The system was outlined as working in a similar way to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) MOT process. Health and safety checks would be uploaded to an online portal once a year to compile an overall health-check document.
The concept was unveiled at the Westminster private rented housing policy seminar on 12 November 2019 by Jackee Peacock, chief executive at Advice4Renters.
Peacock said: “Let’s get rid of licensing and have a consistent national model which takes 10 minutes a year to get organised,” she added.
Inconsistencies across authorities
Theresa Wallace, head of lettings and customer relations at Savills, said that the MOT would reform the current licensing system.
She added that, although landlords were “reporting, to increase safety, in properties,” the 510 schemes in place across authorities were “inconsistent”.
She said: “It’s really hard to get everything together; it’s difficult for landlords and difficult for agents.”
Wallace added that councils busy with administrative tasks were unable to visit properties to ensure they were up to standard.
She said the MOT was a solution whereby landlords, tenants, letting agents and local authorities could view a property’s condition. “If anybody is in breach and doesn’t have safety certificates it would be flagged up and able to be enforced,” she said.
“Every property that is rented should reach a standard and this is one way to achieve it. This will replace some of these licensing schemes,” Wallace added.