Millions of tenants may soon be given a leg up onto the property ladder following a debate in parliament yesterday afternoon led by MP Paul Scully (pictured, right).
An all-party selection of MPs sat down in Westminster Hall to debate an e-petition raised earlier this year calling for on-time rental payments to be recognised as evidence that mortgage re-payments can be met.
Created by Plymouth roofer Jamie Pogson (pictured, left) during a ‘rant on the way to work’, the ordinary-sounding petition 186565 went on to be signed by over 147,000 people and gain its day in parliament.
The debate included several high-profile MPs including Stephen Barclay, the Economic Secretary to the HM Treasury, who spoke on the government’s behalf.
He gave Pogson and the millions of tenants desperate for any help on to the property ladder a strong signal that lenders may soon be compelled to add tenants’ rental payment to their credit histories.
Stephen Barclay said he agreed that rental payments should be one of the key pieces of information included in credit files, and that he would talk with interested MPs with a view to proceed with a solution.
“A gentle nudge to encourage the credit referencing sector would be appropriate here,” says Luke Pollard, MP for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport (pictured, right).
What that is remains up for more debate. David Jones, MP for Clwyd West, gave an eloquent speech calling for banks to enable landlords to report their tenants’ rental payments through their standing orders, or to set up a national rental payments portal.
Only one credit reference agency currently offers the service – Experian – and it recently teamed up with The Big Issue magazine to offers social housing tenants the service. Some 1.5 million tenants in this sector now benefit, MPs were told.
Landlords or agents who manage more than 100 properties can either report their tenants’ rental payments direct to Experian or to CreditLadder.co.uk which also handles smaller landlords – paying rental payments the same day – and reports the transaction to Experian.
CreditLadder was criticised during the debate by David Jones, who said it was an unnecessary layer of “bureaucracy” in the rental process, something the website denies.
“CreditLadder’s partnership with Experian means we are the only organisation at the moment who can offer smaller portfolio landlords a way to include tenants’ rental payments onto their credit profiles,” says CEO Sheraz Dar.
“This service is free and doesn’t rely on landlords to report the information.”