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General Buy to Let FAQs


Q. How do the new PRA regulations affect me?

PRA Changes Stress Tests

PRA Changes Portfolio Landlords

As well as the marginally increased stress tests introduced in January 2017 in Phase 1, which mean 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 in Phase 2 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.  The Buy to Let Broker are certainly in the latter category and well used to dealing with specialist lenders and complex scenarios every day.

Q. Are you ‘whole of market’?

Yes indeed we are, but so are a lot of brokers. 

What sets a great broker apart, is knowing their way around all buy to let lenders products and criteria with total confidence, appreciating who will accept what, and who won’t – seeing potential problems before they occur.  Therefore how we use the tools at our disposal is what makes the difference.  

We put in the hard work to find you the most competitive deal from the growing offering out there, and make sure we navigate the maze of criteria successfully for you.

Knowing buy to let inside out means we find you the right deal – and saves us having to backtrack to other lenders.

Q. Are you FCA regulated?


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.

Q. What info do you need from me to get started?

Nothing too personal !   Just basics about your situation, income, preferences, property to be purchased.  We need it so that we don't quote you mortgage deals you don't qualify for, there's lots of confusing criteria out there! 

It takes about 10-15 minutes to get started....

Q. 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 you, but the figure is not necessarily relevant to you!

The mortgage quote needs to fit many parameters. Also, the best rate isn't always the best 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 usually have the most expensive fees, and often aren't worth paying.

Q. How long does it take to get fully approved?

We can move very 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 !

Q. Is it difficult to get a buy to let mortgage in the current market?

Lenders are tightening their criteria, yes.  Stress test 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  a specialist who knows the right places to look, can find the best schemes, knows the lenders criteria back to front and has the dedication to push it through from start to finish. 

Now more than ever, you need to partner with a broker who is serious in this market. 


Q. What’s the maximum age 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.

Q. How many buy to lets can you 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 3 in total. 

Put it this way we do have options to get around this issue, however, lenders are becoming increasingly sensitive to large portfolios and smaller personal incomes.  So it may become problematic for those with ten+ properties across a spread of lenders.

Q. I've found a property which I can buy for less than its true value, can I use that discount as my deposit?

Its a common question, but in short the answer is, no.  Unless you're buying from a close family relative.

But for a standard transaction, lenders will lend on either purchase price or value, whichever is the lower, they therefore want to see a true deposit from yourself.  

So if you're buying for £75k, but you think the property is worth a tad more - your contract price will still be £75,000, and you can borrow a percentage of that figure, nothing more, of course you'd use your own funds as a deposit.  You can't utilise any discount as a deposit.  The exception is a builders gifted deposit which a small amount if lenders allow.

You may be able to remortgage further down track on a more open market value, however, its unlikely you'll get such an uplift without renovating the property in some way to help support the higher valuation.

Property clubs pushing supposedly 'Below Market Value', or BMV property is something that we do not get involved in, simply because it's mortgage fraud and involves non disclosure of the actual 'net' purchase price, and lenders, as you would expect, are not at all open to this.  That's an emphatic no.

Q. Can I let my own home to buy another? (Let to Buy)

Potentially, yes, a common scenario being that the home 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 home. 

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 you need the right advice.

Please have a good look at our Let to Buy section for more info.

Q. Who will deal with my case?

You will have one fully qualified and experienced buy to let specialist to look after you throughout the quote stage, application and beyond, we give you the continuity of one adviser – so you won't have to go over old ground and things are never disjointed. 

The advisor is backed up by a mortgage adminstrator.

We will always know where your case is up to at all times.  And we are available outside of office hours for you too...!

Q. What will you charge me?

Firstly, the charge is linked to 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. 

Q. Why should I use you?

In brief, we are specialists in this area, so we know our stuff, you can pick our brains and get to know us, take some quotes at no cost and see the very best the market has to offer to you. 

We only quote deals which fit your circumstances, we are flexible and can tailor our service to you, and don't have annoying company policy and red tape to get in your way....

We are always available and our priority is getting you the best deals and completing your case with the minimum of hassle and fuss.....and keeping it straightforward 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.


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