An innovative new tenants’ passport service has launched in beta mode, a few months before it is due to go fully live.
It is free to tenants, and ahead of the fees ban, has been designed to replace traditional referencing by agents.
The tenants create their Movem Passport online, to include ID verification, passport validation, income validation, proof of previous rental payments, County Court judgments, and reviews from previous landlords and letting agents.
Once their Passport is active, they can grant access privately and securely.
Agents will be able see the Passport free at this stage, with all personal information including contact details masked.
A tenant can use their Passport when booking viewings on any platform, including Rightmove, Zoopla and Gumtree. Passport sharing can be initiated over the phone, and does not require the other party to sign up.
When the agent is satisfied that the prospective tenant is suitable to proceed, the tenant can confirm that they’re happy for their full Passport to be shared, which allows the agency to download their full reference, with the masking removed.
At this point, agents would pay either £2.99 or £7.99 – the fee depends on the extent of their usage.
The Passports are valid for three months once activated.
Some agents, including Countrywide, have already confirmed that tenants with Movem Passports will not have to pay referencing fees.
Movem started out as a website for, initially, student tenants to review their rental experiences, and was founded by Peter Ramsay, then a student himself, in 2013. It has since rolled out to the wider review market.
The company, which began life in a bedroom, raised £200,000 last year via crowdfunding in just ten days to create the Passports.
Ramsay, who is still only 23, was listed by Startups100 as one of the top young entrepreneurs to watch in 2017.
A limited number of Passports are available to tenants now at www.movem.co.uk/passport
The full service is expected to launch later this year, ahead of the fees ban.