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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

PropTech start-up wants progress on counting rent towards creditworthiness

One of the six PropTech start-ups shortlisted to develop a system allowing tenants’ rental histories to count towards their creditworthiness says it welcomes industry support for the change. 

RentalStep has thrown its weight behind the Creditworthiness Assessment Bill, put forward last year by Big Issue founder Lord John Bird; it is currently awaiting a third reading in the House of Lords before being debated in the House of Commons.

"We are delighted to see the cross-party and property industry support this movement has received so far and we relish the opportunity to continue working with the government to make this much-needed requirement a reality for all tenants" says Mike Georgeson, founder and chief executive of RentalStep.

RentalStep is already working to provide a solution to this long-standing problem with its TenantPassport.

This allows landlords and letting agents to verify tenants' monthly rental payments. RentalStep has also partnered with Experian, meaning that as tenants pay rent on time over a prolonged period, their credit score will subsequently increase.

The startup was recently named as one of six winners of the government's Rent Recognition Challenge; this offers a £2m fund to tech firms developing solutions that allow tenants to share their rental payment histories with mortgage lenders and credit reference agencies.

Along with each of the five other winners - whittled down from 43 entrants - RentalStep has received £100,000 to support the development of its product.

The next stage of the competition will see three or four of the shortlisted receive further funding with their products marketed to the industry and public.

"It's now time to further develop our platform while continuing to raise awareness of the Creditworthiness Assessment Bill and the importance of these issues for future generations" says Georgeson.

"More people are choosing to rent for lifestyle reasons and for longer periods of time, meaning they’re likely to build up a history of payments which should provide a useful insight into their financial situation.

"Rent is often described as 'dead money' but if it contributes towards helping renters get a loan or mortgage in the future, it can become much more valuable."

  • Asa Bentley

    From my time running a national letting agent, there was never a positive way to encourage tenants to pay their rent on time. Nor could we reward tenants for their positive rental payment behaviour. Now there is a way through rent reporting. At CreditLadder we see agents that implement rent reporting into their processes with lower portfolio arrears and are providing an improved service to landlord and tenant. It's a win-win-win!

    The HM Treasury backing for rent reporting should encourage agents to consider this as part of their wider strategic plan.

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