Our lending criteria – key highlights

Below is a snapshot of the criteria we base our lending decisions on. You can either search for an answer using keywords or scroll through alphabetically.

If you can’t find the answer you want or you’re dealing with a particularly complex case that warrants a chat, call or email us and we’ll do our best to help.

Residential Buy-to-Let

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Adverse

We will consider applicants with historic adverse credit that has been satisfied, on the following terms:

• Discharged bankrupt: after six years
• One satisfied CCJ of under £500 in the last three years, and under over 12 months old
• Up to two minor, cleared defaults, of up to £250 each
• Discharged IVA/DMP after three years.

Affordability

Rate used to stress is the higher of 2% above payrate or 5.5% against
• higher rate taxpayers the minimum ICR is 130%
• basic rate taxpayers the minimum ICR is 130%

Top slicing cannot be used in affordability assessment

Age limits

We have a maximum age of 90 for our mortgage lending

Availability

• Available to both purchase and remortgage customers including further advances
• Maximum of 4 applicants
• Maximum 70% LTV
• Applicants must have permanent rights to reside in the UK
• Not available to first time buyers (Any applicant)
• First time landlords allowed
• None owner occupiers allowed
• Minimum age at application - 21 (both applicants)
• Maximum age of 90 at end of term

Capital Raising

Acceptable reasons:
• Maximum debt consolidation amount £35k
• Home improvements
• Repaying family gift
• Giving family gift
• Deposit for another property purchase
Unacceptable reasons
• For business purposes
• Pay tax bill

Debt consolidation

Maximum debt consolidation amount is £35,000 across a maximum of 5 debts

Deposits

• Savings/investments
• Family gift
• Concessionary – minimum 20% concession
• Raised from another property

Energy rating (EPC)

All properties at application must have an EPC rating of E or above

Ex-Pat

• Applicants must be UK citizens or have permanent rights to reside who are currently resident abroad
• Max LTV 70%
• Available to employed applicants only
• Minimum income £40,000 (GBP equivalent) following an currency exchange using XE.com
• Must provide contract of employment and UK bank statement
• Rent must be received in GBP into UK bank account and mortgage to be paid from UK bank account in GBP
• Deposits can come from non UK source e.g. country they are currently residing in
• Available to ex-pats based in specified countries
o Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kingdom of the Netherlands (The Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba), Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom*, and UAE.*Does not include UK Crown dependecies; the Isle of Man and the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey).
o A UK named individual (a family member or solicitor) and their address for service of notices will be required

Exposure

An applicant cannot have more than 1 main residence and 3 BTL properties

Family occupancy

Letting to an immediate family member is not permitted, these are to be applied as a Second Home mortgage

Flats

We will only consider lending on leasehold flats and apartments where the borrower has a deposit of at least 30%.

As a rule, we will only consider flats in complexes with no more than four residential stories, although we will consider flats in larger buildings at lower LTVs. In such cases, we require a copy of an appropriate external fire wall review, conducted by a suitably-qualified and competent professional.

We don’t offer mortgages for freehold flats.

Geographical reach (Property location)

We will lend on buy to let properties within England and Wales only.

Income

Buy-to-Let applicants must be in receipt of a minimum income of £20k. For joint applicants this is the joint income minimum.
Income can only be taken from the following:
• Employed: Basic PAYE income only
• Pension income
• Self Employed: Latest year's income
Additional income such as overtime/bonus/commission and additional benefit incomes are not acceptable for minimum income purposes.
There is no minimum term of employment (outside probation) although self-employed applicants must have owned the business for a minimum of 1 year.

Leasehold

We will only lend on leasehold property subject to the unexpired term of the lease exceeding the mortgage term by at least 50 years, and the lease’s terms being acceptable to our solicitors.

Maximum Loan and LTV limits

Maximum loan size of £850,000 up to 65% LTV and £500,000 up to 70% LTV

Minimum loans

The minimum amount we will lend for buy to let purchase is £25,000
Our minimum remortgage amount is £40,000

Minimum property value

• Minimum property valuation - £100,000

Minimum and maximum terms

• Maximum term is 40 years
• Minimum term 2 years

New build

We will lend on new properties or modern conversions, such as barn conversions, which is backed by appropriate certification and insurance from reputable providers.

All newbuild property must be subject to a NHBC or equivalent certificate issued by a registered builder, or, alternatively, the construction must be designed and supervised by a suitably-qualified chartered architect or chartered surveyor who can provide written confirmation that they carry professional indemnity insurance of at least the value of the finished property, and will produce the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)/Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) standard New Built Professional Consultants Certificate on completion of construction.

The Society requires that all new builds are subject to an appropriate insurance/certification scheme covering a minimum of 10 years, and this will be brought to the attention of the valuer, for them to consider as part of the valuation.

Tenancy

• Minimum 6 month and maximum 12 month Assured Shorthold Tenancy
• Purchase applications where tenants will remain in the property
The following types of tenancies are not acceptable:
• Multiple tenancies where each tenant signs a separate agreement and/or has separate facilities
• Rent Act protected tenants or an agent of these
• Intended letting to housing association or local authority.

Unacceptable lets

• Companies or trusts
• Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs)
• Holiday lets
• Where the purchaser intends letting the property to the seller on a 'sale and leaseback' arrangement
• Sub-letting

Unacceptable properties

• Bed-sits
• Flats over 4 storey’s
• Property split into multiple units (e.g. house converted into two flats without separate leases)
• Freehold flats
• Ex local authority flats
• Flats over commercial
• Farms or small holdings
• Grade 1 & Grade 2* listed properties
• Non-traditional PRC houses which have not been repaired (including any adjoining properties)
• Properties with more than 10 acres of land
• Properties with restricted occupancy/ covenants, including:
age restriction e.g. over 55s
time spent at property e.g. 11/ 12 months
agricultural use.

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