Buy to Let

The opportunity to own real estate, particularly for business purposes, is a dream for most aspiring investors. A buy-to-let property is a unique asset. With most investments, a return is generated from either capital or income. Whereas, real estate can simultaneously generate capital, in the form of equity, and income, in the form of rent. The rental income that can be charged by a landlord is largely determined by the location of a property. Prospective purchasers should contact various estate agents to ensure that a given area is suitable for letting. A nightmare scenario for any real estate investor is to encounter long periods of rental voids.

The features of a buy-to-let mortgage differ significantly from a standard residential. These differences will be explained fully by our advisers during your free consultation. The most notable difference is the formula used for calculating your maximum loan sum. When applying for residential mortgages, changes to your income and financial commitments will heavily impact the loan sum offered by lenders. This is because your personal finances are the only measure of affordability in residential mortgage applications. Whereas, for buy-to-lets, your income and financial commitments are far less significant. As you will be purchasing a property in the hope of generating rental income, the lender does not have to rely on your occupational income to meet the monthly mortgage payments. In our industry a common saying is: “Let your tenants pay for your mortgage”. For this reason, lenders use the anticipated monthly rental income as the predominant factor when calculating maximum loan sums for buy-to-let applications. There are many buy-to-let lenders that list ‘no minimum income’ as a lending criterion. However, for most lenders, you must earn a minimum of £25,000 gross per annum if employed and £25,000 net profit per annum if self-employed. After you make a buy-to-let enquiry with Boon Brokers, our advisers will calculate your maximum borrowing with the most suitable lender.

Even though you may acquire a large loan sum calculation with ease, there are strict buy-to-let lending criteria that increase the barriers to finalising a purchase. For example, unlike residential applications, borrowers currently require a deposit of at least 20% of the property’s purchase price before lenders will consider an application. Whereas, with residential applications, a 5% deposit is the minimum. Furthermore, the costs of becoming a landlord are ever-growing in the United Kingdom. Arrangement, valuation and legal fees should all be expected when making a buy-to-let purchase. However, the most heart-wrenching cost for aspiring landlords to bare is Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). SDLT is correlated with the purchase price of your property. For buy-to-let and second home purchases, higher tax bands apply. Different tax bands apply to properties in each price range. See the table below for full details:

Brackets Standard rate Buy-to-let/second home rate (April 2016)
Up to £125,000 0% 3%
£125,001 – £250,000 2% 5%
£250,001 – £925,000 5% 8%
£925,001 – £1.5m 10% 13%
£1.5m+ 12% 15%
Source: HMRC

Despite the drawbacks of purchasing a buy-to-let in the short-term, the long-term prospect of equity growth and passive rental income is still enticing new landlords to enter the market. For a free consultation with one of our advisers, click the ‘Contact Us’ button and submit an enquiry form.

This article is intended to provide a general understanding of the topic. The contents should not be treated as advice. For personalised advice, please submit an enquiry. Your home may be repossessed if you do not maintain repayments on your mortgage.

For more information please get in touch and we will be happy to assist you.