A revolution in tenant referencing is around the corner now that the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has launched its consultation on the much-heralded digital identity programme.

This will see a national framework established that will eventually introduce a system whereby people can prove who they are via their digital identity profile most likely through either a website or a smartphone app.

This would remove many of the barriers landlords and letting agencies face when referencing tenant and, at a stroke, significantly reduce tenant fraud within the housing market.

It would also be used when buying a home, setting up a bank account, proving one’s age in a pub, proving your have a valid driving licence and a myriad other uses.

Moving house

“If someone wants to prove who they are when starting a job, moving house, or transacting online, they ought to have the tools do so quickly and securely in a digital manner, as an option alongside using the physical documents we are most familiar with,” says Matt Warman MP, Minister for Digital Infrastructure a the DCMS (pictured, above).

“Too often, people in the UK have to use a combination of paper documents issued by government, local authorities and the private sector – and a mixture of offline and online routes – when they need to prove something about themselves. And they must repeat the process for each new transaction.”

Warman says the government is committed to realising the benefits of digital identity, without creating the controversial system of ID cards. The consultation on the project, which includes proposals to set up a governing body to administer the digital checking system, and a way for people to seek redress if information is inaccurate, closes on September 13th.

Read the proposals in full.
Read more about tenant referencing.


  1. Sounds great, especially for fraudulent tenants, but what’s the difference between a digital identity and the controversial ID card system, it seems to me just another back door government initiative.

  2. If this was to become law, i wouldn’t let a property to anyone without a decent Digital ID.
    Im all for it.
    Will get rid of the bad tenants looking at decent private landlords properties.

  3. And while they’re at it they should create a rogue tenant database to help landlords filter out those tenants that are dishonest etc.

  4. Having a physical ID card to prove identity is so last year.

    A far more effective digital ID via an app would be far more effective and would have far more information on the app about the person.

    I would suggest first that DNA should be taken and applied to the app so that the DWP and the Police may identify anyone who cones to their attention and they need DNA to exclude people from their inquiries.

    Would also be an excellent way for the DWP to identify all the deadbeat Dad’s who seem to delight in impregnating single mothers and then leaving the State to pay the bills for the next 18 years.

    So we’ll have a National ID app rather than a card.

    Seems a brilliant idea to me!!

    Of course it would mean everyone having a mobile that can use apps.

    It is now possible for everyone to have free 200mb per month with a 3 Data Reward PAYG Sim.

    You can have 5 of them if you wish!

    App capable mobiles are ten a penny so NO excuse for not having one!

    Of course drug dealers or criminals in general would have problems. But that is their problem.
    They might have to ditch their burner mobiles and adopt a different business model!!!

    The Tenant Fee Ban legislation might need to be amended.
    Tenant Referencing Passports were suggested but apparently LL requiring a Tenant Passport would have been banned.

    From a tenant perspective the more attractive as a business proposition they may make themselves as far as a LL is concerned would ensure that good compliant tenants would have first choice of tenants.

    Perhaps such a digital ID system would prevent the £9 billion of losses that rent defaulting tenants cost LL annually!?

    Tenants would wish to preserve their reference status so would perhaps sign a Tenancy Surrender document rather that suffer from detrimental rent defaulting information.

    A LL is hardly likely to apply detrimental rent defaulting details if a tenant vacates before this occurs.

    Digital ID is a brilliant ID.

    Hopefully should find all those in the UK who shouldn’t be here.
    Reckoned to be about10 millions.

    Bring on digital ID ASAP!

    • It shouldn’t be too difficult to tie up information.
      The Govt Connect Computer will suss most fraudulent ID applications.

      I would first roll out this ID system in diverse areas as that is where the majority of illegal immigrants reside.

      They can be deported quickly.

      That will reduce the UK population by about 10 million.

      Then wr can get started on the criminal element who don’t wish to be identified.

      Digital ID is a brilliant IDEA.

      Digital verification may be easily achieved via a QR code.

      So if the cops pull you etc you just present your mobile and all the info is there for them.

      A perfect solution for law abiding and legal UK citizens.

      We really don’t care about illegals.
      They should be deported.

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