The bank said the move gives renting families more certainty as landlords will not be able to increase rent six months into a tenancy.
It said landlords also benefit from the new policy, with a secure, regular income and the knowledge that their property will not be empty for any prolonged length of time while tenants move out and new ones are found.
Miguel Sard, director of mortgages at Santander said: “In areas such as London and the South East, property prices continue to rise and outpace wage growth significantly. Many renters aspire to take a step on the property ladder, but are resigned to ploughing their money in to rent, unable to save for a deposit.”
He added that he hoped the changes support social mobility and prevented the risk of homelessness.
Earlier this month, the bank introduced a soft credit check on all mortgage agreements in principle across its broker range, joining TSB and HSBC, the only other lenders to do so.
Now, the lender will only make an enquiry search of an applicant’s credit report, which is then held on file for 60 days but isn’t visible to any other financial institutions.
Once a full mortgage application is submitted, the hard credit check is carried out, which is visible to all on file.