Latest News

Reviewal date set for housing market in Wales to fully open

10 July 2020

First Minister, Mark Drakeford has today, 10 July 2020 announced in his statement reviewing the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations that the Welsh Government will consider reopening the housing market, to allow viewings in occupied properties, from 27 July 2020. Read More...

Apprenticeships soften pandemic blow to employment for young people

08 July 2020

As part of today’s announcement by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, apprenticeships are to receive a huge boost from the UK Government's measures to grow jobs and strengthen the economy. Read More...

Government introduces Job Retention Scheme

08 July 2020

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, launched today, 8 July, a new scheme to encourage businesses to keep furloughed workers providing a £1,000 one-off payment to UK employers for every employee they bring back from furlough, who remains in employment until the end of January 2021. Read More...

More support for Universal Credit announced in Summer Statement

08 July 2020

In his Summer Statement today, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak said that millions of people are moving onto Universal Credit because of the Coronavirus pandemic and the UK Government will double the number of Work Coaches in Job Centres. Read More...

Green Homes Grant announced to improve energy efficiency

08 July 2020

Today, the Chancellor announced that the UK Government will introduce a new £2billion Green Homes Grant for landlords and homeowners to help make their property more energy-efficient. Read More...

Additional dwellings higher stamp duty still applies

08 July 2020

On the back of The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak’s, announcement today, 8 July, on the temporary overhaul of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), landlords wishing to buy an additional home to rent will still have to pay the additional higher rate. Read More...

‘Property number plates’ to be rolled out across public sector

Tuesday 30 June 2020

The UK Government announced that unique codes for properties, streets, and other objects that upgrade our geospatial data will be launched tomorrow, 1 July to the wider public sector, and will help agents with future information searches, especially through local councils.

The nicknamed ‘property number plates’ or ‘National Insurance numbers for properties’ are called Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRN) and Unique Street Reference Numbers (USRN) and will be used by the public sector for referencing and sharing property and street information.

Propertymark has called for Ordnance Survey to extend the access to the data to agents and begin integrating further details already publicly available into its data to make systems easier to use and more beneficial to agents.

What is a UPRN or USRN?

The UPRN and USRN are identifiers for every addressable location, street, and an object such as bus shelters and lamp posts throughout the UK. Local authorities are already using the identifiers which provide comprehensive, complete, and consistent data throughout a street and property's life.

What it means for letting agents

Together these identifiers provide a stable and accurate way of referencing properties and streets, and if rolled out further to agents, will allow them to use data that has been streamlined and improve the quality of the data they hold. This linking up of information could mean that agents are able to find and collate information more accurately and concisely, allowing issues that might cause the letting of a property to fall through, to be discovered and addressed promptly.

Using the UPRN to understand land and property, existing housing and potential housing supply allows partners and agencies to make more sense of assets. Council’s that are using UPRNs help them to improve the standard of living in rented accommodation and can provide the authoritative link between landlords’ properties and Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) data. The data council’s hold for properties is now much more streamlined and in turn, will mean they can more efficiently deal with EPC queries which will speed up elements of an agent’s role.

The UK Government has stated that opening access to the UPRN and the USRN is a critical step in removing the barriers faced by developers, planning authorities and government, and to support efforts to radically speed up the delivery of housing.

Quote mark

I am delighted by the announcement and encouraged by the new opportunities this presents to digitally transform public services and boost our economy.
This is the most powerful boost for the UK PropTech sector in a generation, unlocking new levels of digital innovation on a national scale. Open identifiers are crucial for tech entrepreneurs and the wider industry – they will enable housing developers to find sites that have the most potential, helping deliver much-needed new homes across the country.
This is an important milestone in the Government's commitment to maximising the value of geospatial data.

Rt Hon Christopher Pincher, Minister for Housing

What Propertymark is doing


In October 2018, Propertymark responded to the Geospatial Committee’s call for evidence which asked for views on how the use of geospatial data can support economic growth and productivity across the UK while transforming how public services are delivered. Propertymark discussed the benefits of providing agents with the data, training courses that should be made available and having a geospatial data module as part of a Propertymark Qualification as they will be required for all agents when the Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) is enforced in the sector.

Our response


As we look to the future and technology develops, Propertymark believes that continuing to digitise information will stand agents in good stead. In light of this, in our political manifesto in November 2019, we called for another step toward a digitised future by pushing for digital logbooks for sold properties, and an annual Property ‘MOT’ for rented properties.

A property ‘MOT’ would cover aspects such as gas and electrical safety, EPC’s and damp and disrepair, bring them into on place, and replace the expensive existing discretionary licensing schemes, improve enforcement, and give landlords a steer on how to maintain or improve conditions for tenants. Propertymark believes that a property ‘MOT’ is what is needed and will continue to push the UK Government for change.