Investors with four or more mortgaged buy-to-let properties now face more stringent checks by lenders when buying additional properties.  Since the end of September 2017, new portfolio lending rules issued by city watchdog, the Prudential Regulation Authority, mean that lenders must look at a landlord’s entire property portfolio when deciding whether to offer an additional buy-to-let mortgage.

The rules have been introduced to provide lenders with greater certainty that landlords will be able to afford any additional borrowing they take on. 

Many lenders have confirmed that they will continue to provide buy-to-let mortgages to portfolio landlords, although they will require more information about their existing properties before they will accept a new application.  Some lenders have been put off following the rule changes and are now only looking at re-mortgaging existing properties on a like for like basis. 

What can portfolio landlords do to prepare?  Landlords with multiple properties who are planning to add to their portfolios can help speed the mortgage application process along by making sure they have all the information lenders will require ready in advance.  Having a reliable and experienced financial advisor to help you through this process is a strong advantage. 

Lenders will need to know about the existing mortgages already in place, the amount of rental income each property in the portfolio brings in, along with any expenses and maintenance costs. They are also likely to look at your assets, liabilities and cash flow.  This is so they can carry out an assessment of affordability right across the portfolio, to be certain that they won’t be over-exposing themselves financially by increasing borrowing.



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Chatteris today commemorated the 100 year anniversary of the death of George William Burdett Clare VC Private 6657, 5th Royal Irish Lancers who died on 28th November 1917.  Although born in St.Ives, George Clare grew up in Chatteris, living with his grandmother in Anchor Street, later named Clare Street after him. 

George Clare was awarded the Victoria Cross during the later stages of the Battle of Cambrai, in the Bourlon Wood area. The following is his VC citation. ”For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when, acting as a stretcher-bearer during a most intense and continuous enemy bombardment, Pte. Clare dressed and conducted wounded over the open to the dressing-station about 500 yards away. At one period when all the garrison of a detached post, which was lying out in the open about 150 yards to the left of the line occupied, had become casualties, he crossed the intervening space, which was continually swept by heavy rifle and machine-gun fire, and having dressed all the cases, manned the post single-handed till a relief could be sent. Pte. Clare then carried a seriously wounded man through intense fire to cover, and later succeeded in getting him to the dressing station. At the dressing-station he was told that the enemy was using gas shells to a large extent in the valley below, and as the wind was blowing the gas towards the line of trenches and shell-holes occupied, he started on the right of the line and personally warned every company post of the danger, the whole time under shell and rifle fire. This very gallant soldier was subsequently killed by a shell.” He body was never found and he is commemorated on the Louverval Memorial.

The unveiling of the plaque ceremony today was extremely well attended and was followed by a remembrance service in the church. Chatteris town mayor Councillor Bill Haggatta who unveiled the plaque commented that as there are so few VC commemorative plaques throughout the country, Chatteris felt very proud to honour George Clare in this way.


A guide to Shared Ownership and stepping on to the property ladder

Are you house hunting on a restricted budget and struggling to find your dream new home? There are now several options out there now for house hunters –saving for years, accepting loans from parents or purchasing with friends. Another route that is becoming increasingly popular is buying through Shared Ownership. You may have heard this phase bandied-around but may not know what it is.

Lisa Westerman, group head of sales at Plumlife, the affordable homes specialist, explains the process, the costs involved and how to apply.

What’s Shared Ownership all about?

Shared Ownership is a part-buy, part-rent government-backed scheme which usually allows first-time buyers to purchase a 35–75% share of a new home and pay rent on the remainder. This is great if you’ve found the perfect home but you can’t quite afford to take out a mortgage on the full asking price. You will still need to have saved a small deposit this is usually around 5%.

The process

Imagine the home you want costs £200,000 but you can only borrow a mortgage of £100,000 because of your income and the size of your deposit. In this example Shared Ownership would allow you to buy half of the property and the organisation you’re buying from would own the other half. You would then pay a small monthly rent on the 50% share you don’t own and put forward a deposit from 5%. This leaves a maximum mortgage level of 45% (£90,000).

 You can then ‘staircase,’ your share in your property and buy more shares or even buy outright as your circumstances change.

 Who can apply?

Shared Ownership supports buyers who would struggle to buy a home on the open market. In order to apply you need to be a first time buyer, in permanent employment, live or work locally, or have family connections to the area you want to buy in. You must also have a total household income of up to £80,000.

 To get the ball rolling applicants should fill out a form on the Help to Buy website and contact a local sales team at an organisation offering properties for sale through Shared Ownership, such as Plumlife.

 Costs involved

As well as a 5% deposit, you’ll need to pay for a reservation fee, mortgage valuation or survey, legal fees and stamp duty. You will also need to factor in the costs of moving home, for example hiring a removal firm.

 Becoming a home owner – a case study

Aimee Charnock, 32, is a first-time buyer from Rossendale. She works as a mental health nurse at the Royal Blackburn Hospital and recently bought a two bedroom house at Dale Moor View, Plumlife’s development in Rossendale. Here she discusses her route to home ownership.

 She said: “The buying process was pretty simple. My father accompanied me on my viewing, I then chose the plot I wanted and contacted Metro Finance to set up my mortgage. They found one that was right for me and kept me updated regularly. I then contacted a solicitor, exchanged contracts and was ready to move in.

 “The house was priced at £140,000 and I bought a 35% share through the Help to Buy Shared Ownership scheme. I used my savings for the 5% deposit the lender needed, which was £2,450. Along with my mortgage payments I pay a small monthly rent of £209 on the 65% share I don’t yet own.

 “I would definitely recommend Shared Ownership to other first time buyers. In fact I’ve told friends at work about the scheme and explained how simple it is.”


There’s no time to waste in today’s rental market

According to industry data, an additional 1.8 million households will come to rely on the UK’s private rental sector by 2025, with renters comprising a growing proportion of the population. As a consequence of the country’s growing population and rising property prices, the rental market is really starting to gather pace.

In an effort to meet the demands of increasingly digitally naive and time poor tenants, many agents are now exploring the best proptech solutions to integrate into their listing and property management procedures.  Whereas previously tenants would have to manage the entire process in person and over the phone – filling in and posting various forms and photocopying proof of income and personal identification – this can now all be managed from anywhere in the world from a laptop, smartphone or tablet.

Forward thinking agents are reacting to this trend by ensuring tenants are not forced to use unregulated sites out of sheer speeds and convenience. For landlords seeking to secure verified and reliable tenants willing to care for the property and able to make timely rental payments, agents with tailored proptech solutions are a much more attractive proposition.
Over the next few years, UK landlords and estate agents will face considerable pressure to make securing a rental property more convenient, reducing the bureaucratic burden and making it easier for all parties to communicate. In today’s fast-moving society with tech-savvy consumers expecting products and services to be delivered quickly and efficiently, the time is ripe for landlords and intermediaries to embrace the future of property rentals and help drive the lettings industry forward.

For more expert advice, contact our team today!


Rental Trends in 2017

If you’re interested in renting a property, you’re not alone. More people than ever have chosen to rent homes or flats rather than buy them. Over the past few years, the letting market has been changing constantly. In a changing market, staying ahead of the trends is the secret to success.
Well-presented properties are letting fast

If you’re a landlord, it may be time to consider updating your rental property. While an update will require a financial investment at the outset, letting property that is highly desirable means that you’ll have more potential tenants, and could potentially raise the letting price.
Tenants are paying more for access to prime locations

While prime locations have always had a hefty price tag, tenants have started paying more for areas with easy access to prime locations. This new trend could be attributed to shifts in employment.  Tenants are willing to pay more for a location that offers easy access to city links. This is largely down to employment changes. Whether it be a career change or job security, accessibility to prime locations is paramount.

Unfurnished properties remain more popular than furnished ones.  There’s a great debate about furnished properties versus unfurnished ones. Furnished properties allow tenants to move in quickly, and can cost a bit more than their unfurnished counterparts. However, unfurnished properties give tenants free reign to make the property their own. When it comes to the furnished/unfurnished debate, unfurnished properties still tend to be more popular than those that are furnished, with furnished properties not being of any more value than those that are not.

Are you thinking of letting or renting a property or looking for advice? Take a look at our website or call our expert team today!