We all know that high quality detailed tenant references are crucial to ensure that people placed in rental properties have been thoroughly checked and recommended as reliable and acceptable for the rental value.
Tenant referencing offers landlords clarity and essentially confidence that their property will be well looked after. It provides all the background information on prospective tenants, helping landlords and letting agents make an educated choice about who they are letting their properties to, what a tenant does for a living, a previous landlord recommendation, crucially their right to rent in the UK, and - more importantly - their financial position, including their ability to pay the rent on time each month.
Tenant referencing is important for landlords and tenants as it gives a good insight into the tenant’s financial and renting history, enabling landlords to make an informed decision as to whether or not to accept a potential tenant.
Until now tenant referencing across the letting industry has relied upon tenant referencing companies accessing publicly available credit information only.
This credit information is limited to details about County Court Judgements, individual voluntary arrangements and bankruptcies. It has not been possible previously to access and analyse the tenant applicant’s full credit file.
But Let Alliance has completed a two-year strategic project that has resulted in redefining the way that tenant referencing works in the UK, with references now returned the same day.
Working closely with credit data agency and information solutions provider TransUnion, Let Alliance has developed the process that allows consumers to give Let Alliance, when acting for professional letting agents and their potential landlords, access to their full credit file.
This means that for the first time in the UK, Let Alliance will complete tenant references based on the full credit information, with the same level of detail that is used by banks, building societies, and credit card companies. Accessing the data and the initial affordability assessment will be completed in real time.
The combination of analysing the full credit file with the integration of Open Banking and the proprietary Let Alliance affordability algorithms means that the majority of tenant references will be completed within 24 hours on a high percentage of cases.
The process works in the same way that banks, building societies and credit card companies make decisions. It is much faster than the historic rental vetting process, offering a much smoother application and allowing tenants to move into their new homes much more quickly. There will be no need for tenants to upload, scan or email documents, as the crucial information required will be accessed through Open Banking technology.
Andy Halstead, CEO at Let Alliance commented: “For many years now it has been a vision of mine to give letting agents access to tenant referencing using the same data that banks and credit card companies use.
“Through our partnership with TransUnion we have found a solution whereby consumers can quickly and easily share their data with Let Alliance, and it is a complete game-changer.
“We are no longer restricted to limited information; we now lead the way and our leading technology has been the key to our success. It’s also a great example of how consumers can take charge of their own data to help them achieve their goals; in this case helping them secure the rental property they’re after with a quick and easy process.”
Having worked with Let Alliance for over eight years, Kelli Fielding, managing director at TransUnion, says that her firm is “delighted to have supported them” in why he views as a “pioneering initiative that revolutionises their rental vetting process”.
She commented: Consumers can now give their consent to share their full credit file with Let Alliance when they are conducting the checks, cutting timescales from days, or sometimes weeks, to a same day turnaround and making the consumer journey much smoother.
“Our Open Banking technology which is built into this process provides a detailed understanding of the potential tenant’s financial status – spanning income verification, risk and affordability–helping letting agents to make an informed assessment whilst also delivering an improved customer experience.”