The Co-operative Bank have become the latest buy-to-let mortgage lender to drop its restrictions on landlords letting to benefit claimants.


Platform, the intermediary mortgage brand of The Co-op, will not be enforcing letting conditions restricting landlords from renting properties to tenants claiming benefits from April 1, and will completely remove the condition from its processes and systems by May 19.


The bank’s decision to relax its lending policy comes in response to successful lobbying from campaigners calling for the end of ‘no-DSS’ style adverts.


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In March, NatWest announced it would be lifting restrictions on buy-to-let mortgages that prevented landlords from letting to tenants who relied on benefits to pay some or all of their rent.


Last October, NatWest came under fire after a landlord was refused a remortgage by the bank, and threatened with revocation of the existing mortgage on the property because she was renting to a tenant in receipt of housing benefits.


In response to the case, the Work and Pensions Committee wrote to several mortgage lenders about potential DSS discrimination clauses in their lending policies.


Around 20% of all private sector tenants are in receipt of benefits, but buy-to-let mortgages restrictions have forced many landlords to bar benefit claimants from renting their properties.


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The campaign against discriminating against ‘no DSS’ has been gaining momentum in recent months; last week Zoopla announced it would be prohibiting adverts with restrictions on renters who receive housing benefit.


Gordon Soutar, managing director of Mortgages at the Co-operative, said: “We are glad to be able to remove this condition to the benefit or our landlords and prospective tenants who previously may have been restricted from taking up tenancy due to the inclusion of this letting condition in our mortgage terms and conditions.


“Our charity partner Centrepoint have raised this issue and the potential impact that this condition of let could have on the young people they work with. This is not a condition that we want to continue to include in the mortgages that we offer and we will no longer enforce these clauses in our mortgage terms and conditions from Monday 1 April and we will completely remove this condition from our processes and systems with a completion date of 19 May 2019.”


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