Metro Bank has changed its buy-to-let lending policy so it will lend to landlords who have tenants claiming benefits.
This follows a roundtable at Downing Street led by minister for housing and homelessness Heather Wheeler MP. She met with industry bodies and companies such as Metro Bank, Rightmove and Zoopa at Downing Street today to work on a solution on stigma experienced by tenants on benefits.
Andy Piggott, director of lending products at Metro Bank, said: “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.
“Following an extensive review, we can confirm that we will be changing our buy-to-let lending policy to enable landlords with buy-to-let mortgages to let to people claiming benefits.”
Heather Wheeler MP added: “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.”
The government said thousands of families could benefit from changes to mortgage rules and said this change in the rules from Metro Bank “is the latest pledge from the industry to end potentially discriminatory practices which deny good quality accommodation to those on benefits – such as ‘No DSS’ adverts”.
Whilst the vast majority of the private rental sector provide a fair and professional service, the government has said that ‘No DSS’ has no place in a modern housing market and its determined to introduce a blanket ban on this practice.
Will Quince, minister for family support, housing and child maintenance, said: “We are working to bring the sector together to tackle this issue, ensuring everyone has the same opportunity to access safe and secure housing.
“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.”