An investigation conducted by The Mirror newspaper claims to have found that 55 out of 72 buy to let mortgage lenders have conditions in their loans which prevent landlords letting to asylum seekers.
These lenders explicitly say they "will not consider applications where the property will be let to an asylum seeker" according to mortgage broker software Criteria Brain.
And of the 25 percent of lenders that will allow asylum seeker tenants, most have caveats such as saying they will "potentially consider" asylum seeking tenants, in some cases only if permission is given by the Home Office.
The Mirror says: “The largest lenders that do not allow asylum seeker tenants are NatWest, TSB and Metro Bank.”
A Metro Bank spokesperson told the paper: “All buy to let mortgage customers with Metro Bank must adhere to our tenancy rules. As a matter of policy, Metro Bank doesn’t exclude asylum seekers from being tenants of our buy-to-let mortgage customers.”
But The Mirror states that in relation to the Metro Bank: “According to the Criteria Hub system the opposite is true. The lender has specifically confirmed to Criteria Hub that it ‘will not consider applications where the property will be let to an asylum seeker’.”
NatWest and TSB have not commented.
The Mirror says that in 2018, when a similar investigation was mounted, just two mortgage lenders said they would not allow asylum seekers as tenants.
The London-based Refugee Council has told the paper that only 20 per cent of refugees can afford a private rental sector deposit, while 98 percent of new refugees coming to it for help were homeless.
Of those unable to find somewhere to rent, 13 per cent were sleeping on sofas, 16 per cent were sleeping in hostels and four per cent lived on the streets.
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