Creditworthiness Assessment Bill Central Housing Group

MPs debate Creditworthiness Assessment Bill

The second reading of the Creditworthiness Assessment Bill is to take place in the House of Commons on November 23 – just over a year after it was first introduced into the House of Lords.

The Creditworthiness Assessment Bill is proposed by Big Issue founder Lord Bird and has widespread all-party support. It aims to make it a requirement for credit providers to take into account of both rental and council tax payment history.

Bird – a cross-bench peer – says the rental payments of the UK’s 11m private and social renters are not recorded and so do not count towards, for example, an individual’s application to secure a mortgage.

It means many of the country’s least well-off tenants may be obliged – despite excellent rental payment records – to have repayment contracts on hire purchase schemes which are more expensive than those offered to owner occupiers.

The Creditworthiness Assessment Bill already has the backing of the Residential Landlords Association; it surveyed almost 3,000 landlords with 61 per cent of respondents supporting such a move. Including rent payment would also support landlords, the RLA says, providing them with a more accurate assessment of a prospective tenant’s credit and rent payment history.

And credit scoring company Experian says 1.2m tenants already have their rents counted towards their creditworthiness as a result of its new systems.

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