Industry urges the use of the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) across the Sector

Leading residential property bodies have published an open letter to Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and copied to Thalia Baldwin, Director of the Geospatial Commission highlighting the potential benefits from a widely adopted Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) and steps that Government needs to take to make this happen. 

The signatories of the letter,  which includes leading bodies from across the residential property sector, believe that the wide market adoption of the UPRN will deliver substantial benefits to UK society, the residential property sector and to Government.​

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The letter details the benefits of widespread market adoption of the UPRN to society, the economy and property sector:

  • Improved building, consumer and market safety

  • More targeted and cost-effective enforcement of legislation

  • Increased protection for tenants and a reduction of rogue landlords

  • The ability to speed up conveyancing and transparency in home buying and selling

  • The opportunity to reduce waste, save time and empower the consumer

 

However, the letter also calls for steps by Government and for certain conditions to be met to really enable these benefits:

  • All public sector data sets relating to properties and buildings should include the UPRN and a clear roadmap is needed to get to this point

  • All future Government tenders and policy relating to residential properties and associated data should mandate the use of the UPRN

  • There must be clear agreement about the ethical use of data in the housing market

  • The UPRN must be in a clear and useable format that allows the UPRN to be widely identified, and freely used and shared

  • This must include the tools, the support materials and the explanation needed by the whole sector for adoption, not just the solution providers

“Every effort should be made to accelerate the adoption of the UPRN by government bodies and residential property management sector stakeholders. The beneficial impact will be massive.

 

Just applying the UPRN to basic tenancy-related gas and electric safety checks will enable mass verification of good practice and instantly highlight rogue landlords for efficient targeted enforcement, to protect tenants and save lives at reduced cost to the taxpayer. Applying the UPRN to Dame Judith Hackitt’s ‘Golden Thread’ of safety information for tall buildings will support sales, lettings and managing agents to comply with their obligations, save time and money in the home buying and selling process, help tenants, buyers, mortgage lenders and insurers to make swift, well-informed decisions and improve the effectiveness of the new Building Safety regulatory regime.

 

Crucially, the UPRN will play a vital role in giving confidence of building safety to residents and financial markets. UPRN adoption is one of the biggest ‘no-brainer’ decisions in a generation.”

Andrew Bulmer

CEO of Institute of Residential Property Managers (IRPM)

Full list of signatories in alphabetical order:

  • Advice for Renters

  • Alpha Property Insight

  • Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA)

  • Base Property Specialists

  • Bold Legal Group

  • British Property Federation

  • Building Passport

  • Chestertons

  • ClientMoneyProtect

  • Conveyancing Association

  • Countrywide

  • Fexco Property Services

  • FirstPort

  • Fixflo

  • Foxtons

  • HACT

  • Hamilton Fraser insurance products

  • Hamptons

  • HML Group

  • Hunters

  • Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM)

  • JLL

  • JMW Solicitors LLP

  • Kinleigh Limited (KFH)

  • Knight Frank LLP

  • Landlord Action

  • Landmark

  • Landscape Institute

  • Marks out of Tenancy

  • My Property Group

  • MyDeposits

  • NAPIT

  • No Letting Go

  • Northern Housing Consortium

  • National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA)

  • OSCRE International

  • Premier Estates

  • Property Checklists

  • Propertymark

  • Property Redress Scheme (PRS)

  • Real Estate Data Foundation (RED Foundation)

  • Rendall and Rittner

  • Residential Logbook Association (RLBA)

  • Residently

  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

  • Savills (UK) Ltd

  • The Depositary

  • The Property Ombudsman (TPO)

  • The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)

  • The Lettings Industry Council (TLIC)

  • Trustmark

  • UK PropTech Association (UK PA)

  • The UK Apartment Association (UKAA)

“The property sector is at the heart of the economy, people’s wellbeing and our impact on the environment. There are huge opportunities for technology to help with improving every aspect of this, but to do so requires the effective use of data. The wide adoption of the UPRN would be a big step towards providing the foundations to enable this.”

Dan Hughes

Founder of Alpha Property Insight and the Real Estate Data Foundation

“Widespread adoption of UPRN’s could revolutionise the property market, this is a really exciting initiative which has industry support and we now need the Government to add theirs.”

Theresa Wallace

Founder of The Lettings Industry Council (TLIC)

To see the full letter please click below

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RICS article
Why we should be encouraging UPRN adoption