Mortgages

Metro Bank latest lender to lift 'no DSS' lending restrictions

Metro Bank's announcement follows similar moves from NatWest, Co-Op Bank, Rightmove and Zoopla.

Rozi Jones
|
12th June 2019
Metro Bank
"I am thrilled that Metro Bank have decided to join us in ending the stigma surrounding tenants on housing benefit."

Metro Bank has become the latest firm to remove letting conditions that prevent landlords renting to tenants who receive housing benefit.

Metro made the announcement following a roundtable at Downing Street, following similar moves in recent weeks from NatWest, Co-Op Bank, Rightmove and Zoopla.

Last October, NatWest's lending practices came under scrutiny over the case of a landlord who was refused a remortgage and threatened with revocation of the existing mortgage on the property because she was renting to a tenant in receipt of housing benefit.

The Work and Pensions Committee then wrote to several mortgage lenders about potential DSS discrimination clauses in their lending policies.

The Committee asked a series of mortgage lenders - including NatWest, Co-Op, Kensington, Nationwide, Metro Bank and Precise - whether their buy-to-let mortgage policy allow landlords to let to tenants receiving any benefits including housing benefit.

Lenders were asked whether they are satisfied any restrictions they place on buy-to-let landlords would not inadvertently amount to unlawful discrimination against benefit recipients.

It also wrote to four property advertising platforms, including Zoopla, about potential DSS discrimination clauses in their policies.

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."

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