A Guide to the Digital Property LogbookJames Trafford
In the past few years, digital property logbooks have become increasingly popular in the UK property sector, with about 250,000 UK homes now possessing one. Indeed, the Residential Logbook Association (RLBA) can speak to the fact that there is a thriving and competitive market for these logbooks.
What is a Digital Property Logbook?
As an online or digital service, a Property Logbook collects all relevant and helpful information about an individual’s house in a uniform and accepted way. It’s basically a digital counterpart of the box of papers and documents stashed away in the cupboard, and it provides the homeowner with control and assurance.
Changes in ownership, upkeep, renovations, and other alterations to your home’s structure should be documented in a well-kept and updated Property Logbook. Documentation and certification of these events in the home should be included in the Logbook, as well as links to public or government archives where such material might be found.
It’s as if our houses, large or small, come complete with an “electronic companion,” in the form of a Property Logbook. Over time, it becomes more complete and useful because it is updated often with relevant information. This will make things much easier when they need to do maintenance, construction, or even sell the house in the future.
Jamie Johnson, CEO of FJP Investment, likened the Property Logbook to a “use manual and service history, as well as a display dashboard, all rolled into one useful and accessible digital medium.” Jamie Johnson continues, “Think about it. We have such things for our vehicles, which are much less expensive compared to our homes. It makes perfect sense that such information should be collected, recorded, and readily available for homeowners.”
Indeed, given that new technologies are making greater inroads into our homes, making them exponentially more complex than traditional ones, such as smart home tech, security systems, and ecologically friendly energy systems, there’s an increasing need on the part of homeowners to centrally manage their digital records and accounts.
Property Logbooks are not a result of the real estate market itself, although they may have relevance during the sale of a home, which will likely increase in the future. A Logbook serves a variety of purposes during the course of a property’s ownership history and in a variety of industry sectors. For example, the Property Logbook is able to provide and share dates pertaining to maintenance, construction work, council services, lettings arrangements, and even facilitate the buying and selling of homes in the market.
As such, a Property Logbook serves as both a record of the property and a repository for papers and links that may be used by the owner to learn more about their property.
Do you need a Digital Property Logbook?
Every facet of house management is migrating online as the Internet becomes more established and integrated into our daily lives. Digital services are being developed by every business and organisation we interact with, from utilities to your local government, and they all want us to exchange information digitally for speed and convenience. In order to keep track of all of these interactions in a central location, you need a tool like the Property Logbook.
Adding to this is the fact that a Property Logbook will help you keep track of your property’s digital activity and construct a record of your material from each of the organisations mentioned above and more. There is no doubt that, as time goes by, the value of a Property Logbook will increase as more homeowners decide to have one.
The information you’ll need to sell your home or refinance your mortgage will be at your instant disposal, ready to make the process go more smoothly and quickly.
What does a Property Logbook contain?
To be sure that you have a copy of your Title Deeds and any other papers referred to in the title document in your logbook, choose an RLBA registered logbook. Selling a home? Use a logbook to keep track of all the paperwork you’ll need and your digital identity safe from anybody else’s prying eyes.
The logbook is a private record that only you have access to, and no one else will be able to copy or view it until you grant them permission to do so. A third-party (for example, a builder if you’re remodelling or a real estate lawyer if you’re trying to sell or refinance the home) can access and utilise the information at your discretion.
RLBA members provide a variety of features and capabilities, so it’s a good idea to shop around and determine which logbook service best meets your requirements.
When are you able to use one?
- Storing service information
When you have work carried out on the property and are given paperwork at the end, such as by contractors or engineers, you can use the logbook to store all the information securely away for when it is needed.
- Managing information for projects
The logbook is used to digitally store information on things like maintenance and building work. All such activity will be stored for later retrieval.
- Buying and selling property
This is one area where the property sector will benefit from increasingly in the near future. The information and documentation on the logbook can be used by estate agents to promote your home on the market. When it comes to preparing a property for sale, logbooks will be one of the tools available. At the beginning of the pre-approval process for mortgages, the financial sector is seeking to utilise logbook data. As a result, homes that are “mortgage ready” can also be advertised.
Furthermore, property investors can increasingly use the data to help assess the ROI in their buy-to-let investment.
The logbook can be a useful digital tool for landlords by using it to keep track of all the legal and statutory details expected of landlords when renting out their properties.
A Property Logbook will make the listing process faster, more transparent, and less likely to fall through as more properties come to market equipped with one. Thus, sales that are speedier and less complicated can be achieved with digital logbooks. Logbook companies will be able to speed up back-office operations and cut down on administrative work when they combine their systems with CRMs used by estate agents.
Where can you find a Digital Property Logbook?
The Residential Logbook Association (RLBA) guarantees that a logbook supplied by a Property Logbook supplier will be compatible with all the systems and organisations to which your property will be linked at various stages in its life.