said NRLA research assistant Aidan Crehan. ‘The Property MOT could become a tool which would be supported by landlords if introduced correctly’.