RLBA Calls For Logbooks To Be Recognised As ‘Digital Assets’ In Law
The Residential Logbook Association (RLBA) has called on the the Law Commission to recognise Property Logbooks and other data sets, systems and apps used in residential property as a ‘digital assets’ in its current consultation on the subject.
The Law Commission is consulting industry and the public on reforms to law required to ensure that digital assets are given consistent recognition and protection. The RLBA Submission has asked the Law Commission to give a specific focus on the needs of the property industry, which has seen an explosion in new data sets, apps, and services.
“If we want the digitisation of the property industry to gain momentum we need to put the legal and regulatory building blocks in place”
said Nigel Walley, MD of Chimni and Chair of the RLBA. The RLBA is looking for the legal industry to recognise data and documentation held in Property Logbooks as ‘digital assets’ attached to a physical property to be listed on a Fixture & Fittings form during sale.
The Law Commission has asked for consideration of how digital assets can be both ‘owned’ and in some instances ‘possessed’ which has a different legal connotation. The RLBA suggested that the key difference should be the level of access and control a homeowner has to data about their home. In its submission, the RLBA offered two contrasting examples: data held about your home by a utility which should be classed as ‘owned’ by the homeowner but not possessed by them. Secondly, the data held in a Property Logbook which can be classed as both ‘owned’ and ‘possessed’ (as they are in full control of who can access and process the data).
The Law Commission consultation focuses heavily on the needs of new digital assets that use blockchain technologies. While its submission includes a review of potential uses and challenges of blockchain and crypto-currency based concepts in property, the RLBA asked that the Law Commission not be diverted to work on issues raised by them when the property industry has some more immediate, and prosaic ‘digital asset’ issues to resolve.