Metro Bank has announced that it will no longer prevent buy-to-let landlords from letting property to tenants in receipt of benefits.
The move comes after other lenders caved in to mounting industry pressure in recent months by lifting restrictions on buy-to-let landlords renting to DSS tenants.
In October last year, NatWest’s lending practices came under attack after the bank told one landlord that she would either have to evict her tenant of two years or take her mortgage business elsewhere, after a blanket ban by the bank on benefit claimants.
But now many renters could benefit from changes to mortgage rules announced by Metro Bank yesterday, following a roundtable at Downing Street.
This announcement is the latest pledge from the industry, including big names such as Rightmove and Zoopla, to end potentially discriminatory practices which deny private rented accommodation to those on benefits – such as ‘No DSS’ adverts.
“It’s encouraging that we’re already seeing positive changes being made in the industry, and we continue to encourage landlords and agents to consider tenants on an individual basis,” said Will Quince, minister for family support, housing and child maintenance.
As part of the government’s work against the stigma experienced by tenants on benefits, housing minister Heather Wheeler yesterday met with leading industry bodies and companies at Downing Street to work on a solution.
Leading firms in the industry joined Metro Bank and government at the event, coming together to improve access to the private rented sector.
Wheeler commented: “Regardless of financial circumstances, everyone should have the same opportunity when looking for a home and I have been determined to end the discrimination those on benefits face.
“The meeting was yet another step forward; marking an important shift in making the private rented sector fairer for all – and I am thrilled that Metro Bank have decided to join us in ending the stigma surrounding tenants on housing benefit.
“I am grateful to those companies for taking the time to discuss this issue, and look forward to us continuing to work together.”