Improved access to buy-to-let for first-timers and contractors

First-time landlords and first-time buyers are now accepted on all of Gatehouse Bank’s buy-to-let mortgages as the lender broadens its eligibility criteria, and it’s making life easier for self-employed contractors, too.

The latest changes to the lender’s criteria, for both home purchase plans and buy-to-let, includes reducing its minimum valuation for houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) and multi-unit blocks in the UK from £75,000 to £55,000.

Significantly, Gatehouse has also stated that its manual underwriting process has been reviewed to improve access for self-employed contractors to buy-to-let mortgages by taking their full income into account.

Charles Haresnape, CEO of Gatehouse Bank, said: “We are continually reviewing every aspect of our buy-to-let and home purchase plan ranges, from the rates through to the small print.

“We will continue to expand the audience for our products and endeavour to better serve those customers who find it difficult to access finance elsewhere.”

Individual assessments

He added: “Our human approach coupled with smart technology allows us to individually assess applications, meaning we can take all our customers’ finances into account, and no one is turned away just because the computer says no.”

Competition in the buy-to-let mortgage market has meant rates are increasingly attractive for both new and existing landlords. Mortgage Brain reported that costs in the buy-to-let market fell again in the third quarter of 2019.

However, first-time landlords are warned to prepare carefully before entering the market. Although rates are appealing, the sector is viewed as a grey area as stricter regulations take effect, and everyone keeps a weather eye on the UK’s exit from the EU.

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