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BTL

Another 80% LTV product for Buy to Let Landlords

It’s good to the see one of our lenders return to 80% LTV on single lets. They have two and five year fixed products for BTL mortgages which come either with a free or discounted valuation.

Available for personal and limited company ownership. Portfolio landlords welcome.

Tenants working, students and DSS on AST. Corporate Lets and Local Authority & Housing Association Lets (prior approval required).

They also finance HMOs and multi unit blocks and products available at both 65% and 75% LTV.

To find out more about this product and our services please contact us.

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ILA – The Hidden Costs of a Guarantee

When taking out a BTL mortgage 99% of lenders require the directors and possibly shareholders to personally guarantee the mortgage.

This guarantee needs witnessing from a solicitor who must explain the legal implications of the document. This is called Independent Legal Advice (ILA).

A lot of brokers do not mention this process so when it comes to signing in front of a solicitor there can be a big surprise. We have seen some fees as high as £800 to witness one document!

There can be a choice though as lenders fall into these categories:

  • ILA always required
  • ILA can be dispensed with under certain circumstances. Usually when the guarantors are the same as the directors
  • The guarantee can be witnessed by anybody over the age of 18 who is not related to you or on the same loan
  • No Guarantee required

As we move down the list the cost to witness the guarantee reduces to zero and the process is much quicker.

Make sure you are fully aware of the options and costs as there can be significant savings with the right lender.

We always discuss this as part of the legal process. If you require help getting your next Limited Company BTL mortgage please contact us.

Portfolio Landlords – BTL Remortgage

As a professional landlord it’s not just about the rate when choosing a BTL remortgage, it’s also speed if you are approaching your current lender’s variable rate. If you have a quick lender and competitive rates you are on your way to a speedy completion for your Buy to Let Remortgage.

These are some of things a lender can do to speed the process up:

  • Title Insurance
  • Electronic Signatures on Application Forms
  • Open Banking
  • Relaxed view on Independent Legal Advice

Ideally the lender should also offer the following:

  • Product Transfers
  • Extensive solicitor panel
  • Ability to repay extra each year

When comparing mortgages always add up all the costs including interest, all lender fees, legal costs and providing Independent Legal Advice for the personal guarantee.

Also look at the information they need and how long will it take you to prepare. The list includes:

  • Portfolio – will it meet the lenders LTV threshold, with most it’s 75% although some are less and others more
  • Rental Calculation across portfolio
  • Business Plan – doesn’t take long and lenders have their own format
  • Cash flow – the longest to do but not many lenders ask for it
  • Bank Statements confirming income on the portfolio
  • Tax Year Calculations, SA100 and Tax Year Overviews for at least two years
  • Limited Company Accounts for at least two years
  • EPC – are they all E or better. If F or G a lender may ignore the income but still include the debt

We’ve been doing this type of mortgage for many years so please contact us if you need help on your next BTL remortgage.

BTL Portfolio Lending

What is BTL portfolio lending and what are the benefits? It’s not to be confused with a portfolio landlord (four or more mortgages). It’s when one lender takes multiple properties on one loan.

Very few lenders can do this and it tends to be the banks, both high street and challenger and a few specialist lenders.

The question I get asked a lot from professional landlords is when should I do this? There is no definitive answer as every portfolio is different.

If you are considering restructuring your portfolio as part of tax planning then review your finances at the same time.

Pros

– You go from a number to having a relationship with a manager who understands property.

-Greater flexibility if a property becomes empty as rental cover calculated across the portfolio.

-Can be lower costs in setting up the loan as reduced valuation fees and legal costs.

-Option for 100% on purchases if there is headroom within the security calculation.

-Low pricing if loan is for 3-5 years increasing cash flow.

-Administration easier as one account as less lenders to deal with.One direct debit for all properties and only one lender discussion at renewal time.

Cons

-Performance Covenants: eg: Minimum LTV, rental cover, net assets.

-Provision of regular information to the lender including accounts, portfolio lists.

-All rents may have to go through the same bank where the loan is and all monies in these current accounts can be used to offset the loan balance if things don’t go to plan.

-Some lenders will only commit for three or five years and then you renegotiate so further valuation fees, set up fees, possible increase in rate. Others will do twenty-five.

-Lenders may require regular valuations on the portfolio which you will pay for.

-Cross default clauses. If you have a problem on one loan it affects all the others with the same lender.

-Consolidation clauses. If you sell a property they may take 100% of proceeds.

-Usually on repayment basis so lose benefit of cash flow if that’s you want.

-Ideally £1m loans + to get the best rates.

-Less brokers to assist you due to the complexity

At Searchlight we have experience in arranging these facilities and we’d be happy to talk you to about your finance requirements. Please contact us by phone or email.

BTL Portfolio Restructure Accountants Advice

When talking to an accountant always make sure their advice will be accepted by lenders. Recently we have seen advice that isn’t. The client owns properties personally and has been told to put all the rental income through a limited company and then create a deed of trust as part of this process.

Land Registry, his tenants and lenders think he owns them personally, HMRC expect the rent to go through his personal tax return but it’s through the limited company. Finally the deed of trust shows he and the company own the properties 50-50!

As well as being in breach of his mortgage conditions, he can no longer refinance his BTL mortgage portfolio or buy any more property.

What’s worse for the client is the accountant is a family friend, so I envisage many an awkward conversation ahead.

Before you do any restructure I recommend that you talk to a Chartered Tax accountant who understands the property market and once you have options, speak directly to your lender or a broker who understands the BTL market.

You will find out how the lenders view your options and you won’t lose sleep at night because of what your accountant has done.

We know what lenders like and don’t like, so are happy to help you with your BTL mortgage restructuring plans.

Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or any debt secured on it.

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