The Government has rebuffed calls to make lenders consider rental payments as enough proof that a home buyer can afford a mortgage.
A petition on the Gov.uk website in March reached more than the 100,000 signatures needed to be considered by MPs for debate.
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.”
But rather than set a debate to consider the petition, the Government instead issued a statement that said: “Rental payments is not sufficient in itself to demonstrate affordability over the lifetime of the loan.”
The response from the Treasury pointed out that affordability is measured by a range of factors such as income and other expenditure.
It also said home ownership brings a number of additional expenses that may not be incurred when renting, including maintenance costs and buildings insurance.
The Government concluded: “Beyond the Financial Conduct Authority’s requirements, decisions around the availability of individual mortgage loans remain commercial decisions for lenders, and the Government does not seek to intervene in these.
“While one lender may be unable to offer a mortgage, being denied a mortgage from one provider does not preclude a customer from being offered credit elsewhere.
“There are a wide variety of mortgage products available in the UK and prospective borrowers may benefit from shopping around.”