Progress for bill allowing tenants to build credit rating through rent
A bid to allow good tenants’ rent records count towards their creditworthiness has moved forward thanks to Big Issue founder Lord Bird.
His Creditworthiness Assessment Bill received widespread all-party support in the House of Lords when it went through its Committee Stage on Friday; an earlier fear that it could be derailed by amendments proved unfounded as the amendments were withdrawn.
Lord Bird’s Bill addresses the fact that at the moment, rental payments of the UK’s 11m renters do not contribute to their creditworthiness in the same way as, for example, mortgage payments are.
Speaking on Friday, he said: “If there are any unintended consequences then it is our duty to look at legislation and not simply write-off 80 per cent of people in order to protect 20 when the best thing you can do to protect them is to find out who they are, get very close to them and embrace them.
“Those are the people I know, the people I work with and the people I come from and there is absolutely no way I would ever come close to grassing them up.”
The proposed legislation had its First Reading last June and then a Second reading in November; it now moves to the Commons later this year.
Asa Bentley, of CreditLadder, described the move as ‘a great opportunity for agents to get ahead of the curve and to integrate rent reporting into their new tenancies ahead of any legislative changes.’
He added: “We’re already working with a large number of agents who are keen to differentiate their agency, reward tenants for good behaviour and to manage their arrears by encouraging on-time payments.”