Q&A - I believe previous tenants' debts are affecting my credit rating

Q:  I have been living in the same rented house for almost a year. The tenants who lived here before me left considerable debts behind and I have had bailiffs knocking on my door on more than one occasion. Now I have been refused a loan and I am worried it is because the address I live at has been blackballed due to the former tenant's debts. What can I do to clear my name?

A:  Debts are not linked to addresses they are only linked to the people who borrow money and those who are financially associated with them.

Firstly you should contact all the people who are chasing the bad debts and inform them that the debts have nothing at all to do with you. Ask them to check their credit file and confirm in writing that there is no information there relating to you. When you have done that it may be useful to get a copy of your own credit report for future reference. If you have ever taken out credit for business or personal purposes you will, in the vast majority of cases, have a credit report held on you somewhere.

Anyone can check to see if they have a credit report and what information it contains. Reading your own credit report can be useful, not least in helping you address any issues that may exist before applying for future credit, moving home or becoming the unfortunate victim of identity fraud or theft. Some credit references agencies will provide an initial free credit report on a trial basis if you fill out a simple online form. This will show your credit scores and provide you with an insight into how potential lenders may view you.

Further information relating to this question is available from Sarah Roberts, a Solicitor with GHP Legal on 01978 291456, or attend one of our FREE legal diagnostic clinics every Monday 12-5pm in Wrexham (no appointment necessary) or from Stuart Thomas, a Solicitor with GHP Legal on 01691 659194, or attend one of our FREE legal diagnostic clinics every Wednesday 12-5pm in Oswestry (no appointment necessary).