Founder of the Big Issue, John Bird, is launching his own Bill in the House of Lords in a bid to have rent records included in the criteria used to assess people’s creditworthiness.

Currently rental payments are not recorded and so do not count towards, for example, an application for a mortgage. This means that the least well-off tenants may often be obliged to have repayment contracts on hire purchase schemes which are more expensive.

Lord Bird has said that reliable rent payers should get the same advantages as reliable mortgage payers, which currently they do not.

Currently, credit rating agencies do not routinely include the rent payment history when calculating credit scores, making it difficult for tenants to access a mortgage, even if they have a good history of paying their rent in full and on time.

This Bill follows an online petition, signed by 147,307 people supporting the recognition that paying rent on time be recognised as evidence that mortgage payments can me met.

The Residential Landlords Association is supporting the Bill and has stated that this would also support landlords as it would provide them with a more accurate assessment of a prospective tenant’s credit and rent payment history.