New 'passport' scheme could spare landlords the pain of bad tenants
Landlords could use a new online 'passport' system to find the best tenants who are fully referenced and credit checked, and spare themselves trouble.
Mike Georgeson, chief executive of RentalStep, believes that the letting industry needs to do more to cater for long-term and lifestyle tenants by providing a more streamlined and suitable process for renters and landlords.
His firm provides tenants with a unique TenantPassport which details their rental history and contributes towards improving their credit score when they pay rent on time.
Tenants who have been renting for 10 years or longer should side-step the same referencing process every time they move between properties, he says.
Mr Georgeson said: "With many tenants now renting privately for 10 years or longer, they have the opportunity to build up a comprehensive rental history.
"It therefore seems logical that all this information is stored in one central place and that tenants and landlords don't have to undertake a lengthy, admin-heavy and sometimes expensive traditional referencing process every time someone wants to move home.
"If tenants are renting for the long-term but moving around frequently to experience different locations, there shouldn't be a need for them to constantly resubmit the same information."
Landlords can also use the platform to list available properties on Rightmove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation and receive free access to an online booking system and comprehensive referencing services.
RentalStep recently won HM Treasury's Rent Recognition Challenge, and references and credit checks are carried out by Experian.
"The cost of referencing prospective tenants is something all landlords need to consider," Mr Georgeson continued.
"From next year, it will no longer be possible to charge tenants upfront fees and it's widely expected that the cost of the traditional referencing process will fall to landlords."
As the market changes to provide a fairer deal for tenants, Georgeson believes that landlords must adapt and think about their own costs and whether it makes sense to pay a fee each time a tenant needs referencing.
He added: “We all need to embrace the shift towards lifestyle renting and provide an easier way for tenants to move between properties, while allowing landlords to find fully referenced tenants in one place with less administration and at a fraction of the cost.”