LetsBid to provide free tenant vetting in collaboration with Experian Background Checking
LetsBid, a digital online auction service for lettings and sales, has a secured an agreement with Experian Background Checking to provide pre-screening services to tenants and letting agents ahead of the ban on lettings fees in England and Wales.
It means that even before the ban is introduced in 2019 tenants can make sure they are in the best position possible to secure their ideal rental home by signing up for the LetsBid free pre-screening. According to the firm, which is investing a six figure sum in the new process, the agreement will make finding a rented property faster and easier.
“We aim to create the largest pool of pre-screened tenants, up to 10,000 a month. Currently tenants can be charged £80 to £120 for credit and reference checks. This will be done for free,” said Milton Rodosthenous, LetsBid founder and director.
Tenants will be able to register online and have their checks done almost immediately. Within minutes they will be able to search for a home and the agent concerned will be reassured that no adverse financial credit data exists.
“The feedback we have had from agents is landlords are more likely to accept a reduced rental offer from someone who is ready. The future is online for tenants and agents. New technology means that everyone can access the information they need at anytime, anywhere and on multiple devices.”
Agents registered with LetsBid are also pre-screened. “This adds trust to the process. The upcoming letting fees ban in England is about bringing more transparency and trust to the property sector and online we are leading the way. This screening will be in place for the ban starting,” he added.
LetsBid will also encourage all agents to offer tenants the opportunity to be part of the Experian Rental Exchange programme which will allow their rental payments to help strengthen their credit histories and put them in a better position to get on the property ladder.
This development comes at a time when it is forecast that the Private Rented Sector will grow in the coming years. Current estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) say that an additional 2.4 million households will be created in Britain over the next 10 years and rental housing supply will need to cater for an additional half a million households.
Research published by real estate firm Knight Frank forecast that the proportion of households living in the Private Rented Sector is set to rise to 24% by 2021 and that 68% of those currently renting a home expect to be doing so in 2020. Separate research from landlord insurer Direct Line for Business found that of the 17 million renters in the UK, 70% or 12 million, have no plans to buy a property. The report suggested that Britain is moving towards a German housing model with a greater percentage of the population renting and future generations more likely to live in properties owned by other people.
Experian’s Michael Magabo said: “Better decisions can be made when there is more information available, so it is easy to see the appeal for lettings agents and landlords in looking for tenants who have been pre-screened. Tenants who join the Rental Exchange will can also strengthen their credit histories, which can put them in a better position to get on the property ladder in future.”