Experian launches rent payment profile for tenants

Experian launches rent payment profile for tenants

14:52 PM, 16th March 2012, About 9 years ago 35

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Missing a rent payment could affect a tenant’s credit rating as one of the largest credit checking firms opens a new service for landlords and letting agents.

Experian is opening data files on a tenant’s rent payment history as a new check for landlords and letting agents vetting renters who want to move in to their homes.

The service is likely to do away with references and allow landlords to make more informed decisions about whether to let.

For tenants, failing to pay the rent could damage their credit profile when they seek borrowing, like credit cards, loans or a mortgage to buy their own home.

Experian is selling the service as a way for tenants to strengthen their credit history and to help them qualify for better and cheaper credit.

Landlords and letting agents will have to pay a small fee to access Experian’s Rental Exchange – but the company also wants them to sign up as information providers.

Due to data protection laws, tenants will have to agree that their payment data is forwarded to Experian.

The company reckons that gathering data on the UK’s 3 million plus tenants will take at least year due to the disparate nature of the lettings industry, which is largely managed by independent landlords and letting agents.

Paul Vescovi, UK and Ireland managing director of Experian credit services, said: “With several million people living in privately rented accommodation, a significant percentage of the population could be missing out on mainstream, low-cost credit because lenders do not currently have a comprehensive picture of their financial track record.

“The Rental Exchange will strengthen people’s credit histories, helping them to access a wider range of credit deals.”

Another of the big three credit agencies, Callcredit, is also rumoured to be looking at a similar service.


by Mary Latham

18:41 PM, 17th March 2012, About 9 years ago

In my opinion so long as the admin fee is quoted up front and it is clear that it is not refunable nor part of the deposit I cannot see a problem.  For those of us who do our own management (even when it is set up as a private letting agency) there are costs involved and it is fair to charge this as a fee, rather than add it to the rent one way or another the costs have to be covered.  A landlords time is no less costly than anyone elses. How can anyone argue with the time it takes to set up a tenancy correctly, referencing, AST, inventory, deposit protection, handover etc.  We carry the costs of advertising, viewings, exit inventory/inspection, providing references, deposit return and unprotection etc. why should we also carry the set up costs - no other business would.

by Mary Latham

18:45 PM, 17th March 2012, About 9 years ago

I have just spent a couple of hours with two good landlords who have had great tenants over 6 years in several properties but are now trying to remove the tenant from hell.  You don't want to know what this is costing them in rent arrears, loss of other tenants, legal fees and stress.  If it happens to you just once you will see "why you would want to pay" to check the history of a new tenant.  I hope this guy does not come your way because his is very smart at presenting as a good tenant.


20:03 PM, 17th March 2012, About 9 years ago

So why don't letting agents/landlords provide some transparency regarding the application fees? Provide a fixed item by item list, with prices & costs, that makes up the full application fee (labour/materials)? Every applicant would then be sure of what they are paying for.

I can understand your points. However as a landlord I would applaud any medium (including social networking) that decreased the time spent on referencing,credit checks,etc. Why? Because it would save time...."and time is money". It would be still classed as due diligence, but if we ignore the advances in technology/networking then we'll get left behind.Letting Agents that include "advertising, viewings, exit inventory/inspection, providing references, deposit return and unprotection etc." as reasons for charging a high application fee should be ashamed as this should be covered by the management fee charged to their Clients/Landlords. Thus including these costs in the application fee charged to the tenant/applicant is profiteering.

I'd go on but my last comment was 'Moderated' out of existence? A debate is not a debate if only one side is speaking.


5:11 AM, 18th March 2012, About 9 years ago

Quick comment Mark I think it must have been a typo when you quote £95.00 for 6 months RGI, surely you meant for a year didn't you?
That is what I pay for a year.

by Mark Alexander

9:11 AM, 18th March 2012, About 9 years ago

Your deal with Discount Letting is a good one Paul, £95 for referencing and six months RGI is the average. I only insure for 6 months and get referencing and guarantors referencing thrown in for under £50. Hopefully this product will be available to the mass market soon.


18:45 PM, 18th March 2012, About 9 years ago

Perhaps it would be useful Mark to do a piece on RGI  like you did with deposits.
This would show what is happening in the RGI market.
Which could be most useful for LL's and may encourage them to take out what now appear to be very cost effective policies.
In particular as the economy worsens it could be a useful protection measure against tenants who fail to pay their rent.


19:04 PM, 18th March 2012, About 9 years ago

I am trying to get my head around your offering.
As a LL I do not believe anything a tenant tells me.
I prefer to check myself and/or via a RGI company.
Also I use LRS and tenantid to check on them on the basis that information may be available based on not what they tell me but on what I can find out about them.
No tenant is going to give a previous LL details if they left under a cloud.
I am a very small LL and I didn't use to charge anything to start a tenancy.
I have now however been persuaded by reasoned debate that I should charge something.
Therefore I have decided to folow the £150.00 model to start a tenancy with me.
This includes all referencing requirements,inventory,moving in.,AST, deposit, rent and deposit receipts; is there anything here which you may consider unreasonable.
I would also pass on any credit check details to the tenant.However it doesn't matter how good a tenant's details are if they don't pass a RGI check I would not take them on.


19:28 PM, 19th March 2012, About 9 years ago

Nor should you Paul. Why should you trust someone you've just met. But how would you pass the credit checks/references onto the the tenant? Email? 

With Rentfare you simply register as a landlord (like your profile on Property Tribes) and invite your tenants to the network. You can then add the credit checks/references you requested and your own landlord reference to their profile. That way when they decide to move they can simply invite their new landlord/letting agent to view the credit checks/references that are already on their profile. 

A tenant's profile on Rentfare is private and therefore can only be viewed by their landlord/letting agent (their only friends). The comments, credit checks and references will remain on a tenants profile even if they disconnect from you as a friend. 

A landlord/letting agent profile is kept as a public profile (like property tribes) and therefore can be viewed by other landlords/letting agents to check their validity, history, activity and how many tenants they have connected with.

Rentfare has been designed for tenants to take some responsibility for their tenancy history, create their own profile build up a positive tenancy history with comments from trusted landlord/letting agents and therefore saving both sides time and money.    

As a Landlord I've found losing good tenants frustrating and costly, but keeping them up to date with the few properties I've had available has made it easier to keep them and avoid the need to vet new ones.

If a tenant didn't have a Rentfare Profile then the £150 fee would be warranted. However if they did have a great Rentfare profile with references and credit checks and were still quoted £150 it might scare them off from applying.  

As a Tenant & Accountant as well I've found it annoying that I've recently been quoted an admin fee of £240 by a letting agent in Sheffield for a property I wanted to let, even though I've got a exemplary rental history (with other letting agents for 6 years), permanent employment and an excellent credit record.  

by Mark Alexander

20:03 PM, 19th March 2012, About 9 years ago

I can understand your frustrations, especially your final paragraph. However, the question you need to ask yourself is whether any landlord or letting agent will trust the scanned images on a tenants profile to be genuine. I would still want to do my own independent checks to be sure and that comes at a price. Will you really walk away from the property you want to rent for £240? If you do, will you not be 'cutting your nose off to spite your face'? If the landlord and the agent are condident they can let the property to somebody who will pay the £240 it's no loss to them if you walk away on a matter of principle is it? They will probably think to themselves, as I would, i.e. "better safe than sorry, must be hiding something".


20:19 PM, 19th March 2012, About 9 years ago

I just work on the basis of RGI requirements.
They require you to take out a policy after a certain period or the credit check perishes and would have to be carried out again.
I therefore would not be interested in what a tenant situation was last week,
I want to know what it is like this week, sufficient to qualify for RGI
After all if  a RGI company doesn't want to cover your prospective tenant do you want to take them on as a tenant!?
Just like a credit files data changes all the time and therefore what has gone before cannot be relied upon.

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