Data revolution: ‘Number plate’ system for all UK homes gets green light

After July 1st the government is to release its Unique Property Reference Numbers data to both homeowners and non-commercial organisations, creating a system similar to car registration numbers.


The UK housing market is to be revolutionised by a new ‘property number plate’ system for homes after it was announced today that the government is to open up its Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRN) system.

From July 1st the data will be available to any non-commercial users and homeowners via an Open Government license, The Lettings Industry Council has revealed.

It has spent the past two years lobbying the government to make the move, arguing that a single number to identify every home in the UK would make it easier to enforce many of the regulations covering rented homes including EPCs, deposit schemes, selective licensing as well as electrical and gas safety certification.

It is claimed that it will make the management of properties for many estate agents when incorporated into the major property software suppliers, who the TLIC has been talking to.

The introduction of UPRNs will effectively create a property passport system for all properties in the UK in the same way that a car’s number plate is linked to MOT, road tax and insurance documents.

It is also expected that the property ‘number plate’ will eventually across the housing sector as the key reference to a property other than its address.

“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,” says Theresa Wallace, Chair of TLIC and also head of Savills’ lettings customer service team.

Her organisation says that the Energy Performance of Buildings (EPC) register is already using UPRNs and hopes that other information suppliers across the industry will follow suit.



  1. Did I read correctly, this was for ALL homes ( Not just the Private Rented Sector ) Private Landlords have been getting quite used to being singled – out for punitive measures, so this will come as a bit of a shock !

    What next, ?
    Will Govt. be proposing EICR’s for ALL rented accommodation and maybe even EPC’s applying to Social Housing – Shock – horror !!!

  2. Ordnance Survey have used UPRN’s for decades and HM Land Registry adopted them about 4-5 years ago in their National Polygon Service. UPRN’s are not new but the impact of making them royalty free and making them open, is immeasurable. There are many ways in which we can utilise the data and link hundreds of datasets together.

    It’s just a shame its taken so long for government to realise how important data standards are. Having a standard identifier for property is the start of some great things for the industry.

  3. I thought that the land registry already had a unique number for all property, still there is always room for a new number in this increasingly bureaucratic world. The good point about this scheme is that it will do away with the need for local authorities to have a licencing scheme.

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