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Protests turn to celebrations as Santander drops mortgage clause

Protests planned by tenants’ groups for many Santander bank branches over the past weekend turned instead into celebrations after the institution agreed to drop a controversial clause in its buy to let mortgage contracts.

Letting Agent Today reported earlier this month that there was growing concern over a clause in existing contracts effectively urging landlords to increase rents “as much as can be reasonably achieved” to cover mortgage payments and other costs.

Now - after a flurry of media publicity by campaigners against the clause - the bank says it will drop the reference from all future Santander buy-to-let contracts, although it will remain in existing contracts.

“We have never invoked the clause and having reviewed the wording, we are in the process of removing it from our terms and conditions” a Santander spokeswoman told the press at the end of last week. 

The lender said the clause was originally included in 2011, to ensure its customers could always meet their mortgage repayments.

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