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

by Property118.com News Team

8:56 AM, 10th September 2018
About 3 years ago

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

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

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.”


sheridan whiteside

16:07 PM, 10th September 2018
About 3 years ago

Is local authority housing going to be checked aswell.Most of it I see is appalling.shopping trolleys and mattresses littering the gardens,bins over turned and trainers dangling from overhead cables,an indication of drug availability I'm told. There might not be such demand for housing in the private rental sector if council houses weren't such s.... holes

Recardo Knights

16:12 PM, 10th September 2018
About 3 years ago

Why not just have an mot on tenants. The property is checked a week before the tenant moves in and vidio taken to prove how good it is.
It is then inspected every 2 months, landlord and tenant then pays £10 each for reinfection. Any obvious damage caused by the tenant they are forced to fix or leave in 2 weeks.
That sounds good to me, and an incentive to tenant to look after the property. Council are also happy as they get £120 pa, lL'so happy as property is looked after and no problems with eviction.
Not sure the problem tenants are happy though as they have to abide by the AST, look after the property and fix what they broke and keep property free from condensation and damp.
Well worth my £60 pa.

David Price

16:58 PM, 10th September 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Recardo Knights at 10/09/2018 - 16:12
If only . . .

Old Mrs Landlord

17:59 PM, 10th September 2018
About 3 years ago

I don't know if anyone here has read this Rugg and Rhodes review, but I was struck by the impartiallity of Section 7.2.4 to end of 7.3, (p 127 onwards). It would provide a good defence to Shelter's claims that private landlords are guilty of discrimination by their unwillingness to take tenants reliant on benefits. It states that even social housing providers are not required to let to those on the lowest incomes, and Housing Associations turn away applicants with a history of rent arrears, yet private landlords are "often criticised" for failure to set rents low enough for the "least financially stable and most marginal tenants". It goes on to list all the changes to benefits by the coalition and conservative governments and their effects on rent affordability for those who rely on state support.

Mike W

18:22 PM, 10th September 2018
About 3 years ago

This is discrimination. Why wouldn't home owners be required to have this as well to ensure they are not living in a hovel? Start with home sales/purchases and then regular MOT.
Sounds like super nanny state?

Then perhaps someone will see how ridiculous this is.


23:25 PM, 10th September 2018
About 3 years ago

Obfuscated Data


9:57 AM, 11th September 2018
About 3 years ago

Those advocating MoT s …. smell the coffee everyone. A car comes with a tax requirement ( road fund license) and an MoT requirement. Your just making chargeable work for the LA s. To carry on with the example - the condition of a taxi is the responsibility of the operator and not how the passenger left it. It will never be one for the other. it will be a license fee AND an MoT. Guaranteed.

Frances Watts

10:58 AM, 11th September 2018
About 3 years ago

I am puzzled by the comment from Tamara Sandoul that "most landlords are currently operating anonymously" What exactly is meant or inplied by this?Unless landlords are not declaring their income to HMRC, then they are not anonymous
Secondly, it is interesting that Landlords are described as a profession. If that is so, then they must be considered to be carrying on a business and therefore full allowance of loan/mortage interest should be allowed whether or not they are incorporated.

Old Mrs Landlord

12:55 PM, 11th September 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Frances Watts at 11/09/2018 - 10:58
I think Ms Sandoul might mean that most landlords are unkown to the local authority of the area in which they operate. Until we began attending the council's landlords' forum in the town where our properties are situated the LA had no knowledge of us. Not surprisingly, the council were very familiar with the local landlords whose properties were regularly the subject of tenants' complaints. It seems councils are aware of the big operators in their area but we have only six and no tenants had complained so we were simply off their radar.

Rob Thomas

14:14 PM, 11th September 2018
About 3 years ago

Well said Mike.

To me the issue here is do we believe in market forces (i.e. the tenant's ability to shop around and find the best accommodation for their budget)? Or do we believe that bureaucrats should decide where people live? Those respondents who are supporting the idea of a property MOT are basically saying that they think a little council bureaucrat knows better than a tenant what's an acceptable place for the tenant to live.

If you have so little faith in the market I suggest you move to Venezuela, which is a shining example of how wonderful you can make the economy when everything is decided by bureaucrats.

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