Are Property MOTs the Next Step for Rental Regulation?
Em Morley - January 9, 2019
The introduction of MOT-style certificates would represent
the next logical step towards raising overall standards in the private rental
sector, according to No Letting Go, a provider of inventory services.
MOT-style reports would indicate whether a property is fit
for letting and the system would ensure that all private rental housing would
be required to meet a minimum standard.
It has already been confirmed that the Government will
review private rental sector health and safety regulations in 2019. And the Chief
Executive of industry trade body ARLA Propertymark (the Association of
Residential Letting Agents), David Cox, has already called for MOT reports to
be introduced as part of this review, in order to make the sector’s health and
safety regulations less complicated and more practical.
Furthermore, the concept of MOT-style reports for the
private rental sector also fully suits the Homes
(Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill, which is set to become law this
spring. The Bill will require homes to be fit for human habitation before being
let, with the aim of reducing problems such as damp, mould and unsafe living
The legislation will also give tenants powers to take legal
action against their landlord in the court for breach of contract if their
property is not fit for human habitation.
Nick Lyons, the CEO and Founder of No Letting Go, says: “Property MOT reports are a fantastic
idea. As we can see from the work the Government is doing around the private
rental sector, this innovation would fit squarely with their aims and mark
another step towards raising the standard of privately rented properties.
“A uniform and
easy-to-understand system would provide clarity for landlords and tenants,
helping to eradicate poorly maintained homes with health and safety issues from
the private rental sector.”
“An MOT report,
ensuring a property meets a minimum standard, alongside an independently and
professionally compiled inventory, would ensure that everything about a
property’s condition and contents is suitably documented at the start of a
tenancy,” he explains. “This would protect all sides of the rental
transaction, and reduce the chances of either landlords or tenants being
unfairly left out of pocket at the end of a contract.”
As more people rent for
longer, expectations of private rental housing are on the rise, Lyons adds.
“Landlords should no
longer be able to get away with letting shabby properties to tenants with no
other choice,” he insists. “The vast majority of tenants are now looking
for their landlords to provide accommodation that they can treat as their home,
potentially for the long-term, and the Government can help to make this a
reality by ensuring that all properties are let to a minimum standard.”
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