Tech companies offered £2m to develop new app for tenants

Tech companies are being invited to take part in a £2m competition to develop applications that help people who rent their homes to boost their credit scores, access credit and get on the housing ladder.

The Treasury is running a competition for entrepreneurs who can develop an application that will enable Britain’s 11 million tenants to record and share their rent payment data, helping to improve their credit scores and their chances of getting a mortgage.

Winning bids to the Rent Recognition Challenge will be selected by a panel of leading figures from the Fintech sector. The competition will provide an initial round of grant funding to six promising proposals to help to turn the ideas into a workable product. The expert judges will then whittle the six down to just a handful of teams who will receive further funding and support to bring their ideas to market.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Barclay, said: “People’s monthly rent is often their biggest expense, so it makes sense for it to be recognised when applying for a mortgage. Without a good credit score, getting a mortgage can be a real struggle.

“Most lenders and Credit Reference Agencies are unable to take rental data into account, because they don’t have access to it. The Rent Recognition Challenge will challenge firms to develop an innovative solution to this problem and help to restore the dream of home ownership for a new generation.”

The Challenge will open to applications early in the New Year, and development will conclude in October 2018.