Having the Rugg pulled out from under – ‘MOT Check’!

Having the Rugg pulled out from under – ‘MOT Check’!

8:56 AM, 10th September 2018, About 6 years ago 28

Text Size

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has warned of risks within the flagship recommendation of the academic review into the private rented sector.

The Evolving Private Rented Sector, published today, is an academic review carried out by Dr Julie Rugg and David Rhodes, researchers at the University of York, and seeks to answers many questions about the state of play of the private rented sector and highlight what still needs to be answered.

One of the key recommendations from the report is that every property in the private rented sector should have an ‘MOT’ style check before being rented out. The Review proposes that this would be carried out by a suitably qualified professional, either from local authorities or the private sector, and paid for by the landlord. The aim is to ensure that the house is “decent and suitable for living in”, as well as being free of hazards.

Although this recommendation has the potential to improve conditions for renters and remove the postcode lottery element of housing enforcement, it is a significant leap and comes with a number of risks and questions:

  1. Who will be the privately paid professionals to provide an MOT certificate and who will regulate them to avoid corruption?
  2. What power will this “MOT check” have in potentially preventing enforcement work by local authorities?
  3. We are not sure what effect the “MOT check” system would have on the already scarce resources from local authorities for housing enforcement work.

Whilst CIEH supports more checks for privately rented housing in principle, it has called for these questions to be carefully considered before the Government fully embraces the proposed “MOT check” system.

CIEH has strongly welcomed the Review’s additional recommendations calling for the licensing and registration of all landlords, and stricter standards to be upheld for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), where people from different households live together and share amenities.

Tamara Sandoul, Housing Manager for the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health said:

“This Review makes some bold and strategic recommendations about reform to the private rented sector. Whilst an MOT-style scheme sounds like a simple solution which could bring big improvements to rented housing, it also comes with some serious risks attached.

One of these is local authorities being left with few resources to investigate any corruption or fraud within such a system. The detailed design and implementation is key to an MOT-style system that is an improvement on the status quo.

The environmental health profession would support more private rented housing being inspected regularly, but we need to ensure that the people doing the inspections are fully qualified to make this kind of assessment. Getting the incentives right for any private contractors is also critical, as landlords would be paying for a service and expecting a certificate at the end.

The licensing or registration of all landlords is particularly important and is a recommendation we fully support – providing someone with a safe home requires knowledge and responsibility. Unfortunately, most landlords are currently operating anonymously. Bringing this profession out into the open is key to instilling a sense of duty and care that landlords owe to their tenants.”

Share This Article


terry sullivan

11:01 AM, 10th September 2018, About 6 years ago

another scam--tenants will pay


11:17 AM, 10th September 2018, About 6 years ago

Another expense for the landlord which will lead to increased rents.

Old Mrs Landlord

11:32 AM, 10th September 2018, About 6 years ago

A discussion on BBC 5-live this morning has a suggestion which goes even further than this to mandate annual inspections of every rental property by an independent inspector, at the landlord's expense of course. Any property which is assessed as not up to standard would have to be taken off the rental market until up to scratch! The person who is lobbying for this can't understand why such a system is not already in place and is appalled that boilers are the only items that have to be inspected each year while the general condition of the property is ignored. When asked would not this cost simply be passed on by the landlord in additional rent she said it should not involve any increase because the tenant "is already paying to live there".

user_ 7167

11:38 AM, 10th September 2018, About 6 years ago

Obfuscated Data

Laura Delow

12:27 PM, 10th September 2018, About 6 years ago

Am not totally anti this if implemented fairly; 1) the M.O.T. property standards set must be fair & reasonable & also agreed to by the PRS sector, 2) if already paying for a selective licence, or as & when other local authorities bring this in to force, these M.O.T. style initial and annual checks should be covered by the existing licencing fee and not be an additional cost on top especially as we currently get no benefit for the fee paid as the funds are supposedly used to seek out rouge landlords. This would also prove whether the statistics reported about the effectiveness of selective licencing are true i.e. number of rouge landlords caught & fines imposed, funds of which should go a long way towards funding the resources needed to carry out M.O.T. checks. and 3) if annual M.O.T. checks are to be carried out against agreed standards, it should not only check whether the landlord is fulfilling their responsibilities but whether the tenant is too i.e. a tenants responsibility for looking after the landlord's property with appropriate consequences both ways.

Mick Roberts

12:44 PM, 10th September 2018, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Laura Delow at 10/09/2018 - 12:27
Hear hear Laura.

I don't think annual MOT's would be bad idea, 'cause that's what Licensing should be doing, but they ain't. And they've more or less admitted now, they using our Licensing fees money paid to go after the bad Landlords.

Should be cheap £50 I'd say as they already have the Boiler service to check, EICR to check, I forgot the ruddy 3rd thing, I need some training, anyway, yes, so should be quick look round windows & doors ok, kitchen & bathroom, job done.
If house not up to scratch, Landlord pays maybe £30 for quick re-inspection on faulty stuff.

Then we can get rid of Licensing £780 & actually get the bad houses improved.

And yes, checking the tenant ain't damaging stuff 'cause at moment if tenant damages stuff & we get inspection, Landlord is made to fix it. What is that teaching the tenant?


12:55 PM, 10th September 2018, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 10/09/2018 - 12:44
"What is that teaching the tenant?"
How to behave badly with impunity. You did ask!

Luke P

15:33 PM, 10th September 2018, About 6 years ago

Unlike a car where you have the choice to no longer run it and take it off the road should it fail the MOT, properties would still require (council) tax paying on them and, if tenanted, no option to leave any required works until you perhaps can afford to have them completed.

I’d be all for this if BTL PRS LLs could insist LA/RSL properties were inspected too.


15:55 PM, 10th September 2018, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 10/09/2018 - 15:33
". . . LA/RSL properties were inspected too."
No chance.

Luke P

15:57 PM, 10th September 2018, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by David Price at 10/09/2018 - 15:55
Which is exactly why, under the conditions which I'd be happy for this to go ahead... 😛

1 2 3

Leave Comments

In order to post comments you will need to Sign In or Sign Up for a FREE Membership


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now