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Legislation to help renters get on property ladder dies a quiet death in parliament

A small announcement on the Commons website confirms that a Bill that would force lenders to include rent payments in their mortgage decision making will not become law.

Nigel Lewis

creditworthiness

A parliamentary attempt to help renters get on the property ladder by passing a bill to force lenders to consider mortgage applicant’s rental payments when assessing their creditworthiness has failed to become law.

An update from parliamentary administrators has confirmed that, because The Creditworthiness Assessment Bill 2017-2019 failed to complete its passage through parliament before the end of the most recent session, it will ‘make no further progress’. This is polite procedural language; the bill is in effect dead in the water.

Starting out as a Private Members’ Bill, it was supported by several political heavyweights including Lord Bird, the founder of The Big Issue magazine and former education minister and Conservative MP Justine Greening (both pictured, above), and supported by several MPs and ex-ministers.

In September last year Greening and Bird introduced the bill to the House of Commons after it completed its passage through the House of Lords, saying they wanted to create a level playing field for renters.

Reliable renters

“The Creditworthiness Assessment Bill would change the law so that credit providers such as banks have to consider rental and council tax payments as part of your credit history. It will help the millions of reliable renters across the country,” Greening said at the time.

But despite strong policy statements from government about wanting to help more renters onto the property ladder, the bill has floundered in the Commons since its first reading after failing to gain support from PMs Theresa May or Boris Johnson.

Several proptech companies have been attempting to succeed where the Bill has failed by offering to report tenants’ rental payment to credit score agencies such as Experian.

These include Canopy and CreditLadder while several agents including Howsy have begun offering similar services to their tenants.

October 10, 2019

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