Lettings News

RLA Welcomes Announcement from NatWest on Benefit Claimants

Em Morley - October 29, 2018

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is pleased to hear the latest announcement from NatWest on its approach to landlords letting to benefit claimants.

Last week, the RLA wrote to the Treasury, calling for it to work with banks’ stakeholders to address the issue of lenders preventing landlords with buy-to-let mortgages to let to benefit claimants.

Our sister company, Just Landlords, covered the story on its blog here: https://www.justlandlords.co.uk/news/banks-preventing-renting-benefit-claimants/

Now, NatWest bank has announced that it plans to review its lending practices, to address the concerns that landlords are being prevented from letting their properties to benefit claimants by their mortgage conditions.

David Smith, the Policy Director of the RLA, responds to the news: “With increasing numbers of benefit claimants now reliant on the private rented sector for a home, we welcome NatWest’s decision to review its lending practices.

“The RLA continues to urge the rest of the industry to do likewise, so that private landlords are better supported to house vulnerable tenants.”

The calls follow the case of Helena McAleer, a landlord from Northern Ireland, whose mortgage was revoked by NatWest because she was letting to tenants in receipt of housing benefit.

At a time when the private rental sector is booming, we urge landlords to consider carefully whether they decide to let to benefit claimants.

Currently, the Government’s new welfare system, Universal Credit, is being rolled out across the UK, with expectations that it will be in full force by December 2023. This scheme replaces six benefits with one monthly payment.

It is infamously causing issues with how and when claimants receive their benefits, and has been blamed for a rise in rent arrears.

To help landlords, letting agents and tenants understand how Universal Credit works, we have compiled a comprehensive guide to the new system, which you can access for FREE on our website here: https://www.landlordnews.co.uk/guides/a-landlords-guide-to-universal-credit/