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Can a letting agent see my credit report?
I have been a CreditExpert member in the past but am no longer. I am thinking of renting a property and the agent is going to do a credit check. What will they actually get to know about me?
Margaret, New Milton
Landlords and letting agents can carry out an Experian tenant check. This can include information from your credit report along with employee and landlord references, and affordability checks. The information landlords and agents can see from your credit report is limited to publicly available records, including court judgments and insolvency records. They cannot see information about your credit commitments, such as credit cards, loans and mobile phone contracts. If you reactivate your CreditExpert membership or order a statutory £2 Experian credit report you will certainly see any public records that could be provided to landlords. You may be interested to learn that housing providers in both the social and private sector will soon be sharing rent payment information through a new development called the Rental Exchange which should make tenant references quicker and cheaper. It will also help tenants’ credit ratings because lenders will be able to use this information as evidence of tenants’ creditworthiness, levelling the playing field between tenants and mortgage payers. Information about mortgage payments has been included in credit reports for many years, but up to now tenants have not been given recognition for managing their rent payments well. Encouragingly, analysis of social housing tenants shows that a massive 93% stand to benefit from better credit ratings if their rent payments were added to their credit histories. We’re confident that private tenants will see huge benefits too. We’re working with the social investment enterprise Big Issue Invest to launch the Rental Exchange for social tenants and make this information available to support lending decisions in 2014. It will then be rolled out to help private tenants. This moneysavingexpert.com article provides more information. (November 2013)