HSBC banking brand First Direct has signed up Shelter to offer its customers living within the private rental sector advice to fight their landlords.
This includes help on how to fend off unaffordable rent increases and eviction notices.
The deal is to last for 12 months and will see tenants offered the service for free via a dedicated team within First Direct who will work alongside experts from Shelter.
First Direct says the backdrop of fast-rising rents within the UK private rental sector and the wider cost-of-living crisis prompted it to set up the partnership with Shelter, which will also offer debt and welfare support as well as housing advice.
Chris Pitt (pictured), CEO of First Direct says: “No-one should face the prospect of homelessness. Our partnership with Shelter aims to support private renters who find themselves in difficulty.
“We believe that our customers should feel they can come to us for help when they need it.
“Our dedicated team and the experts from Shelter will be taking a hands-on approach to tackling the difficulties many private renters are facing as landlords pass on the costs of rising bills and mortgage payments.
“This is just part of the support we’re offering customers during this difficult time.”
First Direct is freer than many other banks to sign this sort of deal because it does not offer landlords insurance or buy-to-let mortgages.
Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Shelter, adds: “Our partnership with first direct will help their customers access vital housing advice and support at a time when they need it most.
“It will also help our frontline services continue providing free and expert support to thousands of other people facing homelessness, as well as helping us campaign for lasting change.”