Recently, a growing number of important voices have asked for more transparency around important information regarding homes. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities even included the need for it in a white paper. But, what if we told you something similar already exists, a record of information beneficial to sellers, buyers, landlords and renters?
That would be a property logbook, and this guide has everything you need to know about what is essentially a manual for a property.
What is a property logbook?
A property logbook serves as a comprehensive record of your home’s history, capturing events such as ownership and previous owners, maintenance work, refurbishments and any other changes to the building’s fabric.
With a property logbook, you’ll have easy access to all the necessary documentation and certifications related to these events, plus links to where information is held in public and government repositories.
Ultimately, it provides a solution to the age-old problem of keeping track of important information related to your home in a digital format.
We’ve become all too used to important information regarding our home being scattered around the home. A property logbook solves this problem by putting all relevant information in one secure place.
What’s included in a property logbook?
Property logbooks differ depending on the home. They will likely include a wide range of information and documentation related to a home, including:
- Ownership and transfer of ownership details, including deeds and title certificates.
- Maintenance and repair records, such as work carried out, date completed and names of contractors or tradespeople involved.
- Energy performance certificates and information on the home’s energy efficiency.
- Building regulations and planning permission documentation.
- Warranties and guarantees for appliances and fixtures.
- Insurance policies and claims history.
- Details of any upgrades or renovations, including plans, specifications and costs.
- Health and safety information like gas safety certificates, electrical installation certificates and asbestos surveys.
- Details of any disputes or legal issues related to the property.
The information in the property logbook is stored securely under your home’s Unique Property Reference Number, making it confidential. Only those with permission can access and copy the information, giving you complete control.
For instance, if you’re planning to make alterations to your property, you may give a builder access to the logbook.
Similarly, if you’re selling or mortgaging your home, you can provide a solicitor with permission to use the logbook. In both cases, you have the flexibility to determine the terms under which the information can be accessed and used.
Is a property logbook a legal document?
Property logbooks are not a legal requirement, however, they’re a helpful tool for recording and organising information about a home.
It can be used to provide evidence of the history and condition of a property. Some mortgage lenders may require a property logbook as part of their due diligence when lending on a home.
Why do I need a property logbook?
We’re becoming more dependent on the internet, whether looking after our finances or ordering dinner from a local restaurant. The way we manage our homes is also shifting online.
Organisations, such as utilities and local councils are increasingly offering digital services so we can exchange information with them electronically. This is where a property logbook comes in handy.
It is a central hub for managing these digital relationships and keeping track of a property’s history. With a property logbook, you can easily collect and store information from various organisations while comprehensively recording your home’s history.
Over time, this logbook becomes even more valuable as it grows and provides a complete picture of your property’s lifecycle.
Property logbooks for sellers
When selling your home, a property logbook is a valuable tool for providing a comprehensive history of its maintenance. Share your property logbook with your estate agent to highlight unique features and upgrades, such as recently fitted kitchens or high-quality power showers.
Providing pictures and details of these upgrades can help draw the attention of potential buyers and show the care and detail you have put into maintaining your home. In addition to serving as a form marketing tool, a property logbook provides a valuable source of truth for potential buyers.
Detailed information on the home’s maintenance history, including records of boiler services, gutter cleaning, painting and decorating, window replacements and rewiring, will help to assure buyers that your home has been well maintained.
You can also create a house summary from a property logbook to share with potential buyers after a viewing. This helps arm buyers with a comprehensive overview of the home’s history and features, making the home-buying process smoother and more informed.
When can I use a property logbook?
Buying or selling a property
A property logbook provides prospective buyers and sellers with important upfront information about the home’s history, condition and maintenance. Subsequently, the buying and selling process is smoother.
Letting and renting
Landlords can use a logbook to store all the legal and statutory information required of them. This then makes the rental process more transparent, efficient and organised for your tenants.
Carrying out renovations or maintenance work
A property logbook helps keep track of any work carried out on the property, including the date, type of work and the names of contractors or tradespeople involved. The information can be useful for planning future maintenance and for ensuring the property meets health and safety regulations and building standards.
Applying for planning permission or building regulations approval
It also provides evidence of the history and condition of a property. This can be used to support applications for planning permission or building regulations approval.
Mortgage applications and refinancing
Lenders may require information about a property as part of their due diligence process, and a property logbook can provide them with the information they need to make a decision.
Where can I get a property logbook for my home?
Several websites offer property logbook services. Ideally, you’ll use one that is a member of the Residential Logbook Association (RLBA). A logbook supplier that is part of the RLBA is guaranteed to provide a logbook compatible with all the relevant systems and organisations you may need to connect with at various stages in your property’s life.
As a result, you have a comprehensive and up-to-date record of important information about your home, which is easily accessible.
Make a log of it
Your car has a logbook, so why not have one for your home?
As more aspects of our lives move online, we can expect greater demand for information from those involved in all stages of the property lifecycle – be it sellers, buyers, landlords, renters, lenders or construction.
Using property logbooks to manage our homes and ensure an easily accessible record when needed makes everything more transparent and seamless.
Last Updated: November 22nd, 2023