67% of UK property professionals support DITF introduction to the sales sector

A survey of UK property professionals, commissioned by leading identity verification provider Credas Technologies, has revealed that 69% support government plans to introduce a Digital Identity for the residential property sector for homebuyers and sellers.

Such schemes already exist with regard to the Right to Work, Right to Rent and DBS checks, having been introduced in October 2022. It details a set of rules that digital identity service providers (IDSPs) must agree to follow in order to conduct secure and trustworthy checks, enabling businesses such as letting agents to use an IDSPs to complete ID verification checks on their behalf.

The survey by Credas Technologies found that 75% of UK property professionals believed the original introduction of this framework was a positive step, with 68% also stating that it had helped improve the standards of ID verification within the property industry.

So much so that 67% would like to see similar schemes rolled out across the residential sales sector, with the vast majority (71%), again believing that it would help improve the standards of the industry.

This wish could soon be granted, with the DCMS and HMRC already engaging a number of stakeholders within the sector, including Credas Technologies, in order to get a better understanding of how they could implement such a scheme – an ambition that 69% of those surveyed also support.

The survey by Credas Technologies also revealed that the introduction of such a scheme would not be before time, with as many as 36% stating that they currently do not use a certified IDSP when it comes to the verification of buyer and seller identification.

No surprise then, that those surveyed also ranked the time consuming process of manual identity verification as one of the biggest challenges facing the industry today.

The number of fraudulent documents and criminal activity also ranked high, as did the use of unofficial documents used by buyers and sellers due to a lack of understanding.

Tim Barnett, CEO of Credas Technologies, said: “There are a range of outstanding identity verification providers currently working within the property sector but it’s clear that more must be done to improve standards when it comes to vetting both homebuyers and sellers.

“As it stands, there are a high number of property professionals who continue to carry out ID checks manually, which not only heightens risk, but also adds considerably to their operational workload.

“Thankfully, it looks as though we could soon see the introduction of an official digital identity scheme to provide better guidance and help those within the sales sector to easily identify certified providers with greater ease.”