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