Your Guide: Buy To Let

Purchasing property to start or grow your portfolio can be a sensible and sustainable way to earn. We’ve created this helpful guide to support developers. 


Buy to let

Whether you’re looking for the right buy to let mortgage rates, or something a little more specific, give us a call. In recent times, the buy to let industry has been going through some pretty major changes. 

It’s not just a case of rental income covering mortgage payments – in the same way residential mortgage lenders all have different criteria when it comes to assessing worthy borrowers, buy to let’s are a diverse range. 


Whether you’re a first time buyer, first time landlord, ex-pat, looking to borrow with no  employed income or on a HMO, there are lenders out there that can cater for you.


We receive a wide range of enquiries on buy to lets in the UK and further afield, so to help we have a breakdown of useful information from our buy to let guide made from the most common questions. 

Please note - Ex-pat's must be in the UK to receive advice

If you want to know more about buy to let mortgages read on, or if you want some buy to let advice right away give us a call or fill in a contact form now and an adviser will be in touch ASAP.

Lets look first at the most common questions we get regarding BTL. Click HERE for more.

If you’re unsure what you’re looking for, talk to one of our specialists.

01332 742 741

Feel free to contact us and chat through your requirements.

Speak to an expert about your circumstances and lending needs.


What’s the maximum you can borrow on a buy to let?

This is assessed either on personal income (e.g. 4 x salary), or on the ratio of expected rental income Vs mortgage payment (e.g. Rent must cover the mortgage payment by 125%).

To get the biggest buy to let mortgage you can, you’ll need to find a lender that is most suitable to your situation, and most likely an expert to help you with it.

As specialist advisers we can help you find the maximum you can borrow pretty easily, just give us a call or drop us an enquiry with what you’re looking for, and we will be in touch ASAP.

Maximum Loan to Value on buy to lets

The loan to value limit for buy to let mortgages has been slowly increasing over the last couple of years since the credit crunch, but still we aren’t seeing the same level of lending we used to.

Certain lenders are currently offering lending up to 80% of the value of the property as a first charge; however some more specialist lenders are offering second charges and loans over and above this.

If you’re looking for borrowing of 85%-100% you’ll need to talk to an expert, fill in one of our enquiry forms.

What credit score will I need?

Now there is no hard and fast rule on credit scoring systems. From lender to lender this can be one of the biggest differences seen in mortgage criteria.

Some lenders are very strict, others relaxed, and others don’t take credit score into account at all.

When it comes to buy to let mortgages, credit score can be the difference between getting that headline buy to let rate, and having to compromise with a higher rate, which ultimately eats into your profit.


Seek expert advice before making any applications.

Buy to let mortgage affordability

Making sure any borrowing is affordable is of high importance for any lender because they’ll want their money back plus profit, without having to repossess properties.

Again, each lender is different. Some will have a rule that any borrower must have personal income of at least £25,000 for example, where others don’t ask for any proof of personal income, only that the new mortgage payments are covered by the rent.

What are HMO mortgages?

HMO, or House In Multiple Occupancy, is defined by the number of tenants in a property, and the type of contracts they have signed.

Usually, a lender will view a buy to let as a HMO when there is more than one tenancy agreement, for instance a mortgage on a student house where the students rent rooms individually.

The majority of high street lenders will not offer standard residential buy to let mortgages on HMO properties, as regulation of these differs from standard policy.

There are lenders considering HMO’s on mainstream buy to let mortgages, the rest of the lenders offering finance on these properties are basically commercial finance*, which often come with higher rates and fee’s and require a larger deposit.

Getting this wrong at application time can be costly, so make sure you check all the deals by speaking to one of the specialists we work with.

Want to know more? Click HERE.

* The Financial Conduct Authority do not regulate commercial mortgages. 

Commercial mortgages are available by referral to a master broker only.

Talk to one of our mortgage specialists today

Feel free to contact us and chat through your requirements.

Speak to an expert about your circumstances and lending needs.


Securing a mortgage on more than one property

If you are an experienced landlord with a portfolio of properties, you may be looking for a lender that’s happy to secure one loan over more than one property.

This again is something that can be done if you know what you’re doing. Many high street lenders only allow you to take a mortgage out on one house, and then may also require equity/deposit in excess of 40%.

A more flexible buy to let lender or commercial buy to let lender may be the answer, so it’s important to find a service that offers you both, to compare and make sure if there’s a solution out there you’ll find it.

Getting a mortgage with a large portfolio

Many lenders have restrictions on total exposure to the risks of the housing market, and so limit any borrower to a small number of properties and mortgages.

Some lenders only allow a maximum of 3 buy to let mortgages in the background, however some have no limit.

Those that favour large portfolio’s even offer better deals and more flexible criteria than would be available to a first time landlord.

Buy to lets and limited companies

In certain circumstances it may be advisable to set up a limited company to own your property portfolio.

Seek tax advice before setting up a limited company to ensure you understand the implications of doing so. Create can refer you to advisers that specialise in this field.

Buy to lets can be taken out by companies with various pro’s and con’s, the main motivation would be to ring-fence the commitment from personal assets, and for larger portfolios certain tax benefits.

As each case is so diverse it’s difficult to sum up each and every case in one paragraph, so if this is something you’re considering we advise you get in touch with a specialist who can talk to you about your options.

Buy to let mortgage fees

Buy to let lender fees can vary dramatically overall, as with rates, they tend to be slightly higher than for residential mortgages.

 Some offer no fee’s with higher rates, some a fee with a better rate. Its important to get this right and calculate the total cost. It all depends on the loan size and your specific criteria, along with your preferences for different types of rate.

Buy to let mortgage rates

These tend to work in the same way as residential mortgages – you start with an initial tie in period of anywhere from 1-10 years, and then switch to the lenders buy to let standard variable rate.

Although some lenders are offering tied periods for entire term of the mortgage if its what you want (subject to availability).


You can have a fixed rate, a tracker, a capped rate, a discounted rate etc… all with their own pro’s and con’s. It important to weigh up all the options before jumping in, so ask before making an application.