There is a potential for UPRNs to change all aspects of the property. UPRNs could affect the way we sell, buy, rent, let, invest and work with property. In this blog, we’re going to discuss what exactly UPRNs are and how they can be used.
In layman's terms, a UPRN is a Unique Property Reference Number that can specifically identify a property. A UPRN is a unique property identifier for every address within Great Britain.
The key thing to note is that unlike other property identifiers, a UPRN is attached to a single property. It can even be attached to a property within a building, like a flat. This unique number, consisting of up to 12 digits in length, will also remain the same throughout the property’s lifespan.
UPRNs were originally devised by the Ordnance Survey over 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved and been refined. GeoPlace have since started work in 2011 to set the guidance and collect data needed to create a single, definitive address database known as the National Address Gazetteer. This followed on from a call from the Secretary of State for communities & Local Governments to create a standard index of addresses to help bring together existing creators/suppliers of addressing data into one communal space.
Property, or more specifically real estate, generates a lot of data - from data on prices, rent and taxation to energy performance and maintenance costs. This data, also known as geospatial data, can help us to understand things such as valuations, price trends and even returns on properties from things like development or buy to let. This can provide useful for informing landlords before looking to start performing landlord property management within a certain area.
The only issue with having so much data, is it becomes more convoluted to read and understand - and it also gives room to the risk of errors being made. To make the data effective, you would have to work out a way of indexing and linking it all together. You could make use of already widely available tools, such as grid references or postcodes, however these have their fall downs. For example, grid references and postcodes often apply to several properties within an area.
This is where UPRNs come in handy, as they have the potential to overcome these shortcomings through the method of enabling property data to be properly indexed, linked together, and used.
While they may have been in existence for years, many have only thought to make use of UPRNs in the last few years as it’s been more widely understood.