To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 11 July 2019 to Question 274566 on Private Rented Housing, what steps his Department is taking to discourage landlords from refusing tenants on (a) housing benefit and (b) universal credit.
As the single largest payer of rents in the country, the government wants to ensure that prospective tenants who receive housing support are not dismissed out of hand. That is why the government has committed to tackling the issue of private letting advertisements that specify ‘No DSS’ tenants.
In June, the government met industry representatives at No.10 Downing Street, including mortgage providers, insurance representatives, landlord associations, tenant groups, and property websites to determine what action could be taken.
I’m pleased to say that at the meeting, Metro Bank pledged to remove ‘No DSS’ conditions from their mortgage products. In August, The Mortgage Lender also announced that they were lifting ‘No DSS’ restrictions. These changes build on commitments from NatWest and Nationwide and evidence now suggests that nearly all new buy-to-let mortgages have no restrictions on letting tenants in receipt of benefits.
Since the ministerial roundtable at No. 10 Downing Street in June, the government has continued to work with landlords’, letting agencies’, lenders’, insurance providers’, and tenants’ representatives to explore the scope for joint communications to discourage the practice of preventing benefit claimants from applying for private rental sector lettings.