LegalforLandlords is the latest business to embrace Open Banking, and the first in the industry to integrate the technology across its entire tenant referencing offer.
The move is in line with its commitment to support agents in protecting landlords’ interests, with access to a much wider data-set building a more complete picture of a tenant’s suitability.
In recent months LegalforLandlords has shared revolting images taken inside rental properties after the eviction of problem tenants, replete with live maggots, waste and piles of debt letters; a cautionary tale on the importance of thorough tenant referencing processes.
A recent case saw tenant inflict intentional damage inside a property – arrears continually mounting – with the landlord later discovering a history of such behaviour. She, understandably, now questions the rigorousness of the referencing process completed by her letting agent.
Open Banking offers a more thorough picture of a prospective tenant, reducing the likelihood of similar cases in the future. The technology also accelerates the process, removing the need for bank statements and wage slips, which has proved popular with tenants as well as landlords. Individuals do need to opt-in to Open Banking, but a four-month trial by LegalforLandlords proved successful – 72% of renters aged 18-38 opted in, along with 39% in the 40-69 bracket.
Sim Sekhon, Managing Director of LegalforLandlords, said: “Landlords are facing more challenges than ever before, so any technology that offers an additional level of protection and peace of mind is a huge help. With the abolition of Section 21 in the not-too-distant future, it’s more important than ever to have a thorough referencing process in place. For letting agents, it gives them confidence in their ability to protect their client’s interests, preventing the need for eviction and other time-consuming, stressful and costly interventions further down the line.
“So often we hear landlords saying they want to throw the towel in after dealing with problem tenants, so we hope that by introducing Open Banking we can help agents to prevent rogue tenants slipping through the net.”
Warrington-headquartered Legal for Landlords provides tenant referencing, insurance and legal services for the rental property sector. Founded by Managing Director, Sim Sekhon, it supports thousands of landlords and letting agencies across the UK.