The decision comes after the bank conducted an extensive review of our Buy to Let policies, to better understand the market and challenges that landlords and their tenants face.
We were grateful that Shelter and the Residential Landlords Association agreed to work with us in shaping our understanding of the challenges renters and landlords face and submitted information and insight that fed directly into the review
Speaking about the changes announced today, Ian McLaughlin, Managing Director of Home Buying & Ownership said:
“I am pleased that we are introducing these changes and extending our policy to support smaller landlords in this segment of the market. We would like to thank Shelter and the Residential Landlord’s Association for their thoughtful and thorough contributions to the review, to help us better understand the market in this area, and bring our policies in line with those in our commercial segment.”
John Stewart, Policy Manager for the Residential Landlords Association, said:
“We warmly welcome today’s announcement from NatWest. Around 20 per cent of all private sector tenants are in receipt of benefits and we need to do all we can to support them to find the homes they need. NatWest’s decision will make it easier for landlords to rent to benefit claimants, and agree long term tenancies where suitable. We urge other lenders to follow this lead.”
Minister for Housing and Homelessness Heather Wheeler said:
“I want everyone to have the security, dignity and opportunities they need to build a better life – at the heart of which is ensuring everyone can find a safe and secure home to call their own.
“This announcement by NatWest, alongside our recent move to tackle “No DSS” advertisements, will help open up the private rented sector to people who need it most and I would encourage other mortgage providers to take similar action.”
These changes will affect new and existing Landlords with fewer than ten properties. The outcome of the review extends our policy, and brings it in line with our policies for commercial buy to let customers, who have more than 10 properties.
The bank has also decided to extend the maximum length of time of assured shorthold tenancy from 12 months to 36 months, which allows landlords to offer tenants the security of longer tenancies.
We will be communicating with existing customers to update them on these policy amendments, as well as updating our websites and other customer-facing channels. The policy change will apply from today to both new and existing customers and will apply to all UK brands within the RBS Group.