Will a previous tenant’s debt hit your credit rating?
You might worry that your credit rating will be affected if you move into a property where the previous occupant had got into debt. You’ve probably heard horror stories of people who have been able to get credit because someone who previously lived in their home was being chased by debt collectors.
However, this is unlikely to happen to you.
It might have happened in the past when credit checking agencies used less sophisticated tracing techniques, but these days someone’s debt moves with them.
If you move into a property where a previous tenant had got into debt, you might get letters from various lenders or even debt collection agencies chasing payment. If you do, you should put them back in the post box marked “Return to Sender, Addressee no longer here”.
It’s also possible that you might get a knock at the door from bailiffs. If you do, showing them some ID to prove you’re not the debtor should send them on their way. Be assured that they can’t force their way into the property and seize any of your belongings, this is illegal.
To make sure that you don’t end up responsible for a previous tenant’s utility bills, remember to take meter readings as soon as you move in and pass these on to utility companies, informing them of the start date of your tenancy. Also remember to inform the council of your move in date for council tax purposes.