A petition calling for rental payments to be used as proof potential homeowners can pay their mortgage is gathering steam – with 144,000 signatures to date.
A 27 year-old Devon tenant set up the campaign after finding he was unable to obtain a mortgage , being told by the lender that rental payments would not be taken into account.
Any public petition has to be considered for debate in parliament if it reaches over 100,000 signatures and requires an official response.
Pete Ball, chief executive of personal finance at Together, which as a specialist lender does take rental payments into consideration, said: said: “With the continuing shortage of housing in the UK, it’s harder than ever for first-time buyers to get on the ladder.
“The changes that the government has introduced in the buy-to-let sector, such as the stamp duty increase last year, were intended to level the playing field and ensure more property was available, but what this petition highlights is that there needs to be better access to finance alongside this, so that these aspiring homeowners can get a mortgage for the property.
“The impressive surge in popularity of this petition is clear evidence of the growing frustration among thousands of renters that aspire to own their first home but are struggling to obtain a mortgage from the mainstream banks.
“Many traditional lenders apply a rigid criteria and applicants need to tick all the right boxes, so proof of rental payments isn’t necessarily taken into account as part of the application process.”