As a tenant without a UK driving licence, verifying your identity during the rental application process can be difficult. Landlords often favour applicants with driving licences, as it simplifies the verification process.
If you’ve ever had a UK driving licence but currently can’t find it or have been banned, click here.
However, if you have never held a UK Full or Provisional driving licence, RenterBall has a solution for you.
The iD Buddy system. This innovative approach assists tenants without driving licences in finding a home while offering landlords added security.
Introducing the iD Buddy
An iD Buddy is a verified RenterBall user who vouches for an unverified tenant like you. They must have a UK driving licence and a National Insurance (NI) number. You will also need a UK NI number. Unfortunately, RenterBall cannot verify non-driving licence users’ NI numbers. They can only confirm that the NI number meets the required format and is associated with just one RenterBall account.
Your prospective new landlord may have the following concerns:
- Is the tenant being dishonest and actually possesses a driving licence?
- Is the National Insurance (NI) number they claim genuine?
- Is the tenant trying to circumvent the system due to bad feedback on RenterBall?
Your new landlord will be responsible for verifying your name, NI number, and date of birth to use RenterBall, as well as your iD Buddy’s driving licence.
Unfortunately, landlords cannot trust documents such as benefit letters, HMRC returns, or payslips as genuine since numerous websites can produce fake versions of these documents for a small fee, often less than £20, and deliver them to your door.
Consequently, RenterBall advises landlords to “request that the tenant logs into their HMRC Tax account or Universal Credit account using their smartphone, where their NI number should be displayed. Then, ask the tenant to show you the screen, and make a note of the following:
When meeting the landlord, ensure you have a smartphone/tablet/laptop with internet access. You must log in to your HMRC Tax account or Universal Credit account and allow the landlord to confirm the account is in your name and displays your NI number.
Additionally, present photographic ID to the landlord. Although you can log into your Government account, it isn’t foolproof evidence that it’s you, as someone could have stolen your information and be impersonating you.
If you can’t log in to an HMRC Tax account or Universal Credit account in front of your landlord, they will face a considerably greater risk.
In this case, you will need to provide one of the following documents:
- A benefit letter
- An HMRC return
- A payslip
Many landlords may be uncomfortable with this and may not proceed with the application, as the risk is too great and they are not trained in detecting forgeries.
If a landlord decides to proceed, they will need to meet your iD Buddy and take a photo of their driving licence.
If you managed to log in to a Government online account, the landlord won’t need to worry as much about the iD Buddy, and they can simply email the landlord a copy of their driving licence.
However, if you can’t log in and must show the landlord documents, they will need to meet the iD Buddy. The iD Buddy must understand they will be considered legally liable for aiding and abetting a crime if it turns out your NI number is not yours.
To rent from the landlord, you will need to sign an online RenterBall Agreement.
Technically, the agreement will be sent to your tenant page, and all members of your tenant page must agree to the RenterBall Agreement.
Members of the tenant page should include:
- Yourself (the tenant)
- Any adult household members planning to live in the rented property
- Guarantor, if applicable
- iD Buddy, if applicable
When a landlord provides feedback on the tenancy, they will leave it on your tenant page, and a copy of all feedback is shared with every member of the page.
From a legal standpoint, an iD Buddy is not a guarantor and cannot be sued for rent. However, within RenterBall, an iD Buddy will be blocked from renting again if the tenant they represent has outstanding debt, including rent and legal fees.
If you have a guarantor, the landlord may ask them to sign a guarantor form and join RenterBall. A guarantor is legally liable, can be sued for rent, and their account will be restricted on RenterBall as long as there is any outstanding debt.
If you are an iD Buddy and want to rent on RenterBall but can’t because your account is blocked due to representing someone who did not pay their rent in the past, you must either clear the debt or persuade the person you represented to clear it for you to be able to rent again.In conclusion
1 Apply for a provisional driving licence if you don’t have one it makes life so much easier
2 Lost your driving licence then Login to DVLA website and get your licence number
3 Never had a driving licence and do not plan on ever getting one then you need an iD Buddy.
In scenario two and three you will also need photographic ID