Private tenants who pay their rent on time should see their credit rating boosted in order to make it easier for them to gain a foot on the housing ladder.
That is the call being made following a survey of almost 3,000 buy-to-let landlords carried out by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), which found that 61% of landlords would support such a move.
Credit rating agencies do not currently routinely include rent payment history when calculating credit scores. This means a tenant can find it difficult to access a mortgage, even if they have a long history of rent being paid in full and on time.
The RLA believes that including rent payment in this way would also make it easier for landlords to make a more accurate assessment of a prospective tenant’s credit and rent payment history, and that is why the trade body is writing to the government calling on it to work with the industry to include rent payment history as a standard feature when calculating credit scores.
The RLA’s chairman, Alan Ward, commented: “With many tenants wanting to buy a house of their own, it is absurd rent payment is not routinely included when undertaking credit checks for mortgage applications.
“Moving to such a scheme would help not just tenants, but also landlords by giving them a clearer sense of whether a prospective tenant has historically paid their rent in full and on time.”