Key representatives of the property industry have attended a round table meeting with Housing minister Heather Wheeler to discuss how to implement a ban on landlords and letting agents preventing tenants on benefits from renting private homes via ‘No DSS’ ads.
Those at the meeting included Rightmove, Zoopla, Gumtree, SpareRoom, OpenRent, Shelter, the RLA, NLA, SafeAgent, ARLA Propertymark and RICS.
Held at Downing Street, the meeting ended with a commitment from buy-to-let lender Metro Bank to remove clauses from its mortgage terms and conditions that – until now – have prevented landlords renting out their properties to tenants in receipt of benefits.
“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,” says Andy Piggott, director of lending products at Metro Bank (left).
“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.”
Metro Bank follows other leading buy-to-let mortgage providers including NatWest, Nationwide, Birmingham Midshires and the Co-Op, all of which have recently altered their T&Cs to end their restrictions on renting to ‘DSS’ tenants.
“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,” says Wheeler (pictured, top).
“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.”
Read more about the DSS advert ban.