Metro Bank Stops ‘No DSS’ Buy to Let Mortgages

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Metro Bank has stopped promoting ‘no DSS’ mortgages after pressure from the government.

The ‘no DSS’ mortgages did not allow landlords to rent their buy to let properties out to people receiving housing benefit.

The government described such clauses in ‘no DSS’ mortgage contracts as ‘potentially discriminatory’ and says that thousands of families may be affected by the restrictions.

The announcement from Metro Bank followed a round-table meeting today at Downing Street chaired by minister for housing and homelessness Heather Wheeler, which looked at the use of so-called ‘no DSS’ restrictions.

The DSS (Department of Social Security) was previously in charge of benefits payments and restrictive clauses in rental and mortgage agreement are still commonly referred to in these terms.

Online property companies Rightmove and Zoopla have already pledged to remove adverts for rental properties that exclude families who receive benefits.

The government says ‘no DSS’ restrictions have no place in a modern housing market and it plans to introduce ‘a blanket ban’ on the practice.

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.’

Metro director of lending products Andy Piggott says: ‘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.

‘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.’

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