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Nat West bank made an ultimatum to a Belfast landlord seeking to remortgage their buy-to-let flat – either evict your vulnerable older tenant or seek a mortgage elsewhere.

Nat West, along with at least eighteen other lenders, has a clause in their buy-to-let mortgage agreements that prohibit landlords from renting to benefit claimants.

With the availability of social housing at an all-time low and in-work benefits claims at an all-time high, where do they expect benefits claimants to live? A Shelter spokesperson stated that this “is likely to amount to unlawful indirect discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.”

In Sheffield on 24 November, part of a national day of action, we decided to ‘move in’ to a Nat West branch. We even brought along a Christmas tree and did some vacuuming!

40 activists occupied the branch for 20 minutes, singing and handing out flyers. The staff politely complained that we were “being disruptive”, but no attempt was made to remove us and no customers were delayed in going about their business.

Richard Foster, Sheffield Central Socialist Party