PAST rent payments should be used when calculating credit scores for those trying to get on the housing ladder, according to UK landlords in a study of almost 3,000 people.

The majority of landlords, some 61 per cent, support this change, as currently credit-ratings agencies do not include rent payment history when calculating scores.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) says this means the tenant can find it difficult to access a mortgage, even if they have a long history of rent being paid in full and on time. Changing the system would be a major boost for first-time buyers.

Including rent payments in credit scores would also support landlords. It would provide them with a more accurate assessment of a prospective tenant’s relevant credit and rent payment history.

The RLA’s chairman, Alan Ward, said it is “absurd” that rent payments are not included in credit scores for mortgages.

“With many tenants wanting to buy a house of their own, it is absurd rent payment is not routinely included when undertaking credit checks for mortgage applications,” he said.

“Moving to such a scheme would help not just tenants, but also landlords by giving them a clearer sense of whether a prospective tenant has historically paid their rent in full and on time.”

The RLA is now writing to the government calling on it to work with the industry to include rent payment history as a standard feature when calculating credit scores.