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andrew bulmer

UPRN’s could be in PRS future

More than 50 organisations operating within the property sector have penned an open letter to the Government to use Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRNs) to create a database for the public and private sectors. The idea is to allow UPRN data available at a large scale so that organisations can

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Property management bodies ARMA and IRPM propose merger

Both bodies say the two property management organisations together will create a more united and stronger voice as leasehold reform looms. The UK’s two most high-profile property management bodies The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) and The Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM) are to merge. Both organisations want to establish

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BDC 319 : Aug 2024

andrew bulmer

UPRN’s could be in PRS future

More than 50 organisations operating within the property sector have penned an open letter to the Government to use Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRNs) to create a database for the public and private sectors. The idea is to allow UPRN data available at a large scale so that organisations can adopt them without cost, and allows an accurate record of any changes to the property. Housing secretary The letter, addressed to at the time, housing secretary Robert Jenrick, comes addressed from the The Lettings Industry Council (TLIC) and the Institute of Residential Property Management (IRMP). The letter is also backed by many estate agents and industry organisations including the NRLA, Propertymark and TDS. The idea of a UPRN involves a digital database with all the information and a full history of the property, including repairs and remodelling. This would speed up the process of property sales, with completions not beholden to lengthy searches and possible inaccuracies. Andrew Bulmer, CEO of the IRPM, commented: “The UPRN is like attaching a number plate to a car, instead we [will] attach a unique number to all things related to properties so that each property can be uniquely identified with unparalleled accuracy.”He added: “If all the conditions outlined in the letter were to be met, we could proactively work towards the wholesale adoption of the UPRN.” Benefits of UPRN’s The letter outlines the benefits from the wider adoption of a single number for properties including: Improve building, consumer and market safety More targeted and cost-effective enforcement of legislation Increase protection for tenants and a reduction of rogue landlords Speed up and make more certain the home buying and selling process Reduce waste, save time and empower the consumer Increase income for the Treasury If this was to be a success in the residential market, the collective organisations are hopeful the system would work across the whole market. One of the biggest conditions the letter outlines is: “The UPRN must be in a clear and useable format that allows the UPRN to be widely identified, used and shared at no cost on an individual or market level basis. As far as is possible, this must include the tools, the support materials and the explanation needed by the whole sector for adoption, not just the solution providers” This last point, identifying that it would be more widely accepted if it was without cost, may be a stumbling block for this proposal. Not necessarily a radical idea to identify properties, it is hard to replicate on a country-wide scale without someone incurring a cost along the way. Landlords would not want further costs adding to their property purchases, and tenants would be keen to avoid further premiums being passed onto rental prices. Transparent and compliant One landlord praised the idea of UPRN’s, highlighting that it would make for a completely transparent and compliant market, as it would allow for more focus on rogue landlords. It may also provide the tools necessary for local councils to enforce some of the property regulations they have been armed with in the last 5 years. Beverley Kennard, associate and operations manager at Knight Frank, commented: “A Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) is allocated to a property by local authorities and means that a full history of the property is available, regardless of if the address changes. The use of UPRNs will bring real benefits to the residential property sector and landlords and tenants.” Not only would the centralisation of this data hopefully speed up conveyancing times and therefore completion windows, it could also offer tenants access to more information about properties they are enquiring about.

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Property management bodies ARMA and IRPM propose merger

Both bodies say the two property management organisations together will create a more united and stronger voice as leasehold reform looms. The UK’s two most high-profile property management bodies The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) and The Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM) are to merge. Both organisations want to establish a ‘united and stronger’ voice for the industry at a time when managing agents and property management professionals face unprecedented changes and as leaseholder reform legislation begins to make its way through Parliament. The proposal will be subject to approval by members at each organisation’s upcoming general meetings. ARMA executive chair Nigel Glen says the bodies have worked together on a wide range of topics including the building safety crisis, mental health and wellbeing in the sector and regulatory reform. Nigel claims a merged organisation would give it greater power and enable it to support both managing agent firms and professional individuals. “Combining our resources, data and expertise allows us to more effectively support our membership through guidance and business support, raise standards through enhanced professional qualifications, multi-channel training and ongoing professional development opportunities, and provide a more influential and representative voice to our ongoing government and stakeholder engagement,” says Glen. If approved, the two organisations and their respective secretariat teams would come together before the end of the year and the two brands would be retained for a period of time under the new organisation. This is similar to when landlord organisations NLA and the RLA joined forces recently. It is proposed that IRPM boss Andrew Bulmer would become CEO of the new organisation, while Glen would become the executive chair of the new board.

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