Demanding online access to your bank accounts for 90 days to scrutinise your income and expenditure. Calling your boss to verify your salary. Asking for an accountant’s reference and copies of your tax returns.
No, I’m not talking about the level of financial scrutiny people can expect when applying for a mortgage. These checks are becoming the norm for tenants trying to rent a property in the aftermath of the pandemic.
“To get a new place to live, I have to allow the new landlord’s reference checking company to spy on my bank account for 90 days,” says Michael Wright, a journalist and freelance writer.
Share your story
Have you experienced this sort of financial scrutiny when trying to rent a property? Share your stories in the comments below
The property market in his area of Norfolk is red hot due to the “race for space” and the staycation boom, which has seen many traditional lets convert to Airbnbs.
At the same time, lockdowns have accelerated the move away from providing paper copies of bank statements towards digital services powered by Open Banking, which allow consumers to share their financial data with fintechs authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.
To stand any chance of renting close to their child’s school, Wright and his partner reluctantly agreed to be digitally vetted.
For 90 days, they consented to share data, including their account balance, details of all incoming and outgoing transactions (most banks hold one or two years’ worth of data online) plus any fees, charges or interest they’d incurred.
Although this verified that the couple had a joint income of well over £60,000, self-employed Wright was deemed a “moderate risk”. The letting agent has also demanded to see copies of his tax returns. And all this for a monthly rent of £980!
Property expert Kate Faulkner says tenant referencing and credit checks are nothing new, but the pandemic experience has made buy-to-let landlords even more paranoid about the risks of rental default. Rental insurance is harder to come by and policy costs have soared.
“Landlords will also check affordability for other costs such as council tax and heating,” she says, adding that some tenants have had issues with damp “which turns out to be because they can’t afford to heat the home”.
Even at the higher end of the market, the self-employed and singletons are considered especially risky.
My self-employed Instagram followers tell me they’ve been asked to provide six months rent up front, landlord references, accountant’s letters, tax returns and up to one year’s worth of photocopied personal bank statements.
As we heard on the Money Clinic podcast, single accountant Jenny was passed over for several flats in Leeds as landlords said they’d prefer to rent to a couple with a dual income.
Increasingly, tenants can’t rent a property unless they are backed up by a guarantor. One FT Money reader agreed to do so for a family member who is a single parent. He passed a credit check, showing he owned his own property. Days later, his boss received a phone call asking to confirm that he worked there and what his salary was.
However, the providers of digital tenant referencing services claim that Open Banking is much more secure and accurate than old-fashioned methods — and actually involves less intrusion into our private lives.
“No, your landlord won’t be able to tell whether or not you ordered Deliveroo last week,” says Chris Hutchinson, founder of Canopy, one of a growing number of FCA-authorised apps. “As an intermediary, we only surface the information that’s needed to make the decision,” he says.
Typically, this will be a PDF report verifying your income for the past 12 months, the rental payments you’ve made and your projected level of affordability.
“None of that security exists with sharing paper copies of payslips or bank statements,” he adds.
Freddy Kelly, founder of Credit Kudos, which provides the tech for an array of rental apps, argues that Open Banking could make landlords feel more confident about letting to “gig economy workers, small business owners; anyone who lacks a recurring salary payment,” plus those whose credit history has been affected by working overseas.
Algorithms can separate discretionary and non-discretionary expenditure; score the consistency, regularity and longevity of a renter’s income; and use this to calculate a monthly “affordability threshold”, which is all the landlord sees.
More accurate than a credit check, customer volumes have increased seven-fold during the pandemic.
In theory, digital services are quicker, easier and less intrusive — but they also enable landlords to cherry pick tenants with the equivalent of a triple A credit rating. I’m already hearing reports of would-be tenants being financially screened before they get selected for a viewing.
Campaigners say the balance of power has shifted too far.
“Landlords have so many ways of checking who their prospective tenants might be, but there’s currently nothing allowing tenants in England the same privilege,” says Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, the housing charity.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland already require landlords to be registered — but England does not. Neate says a national register would be “a simple solution to a very serious problem” — the number of renters who don’t know who their landlord is.
“We deal with people every day who don’t know how to contact their landlord, request repairs or challenge them,” she says, adding that local authorities also struggle to track down repeat offenders.
This isn’t just a problem at the cheaper end of the rental market. An FT colleague is renting a flat in a fashionable part of London where an unfixed leak is causing water to drip directly on to her pillow. She reported this to the letting agent three months ago. Nothing happened. She asked to speak directly to the landlord and has been stonewalled.
Shelter’s research estimates that 22 per cent of renters have moved into a property with smoke alarms, central heating or water supplies — all essential, legal requirements — that don’t work. Yet one in five renters don’t complain through fear of being served with a no-fault eviction.
So I have a challenge to throw down to the Open Banking providers. Please can you make an app that allows renters to check whether landlords have enough capital to finance unexpected repairs promptly? It would be handy if this could also show an “affordability indicator” of how much they’re relying on the rental income to fund their personal everyday expenditure.
Sadly, I fear renters may face a long wait for this kind of innovation and the prospect of regulation is also slipping back.
Last month, the government said the renters’ reform bill, which promised to tackle many of these problems, would be delayed until next year.
When you consider how many MPs have portfolios of rental properties, I cannot help but wonder whether they really understand the plight of renters — or merely have an interest in preserving the status quo.
Claer Barrett is the FT’s consumer editor: email@example.com; Twitter @Claerb; Instagram @Claerb
thank you so much for this impressive website me and my class loved this content and perceptiveness
thank you so much for this impressive web site me and my kin preferent this message and brainstorm
levaquin 250mg brand levofloxacin price
oral avodart 0.5mg buy generic ondansetron 8mg buy ondansetron 8mg online cheap
spironolactone brand order valtrex pills buy diflucan 100mg pills
brand ampicillin 250mg cephalexin 250mg tablet order erythromycin 500mg generic
sildenafil 50mg oral careprost allergy spray order methocarbamol 500mg generic
suhagra us order generic estradiol estradiol 2mg for sale
buy lamictal 200mg for sale purchase vermox pill buy retin gel without prescription
order tadalafil generic buy generic avana 200mg order generic diclofenac
isotretinoin 20mg us order amoxicillin 250mg online cheap azithromycin usa
indocin order buy indomethacin 75mg pill trimox 250mg for sale
tadalafil 40mg without prescription Buy discount viagra sildenafil online
arimidex 1mg generic can you buy viagra without a prescription viagra australia
cialis 40mg prix sildenafil 50mg generique pas cher viagra 25mg generique en pharmacie
buy deltasone 40mg sale purchase prednisone sale sildenafil medication
cialis kaufen generika sildenafil kaufen ohne rezept sildenafil 200mg generika
order isotretinoin pill purchase azithromycin generic ivermectin 12mg pills for humans
doxycycline brand buy doxycycline 100mg online lasix 100mg price
order ramipril 10mg pill astelin 10ml sprayer astelin usa
purchase catapres generic meclizine online order order tiotropium bromide 9mcg for sale
buspar over the counter order cordarone 200mg without prescription ditropan online order
fosamax ca motrin 600mg pill cheap pepcid 20mg
buy benicar generic order verapamil 240mg generic buy diamox 250 mg pill
buy prograf generic purchase urso without prescription ursodiol online order
order imdur without prescription isosorbide cost telmisartan 20mg for sale
order bupropion generic seroquel cost seroquel
molnunat 200mg uk naproxen 250mg brand lansoprazole without prescription
sertraline medication oral sertraline 100mg viagra 50mg tablet
order salbutamol 100mcg generic viagra for women sildenafil overnight
cheap tadalafil 20mg How to get cialis sildenafil tablets
buy cialis 5mg without prescription order phenazopyridine 200mg without prescription oral symmetrel 100mg
revia generic order generic albenza 400 mg aripiprazole pills
purchase avlosulfon generic aceon 4mg cheap perindopril 8mg without prescription
provera 10mg ca order biltricide 600 mg pill cyproheptadine 4mg ca
order provigil online best canadian online pharmacy ivermectin tablet 1mg
fluvoxamine order online purchase glipizide pill glucotrol 5mg brand
order accutane 20mg cheap amoxil pill cost prednisone 20mg
piracetam 800mg drug viagra 50mg tablet sildenafil brand
buy azithromycin 500mg sale azithromycin 250mg pills cost neurontin 100mg
cheap tadalafil tablets cost cialis over the counter viagra
purchase furosemide for sale hydroxychloroquine 400mg brand plaquenil 400mg tablet
purchase chloroquine online cheap baricitinib order baricitinib online buy
itraconazole price tinidazole cheap buy tinidazole 500mg online
purchase glycomet sale order glycomet 1000mg for sale buy tadalafil 40mg without prescription
olanzapine 10mg canada order valsartan for sale valsartan 80mg brand
oral norvasc 5mg sildenafil 100mg drug tadalafil 10mg price
buy generic clozaril buy clozaril pill buy decadron 0,5 mg online
buy viagra 50mg without prescription overnight delivery for viagra lisinopril sale
buy zyvox 600 mg online cheap caesars casino online online casino for real cash
brand omeprazole 20mg buy prilosec 20mg online play blackjack
lopressor 50mg over the counter levitra 20mg cheap levitra online
write my paper for me real money blackjack online blackjack for money
custom written papers help writing a research paper viagra tablet
clomid 100mg sale albuterol over the counter real online casino
purchase tadalafil for sale generic tadalafil 20mg order sildenafil without prescription
buy generic triamcinolone claritin 10mg uk clarinex price
priligy 60mg for sale cheap synthroid buy synthroid pill
purchase cialis pill tadalafil us viagra 100mg us
order generic orlistat 60mg xenical 120mg ca zovirax order online
order cialis 20mg online inderal 20mg pill purchase clopidogrel pill
zyloprim 100mg pills ezetimibe 10mg sale ezetimibe brand
order methotrexate 5mg order methotrexate 5mg generic metoclopramide 20mg drug
purchase losartan pill topamax 200mg cheap order topamax 100mg for sale
purchase lioresal pill ozobax us ketorolac for sale
buy sumatriptan 25mg generic buy sumatriptan 25mg online buy avodart 0.5mg pills
colchicine cheap roulette online free play casino online
ranitidine 300mg pills meloxicam cost celebrex 100mg tablet
no deposit free spins casino free poker games casinos
buy tamsulosin 0.4mg pill flomax 0.2mg oral buy aldactone 100mg sale
cheap cialis 10mg tadalafil 10mg pills ciprofloxacin cost
simvastatin 20mg brand purchase finasteride generic order finasteride 1mg pills
flagyl 200mg sale flagyl 400mg sale brand bactrim
diflucan generic viagra drug order viagra without prescription
keflex without prescription cephalexin usa order erythromycin sale
buy tadalafil 20mg online cheap buy cialis generic viagra 200mg for sale
ceftin uk buy ceftin pills cheap methocarbamol
best online blackjack online casino real money tadalafil pill
buy desyrel 50mg without prescription order aurogra 50mg online cheap buy aurogra 100mg online cheap
essay helpers thesis writer stromectol 3mg cost
viagra sildenafil 100mg sildenafil 150 mg lamotrigine uk
generic prednisone 20mg amoxicillin 500mg cost buy generic amoxicillin
buy viagra online cheap viagra for sale online cialis for men
purchase azithromycin for sale buy generic gabapentin 100mg buy generic gabapentin
free spins no deposit low cost ed pills tadalafil 5mg tablet
gambling game online blackjack real money cheap modafinil 200mg
order lasix 40mg pills buy furosemide 100mg for sale plaquenil for sale online
order deltasone generic mebendazole 100mg usa mebendazole price
buy fildena online buy sildenafil 100mg pill rhinocort online
tretinoin cream uk order avanafil 200mg online avanafil price
tadacip pills purchase indomethacin indomethacin 50mg oral
terbinafine drug suprax 200mg tablet buy amoxicillin 500mg online
order biaxin 500mg for sale biaxin 250mg brand antivert without prescription
order albuterol 100 mcg without prescription ciprofloxacin 500mg cost ciprofloxacin 500mg drug
order montelukast 5mg without prescription viagra for women sildenafil 50mg over the counter
pioglitazone ca real viagra pills viagra pills 100mg
tadalafil 5mg tablet the blue pill ed order tadalafil 5mg generic
where to buy cialis Cialis dosage doubleu casino online casino
casino slots games
online casino hacks
free casino slots online
ivermectin new zealand order symmetrel for sale avlosulfon 100 mg oral
caesars casino online online poker best online poker sites for real money
order nifedipine 30mg generic purchase fexofenadine online cheap buy allegra 120mg online
online blackjack live dealer essay buy online essays help
altace 10mg over the counter arcoxia 120mg ca arcoxia cost
cialis tadalafil 5 mg precio espana comprar cialis
cialis 5 mg precio cialis 5 mg en farmacia comprar cialis 5 mg
asacol online order buy asacol generic irbesartan 150mg uk
olmesartan order buy benicar online divalproex 500mg without prescription
buy acetazolamide pill imdur online order azathioprine online buy
clobetasol online order cordarone 100mg ca buy amiodarone 100mg online cheap
п»їMedicament prescribing information. Read information now.
https://viagrapillsild.online/# generic viagra scam
safe and effective drugs are available. Prescription Drug Information, Interactions & Side.
order digoxin without prescription order digoxin without prescription molnunat 200 mg sale
buy amoxicillin order amoxil 500mg stromectol order
order generic coreg amitriptyline without prescription elavil 10mg for sale
priligy 60mg for sale order avana 100mg online cheap domperidone 10mg drug
All trends of medicament. safe and effective drugs are available.
tadalafil soft gel capsule
Commonly Used Drugs Charts. Get warning information here.
fosamax 35mg oral buy fosamax 35mg generic motrin 400mg canada
cheap indocin 50mg flomax 0.4mg pills buy generic cenforce 100mg
Comprehensive side effect and adverse reaction information. Everything about medicine.
buy cialis cheap prices fast delivery
п»їMedicament prescribing information. Commonly Used Drugs Charts.
nortriptyline 25mg sale order paroxetine 10mg online purchase paroxetine without prescription
doxycycline buy online buy doxycycline 200mg generic medrol 16mg tablet
order famotidine without prescription order generic prograf 1mg order mirtazapine 30mg generic
buy tadalafil 10mg online tadalafil price buy amoxicillin 500mg sale
buy ropinirole 2mg generic labetalol 100 mg drug labetalol 100 mg tablet
oral esomeprazole 40mg esomeprazole price buy lasix sale
oral tricor 160mg viagra 100mg without prescription order viagra 50mg generic
minocycline for sale brand gabapentin 600mg terazosin 5mg pills
cialis medication Buy cialis viagra order online
glucophage canada buy tamoxifen sale nolvadex 20mg brand
cialis 5mg over the counter cialis store best ed drug
oral clomid 100mg buy generic lipitor 40mg prednisolone tablet
order modafinil 100mg online stromectol 3mg oral buy promethazine 25mg pill
accutane 20mg pills isotretinoin online order acillin canada
prednisone 10mg cheap oral amoxil 250mg amoxicillin 1000mg drug
ivermectin for humans for sale the best ed pill prednisone 5mg tablet
best ed medication cost proscar order propecia 5mg generic
accutane 10mg oral generic azithromycin 500mg zithromax 250mg oral
buy ondansetron 8mg generic buy zofran 8mg pill bactrim usa
buy albuterol order levothroid generic oral amoxiclav
prednisolone 5mg tablet order prednisolone 10mg online furosemide 40mg cost
You’re looking for model and booking? “부산달리기” visit my timeline for more details 😉 😉 ,
modafinil 200mg for sale metoprolol 100mg oral buy lopressor 50mg online
purchase monodox generic buy generic vibra-tabs acyclovir cost