Over the last few years there have been significant changes in the mortgage market in terms of the volume of mortgages, value of mortgages and product type availability. There has been an overall decrease in the number of mortgages made available by lenders, a decrease in the value of mortgages, reductions in the maximum amount loaned against property values and tightening of lending criteria such as increased credit scoring acceptance levels. In addition, a number of mortgage lenders have withdrawn from the market. The cumulative effect of these changes made it difficult for many people to obtain a mortgage product than at any time in recent years.
Mortgage products most significantly affected during this period included sub-prime mortgages, self-certified mortgages and buy-to-let mortgages. According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), in 2009 there were 93,500 buy-to-let loans advanced; compared with 222,700 advanced in 2008, representing a year on year reduction of 58%. The value of buy-to-let mortgages in 2009 was £8.5billion compared with £27.2billion in 2008 and whilst 2010 and 2011 has witnessed some recovery in the market, the buy to let mortgage market is currently still running at a third of the levels seen in 2007.
Logic suggests that as it becomes more difficult to obtain a mortgage product, fewer people will have the choice of getting a foot on the property ladder which means there is a knock on effect in the number of people looking to rent a property rather than choosing to buy. In addition this pressure is further increased as those who own a property and wish to rent them out also find it difficult to obtain buy-to-let mortgages.
Consequently it is now more important than ever that those who do decide to rent out a property have, at their disposal, as much information and insight as possible on those individuals who could be likely tenants. Hence the important role an organisation like TenantID can play in delivering that essential insight.
TenantID is a national database, which will eventually consist of millions of private tenants across the UK & Irish market. The database has been created to provide those in the lettings industry with vital information about the history of prospective tenants and designed to protect the nation’s landlords, local authorities and letting agents.
TenantID database is run for members of a nationwide network of letting agents, landlords and local authorities. Each member uploads information about their tenants and that information subsequently becomes available to other members on request. If a tenant has not paid rent, damaged a property, misused the property or simply vanished owing money to the landlord, that information is stored using a simple tick system which collects factual information.
TenantID has recently joined forces with Callcredit Information Group, who have a leading approach to deploying consumer information which brings together experts across the fields of credit referencing, marketing services, interactive solutions and consultative analytics to provide clients with a range of innovative and effective products. Callcredit offers products which help to assess a customer’s credit risk and affordability combined with collections and recoveries to provide tailored debt recovery and tracing tools.
The intention moving forwards is to combine the two datasets which will in turn provide letting agents, landlords and local authorities with a complete 360 degree view of a prospective tenant not only in relation to their past rental record but also in terms of their credit worthiness, affordability etc.
Given the increase in demand from those looking to rent and the pressure placed on landlords and local authorities it is essential that they have access to as much insight and information that can be delivered in real-time to help them make an informed decision on a prospective tenant whilst at the same time providing a level of comfort that the tenant is who they say they are and that they have a recommended referenced rental record.
For more information visit www.tenantid.co.uk.