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Mortgage Solutions Podcast: BM Solutions and Shelter on Covid, the UK housing mix and ‘levelling up’

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  • 16/12/2020
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Mortgage Solutions Podcast: BM Solutions and Shelter on Covid, the UK housing mix and ‘levelling up’
Letting agents and landlords can no longer blame mortgage lenders for not renting properties to people receiving state benefits, Shelter has said.

 

The charity highlighted that the vast majority of mortgage lenders had now corrected such policies and emphasised it would continue to pursue agents and landlords who did so in the courts.

Speaking on the Mortgage Solutions Podcast in association with BM Solutions, Shelter head of partnerships Michael Stickland said people were still being victimised under the clauses.

“We’re definitely still seeing people come to us asking for help because they are being locked out of the private rented sector by some of these No DSS clauses as they are called,” he said.

“The couple of court cases this year have proved huge wins just clarifying that this is illegal discrimination and won’t be tolerated.

“There’s a piece to do around education to make sure that people understand that and landlords and letting agents really connect it is illegal, it’s not optional whether you choose to have this clause on your adverts or not.”

 

 

No excuses now

In 2018 Mortgage Solutions reported on the plight of landlord Helena McAleer who was told by NatWest to either foot a £2,500 bill to leave her mortgage or evict her vulnerable tenant on housing benefit.

After a high-profile campaign led by McAleer and supported by Mortgage Solutions, NatWest was followed by a host of other lenders in removing the clauses.

Strickland highlighted that landlords had all too often hidden behind such clauses.

“We’re now in position thankfully where 99 per cent of the buy-to-let mortgage market is no longer using No DSS clauses, so that’s absolutely no longer an excuse for letting agents and landlords,” he continued.

“I think the key thing is that there are no excuses now, this has been found to be illegal in a court of law, we will continue to take legal action where we see people being discriminated against and hopefully over time we will see quite a drastic reduction in the number of people coming to Shelter for help about this problem.”

 

Mortgage industry ‘done our bit’

Phil Rickards, head of BM Solutions added that with a lot of hard work from lenders and bodies including the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), the market was now in the right place.

“There’s still some work to do with some letting agents,” he said. “But from a mortgage industry perspective I like to think we’ve done our bit.”

He added that BM Solutions changed its policy at least seven years ago and was a “change which made perfect sense”.

The pair also explained how the coronavirus pandemic had shone a light on the problems in the housing market.

And they discussed the effectiveness, affordability and quality of the private rented sector, along with government plans for housing in the UK.

 

 

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