Find out more about the criteria for our Expat Buy to Let products by using the handy tool below to search for the information you need. If you’d prefer a printed version, you can download a PDF copy of our Expat Buy to Let criteria here.
Last updated 10 June 2021.
We are unable to accept any new applications from any customer residing in the European Economic Area (EEA) which includes the European Union (EU) countries listed below along with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
We will update this information if there is any change to our policy due to the ongoing financial service sector agreement discussions.
The Stamp Duty incentive was extended until 30 June 2021. This meant that clients could complete their purchase of a property up to the value of £500,000 without paying Stamp Duty.
To smooth the transition back to the normal threshold, the nil rate band now applies to properties up to the value of £250,000 until 30 September 2021 before returning to £125,000 on 1 October 2021.
Your client needs to ensure there is sufficient time for their conveyancer to complete all the legal work required to enable their mortgage application to complete before the threshold change.
It is in their own interest to instruct their conveyancer at the earliest opportunity so that they are in the best position to meet this deadline. Please note that any costs incurred for starting the legal process early will need to be met by your client if the case does not progress to completion.
It is important to note that if their application does not complete by the date outlined above, they will be liable to pay any Stamp Duty related to their purchase.
85 (at the end of the mortgage term) –please refer to our Maximum Mortgage Term Guidelines.
Maximum Number of Applicants
£37,500 per application.
Lending to Companies or portfolio landlords is not accepted.
For sole applications – applicant must be a UK citizen.
For joint applications – one of the applicants must be a UK citizen with the other applicant having settled status or permanent right to reside in the UK. The salaried applicant must be the UK citizen and contributing at least 50% of the total earnings in respect of the minimum income requirements.
Maximum Mortgage Term Guidelines
Maximum Mortgage Term Guidelines
If earned income if being used to support mortgage payments, the mortgage must be repaid by the clients retirement date unless pension or savings income can be evidenced.
CCJs & Defaults
CCJ’s/Defaults within the last 3 years are not acceptable.
CCJ’s/Defaults => 3 years prior to application are acceptable up to a maximum £2,500, subject to an explanation and being cleared/satisfied 12 months prior to application.
No other adverse entries must show on credit file.
Mortgage, Loan and HP arrears & missed payments => 3 years prior to application, status 1’s and 2’s are accepted – status 3 or above not accepted.
Mortgage, Loan, HP arrears and missed payments within the last 3 years are not acceptable.
Credit Card, Mail Order, Utility commitments => 3 years prior to application – up to and including status 2’s are acceptable.
Credit Card, Mail Order, Utility <3 years prior to application – Status 2 –ok to proceed subject to the commitment being up to date for a minimum of 12 months prior to application. =<Status 3 are ok subject to commitments totalling less than £500 and being up to date for a minimum of 12 months prior to application.
Applicants’ own deposit or gift from an immediate family member (spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, child or grandchild) is acceptable. Evidence of the source of deposit is required.
Interest Coverage Ratio
Interest Coverage Ratio (ICR) – 125% minimum rental cover based on reference rate of 5.5% or chosen product rate + 2% (whichever is the higher of the two) for UK Basic Rate Tax Payer. Or for Higher Rate Tax Payers 145% at 5.5%.
If there is a rental shortfall and your applicant is paid in a currency which is on our approved currency list, we will take a limited amount of earned income into our affordability assessment.
The rental income must be 115% at 5.5% as an absolute minimum, with the shortfall made up from earned income.
If earned income is being taken into account to support the loan, the mortgage term can only extend beyond the applicant’s retirement age if pension income can be evidenced. Please see our maximum term guidelines for more information.
There are no currency restrictions on Expat BTL applications if the rental income passed the 125% @5.5% or chosen product rate+ 2% (whichever is the higher of the two) for UK Basic Rate Tax Payer. Or for Higher Rate Tax Payers 145% at 5.5%.
For applicants on fixed term contracts of less than 6 months, the minimum period of employment with the same employer is 6 months. For those on contracts of 6 12 months or more the contract must have been renewed at least once. If the contract is for more than 12 months, the applicant must be more than 6 months into the contract.
When calculating income, we use the worst case from the following 2 scenarios:
• The lowest exchange rate over the last 5 years.
• Exchange rate on the date of application less 20%.
• US Dollar
• Canadian Dollar
• Norwegian Krone
• Swiss Franc
• Danish Krone
• Swedish Krona
• Chinese Yuan Renminbi
• Emirati Dirham (United Arab Emirates)
• Saudi Arabian Riyal
• Hong Kong Dollar
• Kuwaiti Dinar
• Singapore Dollar
• Bermudian Dollar (if pegged to the USD)
• Quatari Riyal
• Japanese Yen
• Hong Kong
• Korea (South)
• New Zealand
• Saudi Arabia
Minimum £100,000 product dependent.
Minimum 5 years.
Maximum 35 years.
We will consider remortgage applications where the applicant has been the registered owner for the past 6 months.
Your client can apply for a mortgage on a repayment basis, or an interest only basis. Part and part is not accepted.
BTL’s will be stressed on I/O even if the application is on a repayment basis, providing the applicant appears to have the means to support the higher monthly payment (monthly surplus and a good credit file/evidence maintained a repayment mortgage with their current lender).
Let to Buy
A new residential mortgage can be considered where the applicant wishes to retain their current property on a BTL basis.
We need to be satisfied that the existing mortgage will be converted to a permanent letting arrangement and we require:
Rental coverage of 125% of the mortgage commitment based on 5.5% or chosen product rate+ 2% (whichever is the higher of the two) for UK Basic Rate Tax Payer. Or for Higher Rate Tax Payers 145% at 5.5%.
Anticipated rental income must be confirmed and may be required to be evidenced by a letting agent.
Maximum Number of Properties
A maximum of 3 mortgaged BTL’s can be held across any number of lenders, maximum exposure £1,500,000. We do not accept portfolio landlords, which applies if an applicant holds 4 mortgaged BTL’s
No family members, multiple tenancies, holiday lets, House with Multiple Occupancies, company lets or student lets.
All subject to assured shorthold tenancy agreements. AST requirements; 6 months minimum. Can accept up to 24 months with standard break clause included.
Sale and Leaseback
Minimum Property Value
England and Wales.
Properties must be of traditional construction.
Timber framed properties may be considered if brick clad.
New build houses subject to NHBC/Local Authority Building Control Scheme/Premier/Checkmate (Castle 10)/Buildzone/Zurich/ICW (International Construction Warranties)/AHCI Ltd or Professional Consultants Certificates – maximum 65% LTV.
Purpose built flats/maisonettes are acceptable (new builds not acceptable). Must be up to 60% LTV and leasehold.
Flats/apartments more than 4 storeys –if above 4 storeys, they must be serviced by at least 1 lift. Flats above 6 storeys are not acceptable.
HMOs, self-builds, properties held in Trust, present or former hotels/guest houses/B&B’s, commercial properties (even if applicants intend to convert back to residential).
Studio flats and ex local authority flats/maisonettes.
New build flats.
Flats above commercial property.
Any construction covered by Housing Defect Legislation such as high alumina cement, prefabricate reinforced concrete, large panel system, BISF.
Any property where an EWS1 form for wall cladding is required.
Service Agent Agreement
Service Agent Agreement
A Service Agent Agreement will need to be completed by your client before the expat mortgage is completed. This will confirm the name and address of somebody in the UK who will act as the Service Agent and who the Society can serve papers to should the borrower fall into arrears and possession proceedings need to commence. For more information on what is required, please visit Expat Buy to Let FAQs page.
Reasons for Additional Borrowing
• Home improvements
• Debt consolidation (maximum £30,000)
• Purchase of an investment or second home
Please note evidence would need to be submitted to satisfy the above.