17:15 PM, 5th December 2011, About 10 years ago
Landlords are being urged to sign up for a new passport scheme for tenants that build a six-year rental history similar to a credit record.
The passport is a real-time online service that helps landlords reference tenants.
The aim is for tenants in an increasingly crowded market to have evidence to show they pay their rent and look after their homes.
The Landlord Assurance website is the brainchild of property lawyer and landlord Lynne Abbess.
“A standard reference check provides a retrospective view, but it provides no real incentive for the future. The passport is objectively created in real time throughout the life of the tenancy,” she said.
“One of the real benefits is that even without an existing passport, by agreeing to register, a tenant is already sending a message to their landlord that they are a tenant worth having.”
“The system is designed to encourage investment in the sector and increase the stocks available. At the same time it offers tenants the opportunity to negotiate a tenancy of a quality property at a fair rent, whilst building up a rental “credit history.”
The website lets landlords make comments about tenants – and for a monthly fee of around £2.50, sends them an email alert so they can respond.
“Independent, verified information about a tenant’s track record, over a rolling period of time, would produce significant benefits for everyone,” said Abbess.
“Tenants have the opportunity to build a strong reference based on independent endorsements, which will greatly improve their property credit rating and even assist their general credit rating in the case of those who move frequently.
“Proof of a strong tenancy record will be particularly valuable for long term renters, students, those who hope to move from the social sector to private property and anyone applying for a mortgage.”
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