In research on the failings of the property rental market, the University of York study has suggested that a yearly property MOT should be introduced.
A yearly property MOT would prevent unscrupulous landlords leaving property in terrible states of repair and largely unacceptable places to live.
The report claims the rules for landlords can be complex and confusing leaving landlords unsure as to what their responsibilities are and yearly ‘Letting Suitability Certificate’ with all key ‘benchmark’ tests for safety and being habitable being listed and checked would appear an obvious choice.
We agree that the rules are disjointed and the government has not prioritised the rental market to make renting an attractive option, when it should be. We would go even further and suggest that a complete overhaul of landlord and tenant rules are required e.g. why is it that a normal rental property must have a minimum energy performance certificate rating of D whereas a holiday let does not have the same rules. We know that fuel bills for holiday lets are covered by the owner rather than the renter, but it appears one rule for one and one for another when both properties are let out, after all the fuel bills for a holiday let will be reflected back in the weekly rates charged.
Costs may also be an issue. Who does the property MOT? Who polices it and what action will they take? If landlord does not comply, will the local authority evict the tenant? What happens then to the now homeless tenant? Perhaps a fining system? Perhaps a charge on the property? Perhaps billing the buy to let lender if there is a mortgage? Perhaps a rental income court order, where rents must then be paid into an ‘escrow’ account that cannot be accessed until repairs are done? May be a landlord ‘council’ tax on top of tenant’s normal council, which can then be legally enforced and the personal assets of landlords seized if they do not complete repairs to make a property habitable.