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Time to end banks preventing renting to benefit claimants

Urgent action is needed to tackle discrimination against benefit claimants by buy-to-let mortgage providers, according to the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).

The RLA issued a statement following news that a landlord has had the mortgage on a property revoked because she is renting to a benefit claimant.

Helena McAleer, a landlord from Northern Ireland, contacted her bank, Natwest, after she discovered that the value of her property had increased and that there was a potential that she could release equity from the house. Following discussions with the bank, she was told that she would no longer be able to receive her buy-to-let mortgage from Natwest as it was the bank’s policy not to allow rentals to benefit claimants. The bank’s own buy-to-let eligibility criteria noted: “We will not consider multiple tenancies, Homes of Multiple Occupancy, bedsits, DSS tenants or 'Related Person' tenancies.”

David Smith, policy director at the RLA said: “With growing numbers of benefit claimants now relying on the private rented sector, it is shameful that many lenders are preventing landlords renting property to some of the most vulnerable in society with little or no justification. The Banks have had long enough to get their house in order. It is now time to take firm action to stop such unjust practices.”

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