In recent years there have been many discussions over whether property MOTs should become mandatory. A lot of organisations and individuals believe it would be the next logical step to raising rental sector standards.
Unfortunately, some homes in the rental sector are of poor condition. Consequently, many people agree that current legislation is out of date and in need of reviewing. Today we are considering whether property MOTs should be made mandatory by the government, or is the current system fit for purpose?
What Is A Property MOT?
A property MOT would be an MOT style certificate like we use for our cars and vehicles. They report if a property is suitable for letting and fit for purpose. With property MOTs being mandatory, it would be mean that all rental homes would have to meet minimum standards before they could be let.
A property MOT would include every area of property standards, such as energy efficiency. There have been calls that these property MOTs should be carried out on an annual basis. This is to ensure properties are providing suitable living conditions for tenants.
Why Should Property MOTs Be Made Mandatory?
Dr Rugg is a leading academic at the University of York. She has written various reports around the issues surrounding the private renting sector. In 2018, she highlighted the current issues with the system. Her reports suggest that landlords should have to register, pass tests and annual inspections for their properties.
Dr Rugg’s suggestion included that landlords would be marked whenever minimum living conditions are not being met and eventually could be banned from being a landlord. With property MOTs in place, any landlord not on a specific register would be illegally letting their homes.
This would provide additional protection for private tenants, guaranteeing that all properties will be up to a good standard.
Long term tenants would benefit from annual property reviews. This is because landlords would be obliged to fix and resolve any issues that arise during the tenancy. Because independent inspectors would carry out property MOTs, they would be reliable and unbiased.
This switch from the government’s current licensing system would help to keep consistency throughout the country. Currently, only some rental properties are subject to government licensing, for example, multiple occupation housing, and homes in an area of high crime or deprivation.
Currently, local councils manage and enforce the current schemes. Whereas Dr Rugg’s suggestion would be country-wide and the same across all areas.
Will Property MOTs Be Bad News For Landlords?
Some landlords are wary of the idea of mandatory property MOTs. This is because it may be another cost to consider. Reports suggest that landlords would have to renew their licenses every year. This is as opposed to every five years with the current system. They will also have upfront costs to join the register and fees for the MOTs.
The majority of landlords will welcome the additional regulations and security. Furthermore approve of a system that demonstrates to tenants that they are a trustworthy landlord to rent from.