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All things Buy to Let

Buy to let mortgages have been a knowledge area of ours for some time. We draw on our own personal experience as landlords, as well as a background in Estate Agency and Property Management. We work with Professional & Portfolio Landlords, First Time Landlords, House of Multiple Occupation landlords, Holiday Let landlords & Commercial Landlords. No two applications and set ups are the same, and we believe our knowledge of the overall market, particularly in Houses of Multiple Occupation, gives us the edge to support you. Below are some buy to let mortgage types we can help with.
The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate some forms of Buy to Lets. Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.


Standard Buy to Let with single Assured Shorthold Tenancy

 Letting to a family or a single or professional couple on one tenancy agreement is classed as a standard Buy to Let. If there are 2 people living in the property who are not related i.e colleagues, this is also a standard Buy to Let. Mortgage lenders use a background calculation known as a "stress test" to understand whether the mortgage payment could be covered by the anticipated rental income + profit, when stressed at a higher interest rate. Each lender's stress test is different, and we  work with the Buy to Let lender's affordability calculators to find the most suitable option.


House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) Assured Shorthold Tenancy

HMO's become a little more interesting; the majority of lenders define a HMO to be a property that is let to 3 or more unrelated tenants who share facilities such as the kitchen and bathroom(s). A handful of lenders define it as 5+ unrelated tenants. Whether a mandatory HMO license is required will depend on your local council and their rules, so check if you need one prior to completion. Specialist Buy to Let lenders will consider HMO mortgages; the interest rates tend to be higher due to HMO's being viewed as more of a risk albeit they are usually higher yielding than letting to a family or couple. There continues to be less competition in the market for HMO mortgages, when compared with standard buy to let lenders; another reason for the higher interest rates.


Limited Company Buy to Let

A Limited Company Buy to Let is a vehicle used by a landlord to purchase a rental property. The property can be let to a family, professionals or on an HMO or more specialist basis (within accepted criteria). The property is owned within a company which has been set up at Companies House, usually as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). An SPV is a company that is set up solely for the purpose of purchasing and letting rental property. Rent comes in and mortgage and direct debits for the property go out. No other trading is carried out within the SPV. It is possible to obtain a mortgage for a trading limited company, although these are less common. A landlord may choose to purchase a Buy to Let property or move their portfolios to an SPV set up.


Corporate Let tenancy

Corporate tenancies are generally used by a landlord to let their property to a company who then source the tenants. The corporate company pay the rent each month, and they manage the property. They tend to offer landlords a guaranteed rent per month, so if there are any tenants falling behind with their rent, the corporate company continues to pay. This type of tenancy provides an option for landlords are looking for a passive income that does not require much of their attention. Corporate companies can vary from well known brands and blue chip companies, to smaller property management or local businesses. Each lender has a different set of criteria for these types of lets and usually have a maximum tenancy length of between 2-3 years.


Holiday Let

Staycations are now more popular than ever, and with the likes of AirBnB and Vrbo becoming the norm when searching for somewhere to holiday. It isn't surprising to hear that properties near the coast and close to cities are quickly becoming AirBnB hot spots. Mortgage lenders are catching up with trends and although there are still not a huge amount of lenders who provide holiday let mortgages, lenders are understanding the continuing demand, and the possibility of earning an income even if the property is not tenanted all year round. Holiday let lenders take 2 approaches when assessing holiday lets; they either look at how much the property would let for as a standard Buy to Let and use this figure for affordability. Some lenders will look at anticipated holiday let rental income for low, mid and high season, and use an average of the 3. If you are intending to let your property as a Holiday Let, it is important that you secure the correct mortgage that allows short term lets, to ensure that you are not breaching your mortgage conditions.


DSS and Regulated Buy to Let

There are many tenants in need of homes as DSS or via government schemes. There are lenders who will consider DSS tenants; some lenders like to see the rent being paid directly from the council. It is anticipated that the rental income from DSS tenants is unlikely to be at the same level as a standard tenancy, so the affordability calculation is likely to reflect this, impacting the maximum mortgage available to be borrowed. Similarly, regulated Buy to Lets such as family lets are a growing area. These are regulated by the FCA. This only applies if the family member is living in more than 40% of the property. Regulated lets to family members usually involve a more in depth affordability analysis. The reason for this is because mortgage lenders believe it's possible that you may rent the property to your family member for less than market rent and you may be more forgiving if they fall behind on their rent. The lender needs certainly that you could cover the mortgage payment yourself if necessary.

  • Is it worth paying for a mortgage broker?
    A mortgage is one of the biggest financial commitments, if not the biggest financial commitment you could make. To work with a mortgage broker not only provides you with peace of mind that somebody is sourcing the most suitable mortgage for you, but it also takes the pressure, time and effort off of you. This is even more important when purchasing, since buying a house and managing communication with an estate agent and solicitor is time consuming enough, so in our opinion having a mortgage broker to support with the mortgage can be invaluable.
  • Is it good to talk to a mortgage broker?
    It can be good to talk to a mortgage broker as a mortgage broker can support in so many ways for your purchase and re-mortgage. As our lives grow more and more hectic, speaking with a mortgage broker can take a huge weight off your shoulders and allows you to get on with your day knowing that a qualified mortgage broker is sourcing you the most suitable mortgage deal for you. They can also help you understand how much you could afford to borrow, how much the monthly payments are, and they can answer any questions that you may have along the journey.
  • Is it better to use a mortgage broker or bank?
    It can be better to use a mortgage broker over a bank, since a mortgage broker has access to lots of mortgage lenders and building societies, including the top high street banks. You can visit your bank directly, however you will be limited to the mortgage products available directly with that bank. They are not in a position to discuss other mortgage products with you, so you will see a limited view of options. A mortgage broker can compare options available across many of the high street banks, as well as the smaller building societies or specialist lenders. You don't need to have your mortgage with the same bank that you do your everyday banking with.
  • Are mortgages more expensive through a broker?
    An independent mortgage broker will have access to a comprehensive amount of mortgage lenders and building societies. This means that they are able to compare all of the mortgage lenders and mortgage products against each other, carry out any research on your criteria needs, and source the most cost effective mortgage product for you. There may be a mortgage broker application fee to pay, however the mortgage products that they are able to source can sometimes be "broker exclusive", providing potential cost savings for you. Mortgage brokers are also informed of upcoming mortgage product changes, so you can be better informed about any potential rate increases or decreases, and take advantage of securing a rate as soon as possible via your mortgage broker.
  • What is a first-time buyer in Bristol?
    A first-time buyer in Bristol is someone who is purchasing their first property in the Bristol area. This can be a house or a flat, and it can be for personal use or as an investment.
  • What happened to the Help to Buy scheme in Bristol?
    The Help to Buy: equity loan scheme in Bristol was a government initiative designed to help first-time buyers and existing homeowners purchase a property with as little as 5% deposit. The Help to Buy equity loan scheme closed to new applications on Monday 31st October 2022, with the scheme officially coming to an end on Friday 31st March 2023. First time buyers are waiting to see whether any other similar schemes are going to be available, however at this moment the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme is closed.
  • How can I apply for a mortgage as a first-time buyer in Bristol?
    At The Mortgage Company, we can guide you through the process of applying for a mortgage as a first-time buyer in Bristol. We work with a huge pool of lenders to find the most suitable deal for you.
  • What are the benefits of being a first-time buyer in Bristol?
    First-time buyers in Bristol can benefit from paying lower stamp duty. If you’re a first time buyer in England or Northern Ireland, you will pay no Stamp Duty on properties worth up to £425,000. For properties costing up to £625,000, you will pay no Stamp Duty on the first £425,000. You'll then pay Stamp Duty at the relevant rate of 5% on the remaining amount, up to £200,000. (Correct as of December 2023).
  • How does the mortgage process work for first-time buyers in Bristol?
    The mortgage process for first-time buyers in Bristol involves assessing your financial situation, finding a suitable property, making an offer, and completing the mortgage application process. It is also useful to download and understand your full credit report.
  • How much deposit do I need as a first-time buyer in Bristol?
    The amount of deposit you need as a first-time buyer in Bristol can vary, but it's typically around 5-10% of the property price. There are lenders who can consider up to a 100% mortgage which was announced in 2023, however the interest rate for this type of product is likely to be higher.
  • What is the average house price for a first-time buyer in Bristol?
    The average house price for a first-time buyer in Bristol can vary depending on the area and type of property. It's best to research current market conditions or speak to a mortgage advisor for the most accurate information.
  • Can I use a mortgage broker as a first-time buyer in Bristol?
    Yes, using a mortgage broker like The Mortgage Company can be beneficial for first-time buyers in Bristol. We can provide expert advice and help you find the most suitable and cost effective mortgage deal.

To find out more and have an initial chat, contact us

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