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Rent should be added to a tenant’s credit history, say landlords

Research by RLA reveals landlords think tenants should get a financial leg up on to the property ladder.

Nigel Lewis

rent paymentNearly two thirds of landlords support tenants being allowed to add rental payments to their credit history, according to the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).

It canvassed 3,000 of its member landlords of whom 61% said they supported such a move.

Following the survey’s result, the RLA says it is writing to the Government calling on it to work with the industry to include rent payment history as a standard feature when calculating credit scores.

alan ward lettings reform“With many tenants wanting to buy a house of their own, it is absurd rent payment is not routinely included when undertaking credit checks for mortgage applications,” says RLA Chairman Alan Ward (pictured, left).

“Moving to such a scheme would help not just tenants, but also landlords by giving them a clearer sense of whether a prospective tenant has historically paid their rent in full and on time.”

The RLA is not the first out of the trap with a campaign. In March this year Jamie Pogson (pictured, below), a young self-employed builder and dad from Plymouth started a parliamentary petition after struggling to get a mortgage after realising he had a poor credit history.

His petition took off and amassed 145,000 signatures – enough to prompt a debate in parliament about the issue – only for it be annulled when Theresa May called an early General Election.

Jamie’s petition asked that anyone paying rent reliably should be “recognised as evidence that mortgage re-payments can be met”.

Credit history

But the RLA campaign has an uphill struggle on its hands. At the time of Pogson’s petition, it repeated the mortgage industry’s line that “a record of meeting rental payments is not sufficient in itself to demonstrate the affordability of a mortgage over the lifetime of the loan. This is because the affordability assessment must take account of a much wider range of factors”.

Several websites have also started up recently which offer to pass on a tenant’s rental payment history to credit reference agencies, whether good or bad.

This includes Creditladder, which is headed up by former PrimeLocation and FindaProperty Group Marketing Director Sheraz Dar.




August 17, 2017

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