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Why logbooks make sense

I was delighted to read recently about the creation of the first ever ‘register of logbooks’ in the UK, which offers direct access to a verified record of logbooks for addresses across the country.

I know this subject isn’t a turn-on for every agent, but I want to explain why I believe it should be.

I’ve long been a believer in smoother, quicker and more transparent transactions in both the sales and lettings sectors, and property logbooks help achieve just that.


This isn’t just good news for consumers - it’s a chance for agents to waste far less time on deals that fall through at an advanced stage because a buyer or tenant finds out something they don’t like. Logbooks mean any problems surface earlier allowing time for them to be rectified, or if that’s not possible for everyone to move on without having incurred lots of expense and wasted time.

For those less familiar, just look at the name - Property Logbook.

It is exactly that, an online version of the logbook we’re used to having for cars, but instead for homes. It’s a User Manual that’s useful because of WHAT it contains and HOW it contains it.

The 'What’

A logbook should contain all the pivotal events of a property’s life: when it was built, who owns it, when it is sold or extended or turned from a house into apartments, and all the rest of the changes that occur to a home.

Each of these events will have paperwork attached to it. So for properties involved in sales this would be deeds, EPCs, building regs, surveys, planning consent, warranties and guarantees, mortgages and so on - and all of these documents will be captured, digitally, in the logbook.

And for rentals the concept is just as useful - imagine just one digital source where you could find health and safety certificates, EPC details, local council landlord licensing agreements and the rest.

The ‘How’

This is almost as important as The What, because by standardising the documents gathered into the logbook, and making the digital platform accessible to all parties in a transaction, you can make the logbook an essential part of any sale or rental.

And there’s already a way of making sure we tie the logbook to the property in a secure way - that is through the Unique Property Reference Number which every residential property has already been given.

Even if you don’t realise it, UPRN’s are already a big part of agents’ lives as every entry on Zoopla, for example, has one to make it easier for utility firms, mortgage lenders and others to make sure they are working on the correct property when providing information on its sale or rental.

No, it’s not HIPs by another name!

I know some experienced agents in our industry for some time may feel this may be reminiscent of the controversial Home Information Packs of old. These were abolished - believe it or not - 13 years ago now, after only a short and torrid time in existence.

The hiccup with HIPs, many agents tell me, was that you had to have one in place before marketing a property, and they could take a week or often much more to complete, possibly with a survey which may not have been acceptable to buyers.

The crucial difference with a Property Logbook is that this would exist all the time, whether a home was being sold or not, and would be updated with all the appropriate essential data.

It would be ready to go when a home was marketed, and would not delay the process at all: a survey could still be conducted on behalf of the buyers and the rest of the information being available in one place would speed things along.

Our friends at Propertymark have been amongst the first to call for property logbooks. Back in 2019 they said the government should make such a logbook mandatory “to cut down the number of failed property transactions and speed up the process of property buying and selling … This would allow for a more interactive, streamlined and transparent process for both home buyers and sellers.”

Good news for the consumer

Of course the real bottom line here is that Property Logbooks improve life for buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants - I’ve set out why I think so in this more consumer-friendly story on Move iQ.

And that is what we have to remember - that the sales process in particular has become a long, painful exercise for sellers and buyers alike, with many expensive and time consuming hiccups.

Logbooks would avoid that and make life easier for agents. It’s a win-win. Now all we have to do is get everyone on board!


  • Residential Logbook Association

    Thank you Phil for the support. The launch of the Register is a key step in offering the Estate Agency and Conveyancing industries certainty around Property Logbooks. We are working closely with every part of the Buying & Selling world to make sure that Property Logbooks support the digitisation already underway and eventually become the gold standard in property data.

  • Chimni  Property Logbooks

    Big thank you for this statement of support for Property Logbooks! They are now rolling out and, over time,. will dramatically simplify the house buying & selling process. Big question to Estate Agents: is your agency able to take and use data from a property logbook if a vendor has one? If not, you will slowly lose listings to those agencies that can. Call us for a demo!


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