Landlords have been given the power to access more in-depth credit information about potential tenants and report payment history of rent payers to credit reference agencies, with the help of a new online tool.
The credit check service, which has been launched by Bury-based business Landlord Secure, will give landlords a far more comprehensive overview of a new applicant’s credit history by revealing if the applicant is in arrears with loans or credit cards, and even how much of their credit they are using.
Previously credit reference agencies were only able to provide identity verification, residential history and publicly available information on a tenant, such as county court judgement or bankruptcies, rather than giving an insight into their current credit status.
The new tool will allow landlords to view how many active accounts an applicant has and which are being paid on time, the total balance of unsecured accounts in the previous month and the “worst status” of any active accounts for a minimum timeframe of three months before an application was made. This will help to assess affordability and mitigate risk.
Landlord Secure has also recently launched another free tool, LateRent, that allows landlords to report payment history to credit reference agencies, enabling them to carry out robust affordability assessments on potential tenants.
This move comes after the Residential Landlords Association called for credit reference agencies to include rental payment history, to aid in the calculation of credit worthiness and affordability of tenants.
LateRent will report a registered tenant’s monthly payment status and this will show up on any future credit searches conducted by financial institutions.
The system also allows tenants who pay on time to build up a good credit history, which could assist them with future mortgage or credit applications.
Steve Burrows, managing director of Landlord Secure, said the new tools will be a benefit to good tenants, while improving the renting process for landlords:
“Chasing late rent payments can be an all too familiar issue for landlords to find themselves in. Tenant vetting checks and referencing services are meant to help them avoid these problems but most are not comprehensive enough and the information they gather doesn’t present an accurate picture of an applicant’s current credit status.
“This new credit check service, coupled with the LateRent platform, will make it much easier for landlords to select the appropriate tenant. It will also enable tenants who pay their rent on time to build up a better credit history– which may help later if they apply for other credit or financial products.”