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Lenders have strict regulations and complex criteria that can make applying for a mortgage difficult and, at times, stressful. Here we provide our nine top tips for ensuring that your buy to let mortgage application runs smoothly and stress-free from the outset.

We rarely come across property investors who want to stall buy to let mortgage applications, but you might do it without even realising it! Unfortunately, a slow mortgage application process can have significant consequences, and add stress and time for you. These implications can range from the sellers wanting to move the property chain on and not waiting for you, meaning you lose the property, or the lender withdrawing the mortgage rate you want before you’ve got your application in, meaning you must begin the hunt for the right buy to let mortgage all over again.

Here are nine ways to avoid additional stress and speed up your buy to let mortgage application.


1. Who or what is the borrower?

Before submitting your application, you need to decide if you will borrow in your personal name or through a Limited Company. A Limited Company structure is typically the preferred option for many higher-rate tax-payers, but please seek professional tax advice before making any property investment decisions.

If you’re looking to remortgage to “transfer” an existing property from personal to Limited Company ownership, it’s worth noting that lenders will treat this as a sale (at open market value). This will trigger all the usual sale costs, plus the stamp duty surcharge and potentially capital gains tax liabilities.

The application process for Limited Company buy to let mortgages is the same as for personal applications, so be prepared to justify everything that you state on the form if requested.


2. Speak to a whole of market mortgage broker

We may be biased, but the easiest way to speed up your mortgage application is by working with an experienced, whole-of-market mortgage broker. Your broker will be there to ensure the process runs smoothly for you, and with ongoing market uncertainty, trusting an expert buy to let broker to handle your application takes away a lot of the added stress. Your broker can also offer invaluable advice and support you with any concerns or questions you have throughout the application process.


3. Is there anything unusual about the property?

Speak with your broker and discuss in advance if there is anything unusual or quirky about the property, as this could influence whether potential lenders decide to offer you a loan. For example, is the property in good condition, of non-standard construction, above a takeaway or close to commercial property? The sooner your broker understands the full details of the case, the easier it will be for them to approach the appropriate lender, which should simplify and speed up your application process.


4. Get certified copies of documents

Take a copy of your passport and/or driving licence to the Post Office or your solicitor to certify this as a true copy and a true likeness. All lenders will ask to see these documents as proof of your identity when processing your mortgage application.


5. Gather all supporting documents

An easy way to speed up your mortgage application is to start collating all your supporting documents that your lender will need to see in support of your mortgage application. Each lender has its own specific requirements, so your broker will let you know exactly what you will need to provide, but it is likely to include:

  • Proof of identity (as per point 4).
  • Proof of residency – you can use a recent utility bill or bank statement.
  • A full schedule of existing properties owned, including mortgages and rental income. You can download our portfolio review spreadsheet here.
  • Copies of your latest three months’ bank statements. Internet statements may be acceptable if they show the bank name, account name, number and sort code.
  • Evidence of personal income - usually three months’ payslips and P60 if you are employed. HMRC’s Tax Calculations and Tax Year Overview (formerly SA302 statement of income) if you are self-employed or already own buy to let property.
  • Proof of deposit (for purchases). Not just a credit balance figure on a statement, as the lender will need to see the actual source of the funds.
  • A copy of the current tenancy agreement (for remortgages).


6. Complete the application form fully

As they say, the devil is really in the detail when it comes to your application. Our brokers will happily help you fill in the form, but if you’d prefer to complete it yourself, feel free to ask if you’re unsure of anything. Ideally, please save a copy of the completed form on your computer for your records and email it to us. Send us a scanned copy if you can.

7. Sign the application form!

You’d be surprised at how many times people forget. If you email in the application form, some lenders will also require you to provide the original with your inked signature, but your broker will be able to let you know if this applies to you.

8. Choose your solicitor carefully

When choosing a solicitor to carry out the conveyancing, it’s worth remembering that most lenders require the firm to be well-established and have at least two partners, but some may even insist on four. However, how you work with your solicitor will vary depending on your lender. For instance, some lenders provide a free legal transfer service for remortgages, whereas others will use your solicitor (known as dual representation).

For Limited Company buy to let applications, some lenders will use their own solicitor to act for them while your firm will act for you (known as sole representation). Our brokers can discuss this with you and quickly provide a competitive quotation for legal fees to see if you can save costs.

9. Keep in touch

When working with our team at MFB, you have direct contact with your dedicated Broker and Client Relationship Manager, which means that you will always be speaking to someone who understands your case and your application. We will provide you with regular updates, but please let us know if your circumstances change or if you have any concerns, questions or worries. The sooner we know, the sooner we can help address them and make your mortgage application process as easy as possible.

Let’s get started!

Use our calculator here to see how much you could borrow on your home mortgage.

Speak to one of our experts

If you have any questions regarding your mortgage application or want some advice, start an online chat with our specialist brokers or call us today on 0345 345 6788.

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