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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs – Ask Bruno

Bruno The Buy to Let Boxer

Ask Bruno

Get Answers To Your Mortgage Questions

All of our mortgage brokers are doggedly determined to help your portfolio grow.  But if you’re just looking for a bit more info right now, here are some of the top mortgage questions that we get asked, answered by our furriest broker, Bruno the Buy to Let Boxer.

General FAQs

We certainly won’t ‘hound’ you to do business with us but if you would like to know more, here are some general FAQs to help.  You can also find out more about our company history, our team and the incredible charities that we are currently supporting.

Who will deal with my case?
You'll have one of our fully qualified and experienced buy to let brokers looking after you throughout the quote stage, application and beyond. So you'll gain the benefits and continuity of one advisor – so you won’t have to go over old ground and know who is dealing with your case.

The advisor is backed up by our case management team.

The team will endeavour to keep you up to date on your case throughout the process and are on-hand if you have any questions.

It takes about 10-15 minutes to get started. Take the first step by giving us a call, or filling out the form below.

How long does it take to get fully approved?
We can move quickly for you, securing you a decision usually the same day, once you've agreed your quote. A mortgage offer tends to take between 1-3 weeks from application submission depending on the lender.

If you feel the ‘need for speed’, we can avoid any slow coach lenders and recommend only those that can meet your deadline. Definitely needed where repossession purchases are concerned for example.

We’ve never believed in the old saying "no news is good news", because in this business it isn’t - we push things through as quickly as possible for you, unless of course you wish us to slow things down for your own reasons!
Can I let my own home to buy another? (let to buy)
Potentially, yes, a common scenario being that the property won’t sell (at least for a price you would want) so there are options here, you could ask your existing lender for a consent to let, but it might not meet the lenders requirements or they may just refuse, and also may mean you don’t have a decent enough deposit for your next property.

The solution might be to get a buy to let mortgage for your current place, raising a deposit for the new home...but it will all depend on the amount of equity you have and of course what your end goal is. There is plenty to consider and so getting expert guidance is recommended.
What will you charge me?
Firstly, the charge is linked to the loan amount, smaller loans attract a results-based fee.

Whereas with larger loans we can consider not charging a broker fee dependent upon the complexities of the case.

Largely our fees are based on how complex the case is, and the expected level of work required to get you to completion. You will know our proposed fee from the get-go.

Our regular clients certainly think we are worth the money and keep coming back. You’ll see good value on your results based fee when using ourselves.

And of course, Bruno regularly receives thank-you bone treats from happy clients.
Why should I use you?
In brief, we are specialist mortgage experts when it comes to buy to let with in-depth market knowledge, you can pick our brains and get to know us, take some quotes at no cost and discover some the latest options suitable for you and your property.

We only quote deals which fit your circumstances, we are flexible and can tailor our service to you

Our priority is getting you a competitive deal, completing your case with minimal hassle and fuss.....and keeping it as straightforward as possible for you the whole time!

If you have any more questions to ask us and would prefer an emailed answer then please get in touch.
How do the new PRA (Prudential Regulation Authority) regulations affect me?
As well as the marginally increased stress tests introduced in January 2017 in Phase 1, which means that your rental income generally won't go as far as it did previously in generating the size of your buy to let mortgage. Lenders are also now required to look more heavily at the performance of any existing portfolio of 4 or more investment properties.

So as well as there being a rental stress test on an individual property being purchased or remortgaged, there are also certain performance markers that your current buy to let property in the background must meet. There have been many changes in the industry and a few more barriers to break through, but lenders are certainly still lending and we're able to help most sensible propositions.

Mortgage brokers have become polarised into those that haven't kept up with the changes, and therefore struggle to advise properly in the market, and those who have flourished under the changes and deal with larger portfolios and more complex scenarios in the limited company lending world. At The Buy to Let Broker, we're certainly in the latter category and used to dealing with specialist lenders and complex scenarios every day.
Are you FCA regulated?
Yes.

We are fully authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority via our approved network HomeLoan Partnership Limited under ref 506579.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate some forms of Buy to Lets.

See our full compliance details at the bottom of the page.

What information do you need from me to get started?
Just the basics about your situation, income, preferences and property to be purchased. We need it so that we don't quote you mortgage deals you don't qualify for, there are lots of confusing criteria out there!

It takes about 10-15 minutes to get started. Take the first step by giving us a call, or filling out the form below.
What's the best rate for me?
Sorry but that’s a toughy, a bit like calling an insurance company and asking for their best quote without telling them what car you drive, or how old you are!

...we can answer, but the figure is not necessarily relevant to you!

The mortgage quote needs to fit many parameters. Also, the cheapest initial rate isn't always the most cost effective overall deal, and we can usually find something more cost effective when we look at the set-up fees and view the deal as a whole. In other words the cheapest rates sometimes have the most expensive fees, and often aren't worth paying.

You can get a general idea on our mortgage rates page, but you'll need to give us a call, or email us to make sure you are eligible for it. We may also use our expertise to recommend any other mortgages suitable for your situation.

Buy To Let Mortgage FAQs

We think you would be barking mad not to consider chatting to one of our buy to let, so here are some things to know about buy to let mortgages and landlord legislation.

How many buy to lets can I have?
This varies from lender to lender, some lenders are concerned with how many mortgages you have for other buy to lets (background limits), others not so. It’s a case of us finding out what you currently have portfolio wise, and recommending a lender that is happy with that scenario, all lenders have black and white rules regards this.

Also, in terms of how much any one lender will advance to you, again it varies, with some it depends on your credit score, others may only be happy with three in total.

From a quick chat we can understand your current portfolio and let you know the latest available options for your unique situation.
What’s the maximum age I can be for a buy to let?
Well generally the mortgage can run up to age 75, but we do have mainstream lenders that will allow up to age 85 where needed, and some options with no maximum age provided the mortgage starts before your 70th birthday – although as you’d imagine that’s less common.
Is it difficult to get a buy to let mortgage in the current market?
Lenders are tightening their criteria, yes. Stress tests are tightening with changes in December 2015, and lenders are becoming more sensitive to overall mortgage debt in the background. Long gone are the days of a £25k salary enabling the ability to build a large portfolio regardless, but that's been the same for a long time.

There are some obvious caveats to getting a landlord mortgage. You'll generally need a very good credit history, a decent deposit or equity of between 15-25%, most (but not all) lenders require a minimum income, say £20k to £25k but this can be joint in some cases. And your property must generally rent for a minimum of 125% of your monthly interest at a given rate, usually 5%-5.5%, although this can differ.

As we've mentioned before, it is a case of marrying you up with the right lenders who can help given your circumstances. So you need an advisor who can find suitable schemes and has in-depth market knowledge.

Limited Company Mortgage FAQs

If you can’t make heads or tails of limited company mortgages, here’s our lowdown on the burning questions our clients have when looking to structure purchases this way.

Does my limited company need a track record or trading history?
No, not at all. Technically the business could have been set up yesterday, so long as it's set up prior to any borrowing application, that's enough.
Is it tougher to get a company mortgage?
In short, no.

It's no different to a personal buy to let mortgage in general underwriting terms.

The strength of the application comes from the directors and majority shareholders themselves, rather than the limited company itself. Therefore trading accounts are not needed for new companies or SPVs.

Almost all limited company mortgages require personal guarantees, this enables the lender to ignore the company itself and focus their borrowing decision from a personal perspective.
What's an SPV(special purpose vehicle)?
A SPV (special purpose vehicle) is simply a type of company subsidiary that is well suited to holding property and is universally accepted by buy to let lenders in this market.
How should the company be set up for lending?
It can be a very simple exercise, you just need to allocate a SIC code (Standard Industrial Classification) with Companies House, as you are required to do with any limited company upon set-up, the most commonly used are;

68209 – Other letting and operating of own or leased real estate

68320 – Management of real estate on a fee or contract basis

Although there may be something that suits your business more specifically.
Does limited company borrowing require a larger deposit?
No, limited company buy to let deals are available to a maximum of 85% loan to value. Although similarly to personal buy to let deals, there is more choice at 75% loan to value and below.
Is taking a limited company mortgage more expensive?
In general, limited company mortgages are more expensive than personal equivalents. Currently there is much less choice on the limited company side. So you can expect to pay 1 - 1.5% more on the rate. Of course you have to also weigh up the possible tax advantages and look at the overall picture as it isn't as simple as just considering mortgage pricing.
Can a trading business be used to buy residential investment property with a mortgage?
Yes, but you are limiting your options by doing so. The market for limited company buy to let is small compared to personal offerings and you'd be further limiting your options by going down the trading business mortgage route. You'll be offered more choice by using the aforementioned SPV (special purpose vehicle), and chatting to your accountant about tax-efficient ways to move the deposit and ring-fence your property away from your day to day business.
How do lenders expect deposits to be structured?
Many lenders are accepting of your creation of a director's loan. So if you invest your own personal cash into the company, you can draw that capital from the company at a time when it can afford to pay you back, tax free, since it was paid in by yourself in the first instance.

Other ways to move cash to the newly created company include a transfer from your trading business. Again, talk to your accountant about the best way to make this happen, and we can ensure that the lender is accepting of the intended route.
Can I transfer personally owned properties to a limited company?
Yes, however it would need to be done with care and careful consideration.

Despite the fact you may own 100% of the new business, your company would be an entirely different entity to yourself, so the word 'transfer' isn't accurate.

Your company would be undertaking a new purchase, and therefore this could trigger capital gains tax (or CGT) personally, and of course since it is a new acquisition, stamp duty would need to be paid by the purchasing business. So although it's a consideration, often it's an expensive move and other options take precedence.

HMO (house of multiple occupation) FAQs

We can help fetch you the latest deals when it comes to financing an HMO property and here’s some questions and answers to the most common questions we get asked for those looking to finance a HMO.

What’s an HMO?
It stands for 'House of Multiple Occupation (HMO)', basically a property let to multiple tenants. They could be students or professionals.
Are multi-let and HMO mortgages more expensive than standard buy to lets?
Well possibly not, let's give you some insight here - if we're talking about properties let to say four or less students or professionals, then often the property won't require a HMO licence, so assuming the tenants are on one tenancy agreement then many buy to let lenders can lend on their standard products. This means you'll get exactly the same deal as a landlord letting to one household. Increased yield with no increase in mortgage cost! It's worth noting that lenders will base their maximum loan on a one household rent despite the fact you could be receiving considerably more from multiple tenants.

With regard to licensed properties, some lenders allowing smaller HMOs only, say 4-5 bedrooms, can often allow lending on their standard buy to let ranges also, so pricing isn't always impacted. It is true to say that you do need expert advice here, a broker who understands what is allowed and what isn't. Otherwise, you could be declined upon survey potentially having wasted a few hundred pounds. So far, we've discussed a lot of options that are available for multi-let and smaller HMO properties where pricing isn't always affected.

Once we hit 6 bedrooms plus whether licensed or the property doesn't need a licence, then yes, mortgage rates and fees tend to increase. This is mainly due to the perceived risk, and also that there is less competition in these markets and therefore less choice. Most buy to let lenders don't operate in the arena, and so the help of an advisor is often a good way to find out more.
What’s the maximum number of bedrooms I can have in a HMO?
Technically we have lenders who have no upper limit to numbers of bedrooms, but lenders will always be risk-averse to some degree and so if they feel at risk should the property be repossessed then they can walk away. Any properties with bedrooms numbering 10 and above we will generally.
How competitive are HMO rates at the moment?
Rates are changing all of the time, so please visit our HMO page for a general idea of what's available. For a more accurate quote for your circumstances, please give us a call or get a quote here.
Is it more difficult to obtain an HMO mortgage?
No, not really, other than the fact some lenders for larger HMO properties (6 bedrooms plus) will wish you to evidence landlord experience, in other words show that you have rented property for a certain period, anything from 6 months to 3 years.

For smaller HMOs and multi-lets, if we're using a standard lender on standard rates, then there is no difference at all assuming the valuation fits within a lender's criteria.

Bridging Finance FAQs

If you are sniffing around for a suitable bridging finance deal for your property purchase, here’s what you need to know.

What are the advantages of a bridging loan?
There are many, many advantages to bridging finance, such as:
  • You can use multiple assets to secure higher funding.
  • You can secure shorter, more flexible terms from as little as 1 - 36 months.
  • Speed - you may be able to get the funding you need much faster than compared to other types of funding.
  • In some cases, if you decide to repay the loan early you won’t be charged an early repayment fee.
The list of benefits really does go on and on and you can speak to one of our advisors to gauge the full benefits for your specific property plans.
How does a bridging finance Loan work?
This will actually depend on what type of loan you are applying for and your unique situation.

Generally, it all starts with a quick call with one of our mortgage brokers. We will aska few questions to better understand what you really need. We will then compare a range of deals from lenders across the market to find you suitable options. We’ll then zip this over to you in an email for you to digest in your own time.

Once you are ready, we’ll support your application from quote to completion. We may ask you for a few documents but we’ll handle all of the verification and submission to make the process easier and quicker. You’ll be kept up to date throughout the application.
What is the difference between regulated and unregulated bridging finance?
In a nutshell, a regulated loan is finance that is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), offering a degree of protection to the borrower against misinformation or unethical conduct by the broker or lender.

When it comes to bridging finance, a regulated bridging loan is a loan that is secured for a property that either yourself or any member of your immediate family does or will occupy and so will be liable for the FCA’s protection.

On the flip side, an unregulated bridging loan is a loan secured for commercial properties and will not come under the FCA’s protection.
How do I qualify for a bridging loan?
Every lender on the market has its own lending criteria, so the easiest way to find out if you qualify is to speak to one of our advisors.
What types of bridging finance do you offer?
Our name may be The Buy to Let Broker but we can help you with all types of investment property finance. We are also specialists in bridging finance and can help you with short term bridging loans, development finance, development exit finance, auction finance and more.
Do I have to make payments during the term of the bridging loan?
Which repayment method you choose will determine what payments you will need to make during your loan. Options include Repayment, Interest Only, Retained or Rolled Up Interest.

Understandably a large portion of developers opt for Retained or Rolled Up, as this will mean there are no monthly payments.
How quickly can I get a bridging finance loan?
Every deal is different but bridging finance can certainly be arranged quickly and we will also do everything possible to make it as speedy as possible. The best thing to do is call us today and we can discuss all of your options.
Can I repay my bridging loan early?
Absolutely, if you have the right deal and we can arrange for loans with no early exit fees to give you just that. If this is something that you are planning to do, we strongly suggest that you speak to one of our advisors and we’ll find you suitable deals with this in mind.

If You Still Have Questions, We Have Answers!

We give Bruno a round of ‘Appaws’ for his help but if you still haven’t found the answers you were looking for, pop your details in the form below and one of our mortgage advisers will be in touch shortly. If you are in a rush, you can also call us on 08009499410.

The Buy to Let Broker Steve, Rachel and Adam

Platinum Trusted Service Feefo Winner 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 & 2024 ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

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