Lord Bird has described the contents and main thrust of the bill as “If you are a mortgage holder, and if you pay your mortgage on time and do not miss it too often, you will automatically have a higher credit rating...But you might have been living in social housing, or in another form of rented accommodation, for one year, five years, or 10 years....They don't take into account that you are paying your rent.”
In the budget there was also an announcement from Phillip Hammond that £2m was up for grabs for the creation of a technology that would allow for credit scoring companies to include rental payments in their calculations.
Consistency in meeting payments for rent is very significant, and even more-so when you consider that last week a statistic was revealed that in 12 local authority areas in the UK, rent makes up 60% of the average salary. On average, across the UK, private renters give up 35% of their income to their landlords.
Growing support for the credit-worthiness assessment bill across all government parties gives it a good chance of coming to fruition in 2018. With an online petition to the government saying “Paying rent on time should be recognised as evidence that mortgage repayments can be met” reaching enough support to get the attention of government, we expect and hope that this will form part of the future discussions.
We want to see more tenants given the opportunity to own their own homes, and in a lot of cases, if rental payments are being met, this is a strong sign that they would be able to maintain mortgage payments.