NatWest ends buy-to-let mortgage lending block on benefits tenants

The policy change will apply from today to new and existing customers and cover all UK brands within the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) group, including RBS and Ulster Bank.

The block on tenants receiving benefits was highlighted by McAleer who was told by NatWest to either remortgage with another lender or evict her vulnerable tenant claiming benefits.

The national outcry, which included protests at branches, caused NatWest to undertake “an extensive review” of its buy-to-let policies “to better understand the market and challenges that landlords and their tenants face.”

And the lender has now formally backed-down after completing the three-month long review.

The changes will affect new and existing landlords with fewer than ten properties, bringing the policy in line with the one 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.

NatWest said it will be communicating with existing customers to update them on the amendments, as well as updating websites and other customer-facing channels.

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