Metro Bank backtrack on “No DSS” ban after government meeting

by Property 118

14:55 PM, 11th June 2019
About A week ago

Metro Bank backtrack on “No DSS” ban after government meeting

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Metro Bank backtrack on “No DSS” ban after government meeting

Metro Bank announced changes to its mortgage criteria which currently prevent landlords renting to tenants on housing support, following a roundtable at Downing Street led by Housing Minister Heather Wheeler MP.

Today’s announcement (11 June 2019) is the latest pledge from industry to end potentially discriminatory practices which deny good quality accommodation to those on benefits such as ‘No DSS’ adverts and follows similar moves in recent weeks from big names such as Rightmove and Zoopla.

As part of the government’s work against the stigma experienced by tenants on benefits, Minister for Housing and Homelessness Heather Wheeler MP met with leading industry bodies and companies at Downing Street today to work on a solution.

Whilst the vast majority of the private rental sector provide a fair and professional service, the government has been clear that ‘No DSS’ has no place in a modern housing market and is determined to introduce a blanket ban on this practice.

Leading companies in the industry, including Rightmove and Zoopla joined Metro Bank and government at the event, coming together to improve access to the private rented sector.

Minister for Housing and Homelessness Heather Wheeler MP 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.”

Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance, Will Quince 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.”



Comments

Luke P

15:05 PM, 11th June 2019
About A week ago

My guess is that Government have told Metro Bank, knowing Section 21 removal is a done-deal (what the lender of a repossession would also rely on), they will create new legislation allowing them possession of a property that's been repossessed.

That allows them to continue their LL-bashing without upsetting their banking friends and removes any 'convenient' 'excuse' to "No DSS" from LLs when challenged by Shelter.

It also explains why banks appear virtually silent on the fact that Section 21 is 'under threat' (it's definitely going as far as Government is concerned).

Old Mrs Landlord

15:30 PM, 11th June 2019
About A week ago

"Regardless of financial circumstances, everyone should have the same opportunity when looking for a home" says Heather Wheeler. Will that also apply to social housing, mortgages, credit cards or all the other things in life which are only available subject to satisfactory "financial circumstances". This statement is totally unrealistic. As Seething Landlord pointed out recently, the government's own How to Rent booklet advises tenants to go for rentals which cost no more than around 30% of their net income. When benefits match market rents then benefit claimants will stand a chance of competing with those who pay rent out of earnings. Until then landlords facing ever-increasing costs cannot afford to rent to those on benefits so it is a waste of everyone's time to go through the motions of viewing, interviewing and credit checking people who cannot afford the rent. The anticipated removal of Section 21 only makes prudent landlords even more risk averse.

ameliahartman

3:11 AM, 12th June 2019
About 7 days ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 11/06/2019 - 15:30
There is a lot of truth in this. When we first collected our “How to Rent” booklets to give to our tenants, we read them side by side, and we both thought we had read it wrong. Even a tenant on maximum disability benefits would only be able to find a room in a shared house for 30% of their income, in the south of England!!! The DWP are not living in the real world at all. Neither are the government.

Old Mrs Landlord

7:13 AM, 12th June 2019
About 6 days ago

Reply to the comment left by ameliahartman at 12/06/2019 - 03:11Now you're starting to sound like a landlord who lives in the same world as the rest of us here. If you now recognise that the blame for benefit recipients finding it difficult to secure PRS accommodation does not lie with landlords but with government policy, it is hard to understand why you support Shelter's wholesale castigation of landlords as "morally bankrupt" for no longer being able to take on tenants who are benefit dependent. (By the way, I speak as the landlord of a couple on benefits whose rent we have been unable to increase since they moved in eleven years ago, which in real terms means a 40% reduction, whilst service charges, insurance etc. have increased by more than that percentage.)

Adam Withford

8:42 AM, 12th June 2019
About 6 days ago

And what about the insurance excess for DSS as compared to working tenants? Is the gov going to "talk" to the insurance companies too?

Dylan Morris

11:58 AM, 12th June 2019
About 6 days ago

How about paying housing benefit one month in advance so this matches my mortgage payment ? Or alternatively perhaps “talking” to mortgage lenders so my mortgage payment can be paid 5 weeks in arrears to match Universal Credit payments ?

Mike

13:15 PM, 12th June 2019
About 6 days ago

Just side stepping, I no longer take on Self-Employed builders either, my last tenant was a self employed painter and decorator and made my place look like builders yard, with his many different size ladders, including a very long double ladder that ruined my door frames as he tries to negotiate tight bends when taking out or bringing in his ladders, his upteen number of paint tubs, both new and half used and many empty paint drums lie all over the place, garden shed id full of his stuff like dirt sheets, brushes, rollers, paint trays, sandpaper rolls, screws and what not, bags of filler, sand and cement bags, same again in my cellar, half full with his stuff including heavy digging implements, he was recently evicted for failing to pay his rent on time and being in massive rent arrears, I am now waiting for the bailiffs to officially evict him, but he is otherwise gone to a new place, having surrendered me his keys, but he still has got to collect nearly a skip full of tools and things for his trade. All he was renting from me was one room! But he nearly took the whole damn house!
Next time SORRY NO SELF EMPLOYED BUILDERS, OK to take fully employed builders or contractors, but certainly no more self employed builders. They do screw up your property for sure.

Not to mention what happens when your rent also includes the bills, so he brings dirty paint brushes, rollers and uses tons of water paid for by me, brings dirt sheets and hoses them down at my expense, and all for what? for £400pcm including bills for two adults, him and his partner! In London you won't get a box room for that for two! And now I much rather not rent my house to anyone die to stupid rules being churned up against landlords. I will keep it empty or use it for my own use.


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