Anti-Letting Agents Group Central Housing Group

Anti-Letting Agents Group Stages Action Protests

An anti-letting agents group that in the past has protested outside letting agency branches has staged more direct action – this time against banks.

Anti-letting agents group Acorn has held protests outside eight NatWest branches, demanding the firm ends what the group calls its “discrimination”” against renters claiming housing benefit.

Acorn was joined by two more campaign groups – Living Rent and London Renters Union – at different cities.

Acorn claims that a clause in NatWest’s Buy To Let mortgage agreement with landlords explicitly rules out renting to DSS tenants, a reference to benefit claimants and the now-defunct Department for Social Security that was dissolved in 2001.

The protests follow a case where a landlord with a NatWest mortgage was allegedly required to either pay a large penalty fee or evict their tenant.

Campaigners argue that NatWest’s policy places the bank in breach of the Equality Act.

TSB and Santander have previously abolished similar policies to NatWest.

“NatWest’s blatant discrimination against housing benefit claimants is another reminder that our rigged housing system prioritises profits for landlords, investors and banks over everyone’s need for a decent home, and it should be brought to an end immediately” says an Acorn spokesperson.

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