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Applying for your buy-to-let mortgage: what lenders look for

Updated: Mar 2, 2021

As well as finding a deposit and proving your property is rentable, lenders will ask you for information about you and the property you’re buying.

Here are some of the main things lenders look at:

Property price (ideally above £40,000)

Some lenders won’t lend money for homes valued below £40,000 or so. Some even set the threshold at £100,000.

That’s unlikely to be a problem in London, where the average price of a home in 2020 was a whopping £485,000. But in the North East, where the average drops to £127,000, a low property price might restrict your choice of lenders.

Property type and materials

Lenders tend to be more likely to approve buy-to-let mortgages for terraced, semi-detached and detached properties and purpose-built flats.

It might be more difficult to get a loan on a thatched barn conversion, for example, or an ex-council flat in a high-rise concrete block, or a block of flats over 4 floors with no lift – lenders tend to prefer properties that are easier to resell.

But don’t worry, as long as your property is structurally sound, chances are there’s a specialist lender out there willing to take you on. A mortgage broker can help you find one.

The number of other properties you own already

If you have 4 or more mortgaged buy-to-let properties already, you’re classed as a portfolio landlord. Now, when you apply for a new loan, lenders will examine how well all your other properties are doing as part of your application. You might find your choice of mortgages is more restricted as well, as for lenders that means a lot more risk profiling to do.

How old you are

You need to be at least 18 to apply for a buy-to-let mortgage – at least 25 for some lenders. There’s no upper age limit, because unlike a standard mortgage, your loan repayments don’t rely on your salary.

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