This week it was announced Metro Bank has become the latest firm to remove ‘No DSS’ conditions on their mortgages which prevent landlords letting to tenants who receive housing benefits. This was revealed following a meeting between key representatives of the property industry which discussed the banning of ‘No DSS’ ads.
Andy Piggott, director of lending products at Metro Bank commented: “Over recent months we have been working closely with a number of industry stakeholders including the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, housing charity Shelter and our clients to better understand the challenges facing landlords and their tenants.”
The issue of ‘No DSS’ lending restrictions was brought to light last year when one landlord claimed NatWest threatened to revoke her buy-to-let mortgage after discovering she was renting her property to a tenant who was on housing benefits. Out of 4.5 million people currently living in private rented accommodation, around 889,000 receive housing benefit to help pay their rent.
Since then, lending practices that don’t consider DSS applicants have been called into question, and many banks have started to rethink their approach so that everyone, regardless of their economic situation, has access to safe and secure housing.
Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Heather Wheeler, said: “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.
“Today’s 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.”