MOT-style checks would drive up standards

There have been calls this week for landlords to face annual MOT-style tests to prove that their properties are up to scratch.

The calls came from Theresa Wallace, co-founder and chair of professional association The Lettings Industry Council, during her speech at the Westminster Legal Policy Forum in London.

The Lettings Industry Council have prepared a MOT checklist, making suggestions as to what they believe should be required. They suggest that enforcement should be managed by local authorities, with data on the checks being centrally stored in a property portal – comparable to the DVLA’s portal which holds information on 48 million drivers and 40 million vehicles.

You can’t drive a car legally on the road without having it taxed, insured and MOT’d. You shouldn’t be able to rent a property without it having minimum standards and knowing a property is safe.

Theresa Wallace, co-founder and chair of professional association, The Lettings Industry Council

The idea was supported by other property professionals attending the conference, including National Landlords Association Chief Executive Richard Lambert. However, he did voice his concerns about the additional costs it may pose to landlords.

We absolutely agree every property should be safe, secure and should reach a required standard. The difficulty comes in what do you mean by a property MOT – what do you do to demonstrate that? If you start to think about having an independent inspection… [with] 2-3 hours a year of a person’s time – that’s probably looking at £200-300. Then if you add in the gas safety check, you add in electricity, you can start to see the costs rack up.

Richard Lambert, Chief Executive, National Landlords Association

Would you support an ‘all in one’ check? Or is a case of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?’

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