This article applies to England and Wales.

Tracking how landlords keep private rented homes is about to become easier as the government issues every property with a unique reference number.

The government already uses confidential Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRNs) to tag official data about every home in the country.

From July 1, the UPRN will open to the public to pin together regulatory information about a home held by different organisations.

The UPRN will become a property passport holding data like the latest Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), council licences, gas, and electrical safety certificates and more.

The property passport is the brainchild of The Lettings Industry Council (TLIC).

“The next phase of the TLIC vision is to engage with stakeholders in the industry, such as GasSafe, customer relationship system providers, deposit schemes and electrical safety certificate suppliers to adopt the UPRN as their property reference number on all certification and documentation,” said chair Theresa Wallace.

“Then, with the development of the property passport, the UPRN can be used much like a car number plate, to check safety requirements on privately rented properties have been completed.

“This will give tenants the peace of mind that their property has passed all of its checks and the Local Authorities the transparency they need for improved enforcement.”

The Property Ombudsman and The EPC Register already links data with a UPRN.

Official mapmakers at The Ordnance Survey also tag every property in the UK with the UPRN.

The OS web site explains the UPRN is a constant identifier that gives a ‘constant and comprehensive ‘picture of a property’s life cycle from planning permission to demolition.

GeoPlace, an agency owned by the Local Government Association and the Ordnance Survey, manages UPRNs.

Local councils give registrations while GeoPlace maintains the register.

Find out more about UPRNs on the GeoPlace web site