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Can I credit check the previous tenants before I move in?


Dear James,


Before moving into a rented property can I get a credit report on the house in case of bad debts attached to previous tenants? 

Dawn, Wetherby


Dear Dawn,

I think I’ve answered a question on this before but I’m going to revisit it because our contact centre tells me it’s a concern that many people continue to get in touch with us about. Basically this is not something you have to worry about these days. At all! The credit histories of previous occupants are just not linked to your credit report, credit rating or any credit applications you make. Your credit report includes financial information about you only. Someone else’s credit report can only be linked to your report if you’ve joined up your credit with them in some way, such as applying for or taking out joint credit. So you will not be linked to the previous occupants and you don’t have to worry about what state their credit histories are in. Of course, if you move to an address where the previous occupants were serial bad debtors you may see bills arriving addressed to them. Don’t let this spook you. Just return anything like this to the sender marked ‘not at this address – moved away’ or something like that and the message should get through. (November 2013)

James Sign

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