House prices set to fall

MPs must now debate calls for rent payments to be used for mortgage affordability

MPs are to debate a petition calling for rental payments to be deemed as enough proof that a borrower can afford a mortgage.

A petition on the website launched earlier this month has reached 143,613 signatures, beyond the required 100,000 to be debated by MPs.

There is no guarantee that this would mean any concrete changes, but the petition, attributed to Jamie Jack Pogson, said: “Since living on my own I have paid £70,000+ in rent on time yet still struggle to get a mortgage.

“Unless you’re getting handouts, wealthy or in receipt of inheritance it’s almost impossible. I want paying rent on time to be recognised as evidence that mortgage repayments can be met.”

Parliament must now debate the peititon but a date has yet to be given.

Commenting on the petition, Pete Ball, head of personal finance at lender Together, said: “The impressive surge in popularity of this petition is clear evidence of the growing frustration among thousands of renters that aspire to own their first home but are struggling to obtain a mortgage from the mainstream banks.

“Many traditional lenders apply a rigid criteria, and applicants need to tick all the right boxes, so proof of rental payments isn’t necessarily taken into account as part of the application process.

“It’s estimated that by 2025 there will be 7.2m households in the UK which are privately rented, a significant rise from the 5.4m recorded in 2015, and as this petition clearly demonstrates there is a need to compile more detailed data on the credit profile of these individuals, which will then help lenders to assess their applications when they look to obtain a mortgage.

“If there is a debate following the petition and it leads to new and improved measures in this space, that will be a positive step for both lenders and these aspiring home owners.”

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