Experian’s Rent Exchange will rely on information provided by private landlords and letting agents. The reference agency estimates it will take 12 months to sign up sufficient landlords and letting agents, who will themselves have to pay a fee to access the data. They will only have access to a potential tenant’s past rental history, not other personal financial information.
It is anticipated that agents and landlords joining the scheme will include clauses in tenancy agreements to ensure tenants allow their rent history to be shared.
Aware of potential criticism, Experian has reassured tenants that where there is a genuine dispute over a missed payment, information would not appear until the dispute was resolved. Similarly, tenants would not be penalised where late rent payments were caused by delay in the administration of housing benefit, for which they could not be held responsible.
Experian’s Sian Williams was quick to point out the potential benefits to tenants: “This is a very welcome development for people living in private rented accommodation, who until now have often found it difficult to build a credit history,” she said.
We await further developments with interest and will keep you posted.