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Call for 'referencing passports' to be transferable between agents

The boss of easyProperty says he wants the Associational of Residential Letting Agents to back an initiative for so-called ‘referencing passports’ to be transferable between letting agents. 

Currently, agents can charge referencing fees if a tenant rents a property listed with them; if they go to another agent, even within a short period of time, they may have to pay again for a similar referencing check. 

“I’m proposing a referencing product a tenant can buy from an online agent, traditional agent or even your local Tesco or convenience store that is valid in every lettings agency across the nation” says easyProperty chief executive Rob Ellice.

“This will mean a standardisation of referencing and more security for the landlords. I am hoping ARLA will get behind this cause to create better transparency and a level playing field for tenants” he says.

Ellice also wants the insurance sector to support the scheme and guarantee the product. 

“This would mean if for some reason a tenant fails to comply with terms of their lease concerning rental payments, and it’s due to providing incorrect information during their referencing such as their employment situation, then a landlord will be paid the loss based on the referencing-backed insurance” he says.

Ellice says this would reduce referncing charges and “break the monopoly letting agents have” at the current time. 

“If this product can be bought like mobile phone credit then there will be more players in the market and the competition will reduce the costs. If ARLA sets out the standardised items that need to be checked, such as employment details, income and the like than agents will have no excuse for charging a separate fee for the same product.”

The referencing passport is designed to be valid for up to three months as long as there is no material change to an individual’s circumstance, such as job loss. This will mean if an individual is not successful with one property, they can still use the referencing passports at other potential rental properties.

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    The guys clearly never worked in the nitty gritty of the rentals market.

    Stupid suggestion by someone who doesn't seem to understand his business.

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    Agreed. He needs to carry on sitting on what he is talking out of.

     
  • Kristjan Byfield

    One of the strangest press releases Ive seen in a while. A new/live report doesnt give accurate data. That said, most references are handled by a handful of companies and, on the rare situation a tenant fails a check or loses a property, many agents would still accept a report from a reputable agency. And there already are great rent & legal warranties out there which give the security he claims is needed. Oh dear, must have a lot of time on his hands.

  • Harry Cold

    Hi everyone, are you aware that this has been launched this week? It's called a 'Referencing Passport' - I found out about it on Property Tribes - Have a read about it here: http://ow.ly/pOdi306HNlx (I hope it's OK to post a link, sorry if not; only trying to help !!)

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