Steve Cox

Fleet Mortgages enhances BTL lending criteria

Fleet Mortgages has updated its criteria with a focus on a number of key BTL areas, effective immediately.

Where there is a connection between a freeholder and a leaseholder within a property, Fleet will no longer take a first charge on the freehold, only a legal charge.

Within its property guidelines, the lender has reduced the minimum gross external floor area from 35 to 30 square metres for studio flats in urban areas.

Fleet is also changing its exposure limit for developments, conversions or blocks of flats from 20% (or one unit) of a block to a new sliding scale. 

The business will now consider lending in a block of four or less flats up to 100% of that development.

If the block has five or more flats, it will lend against two of the units (or 20% of the scheme).

Fleet will look at exceptions to this, on an individual basis, subject to a positive valuation report, with each exception referred to its funder for approval.

In addition, portfolio landlord borrowers will no longer be required to provide an asset or liability statement for all applicants owning four or more properties — only the main applicant will be required to provide the statement.

Steve Cox, chief commercial officer at Fleet (pictured above), said: “Once again, we have been listening to our intermediary partners and working to deliver a series of criteria changes that will provide greater levels of flexibility for more of their landlord clients. 

“The idea is to allow Fleet to lend on an increasing number of properties to an increasing number of landlords, and to ensure we are not placing too many obstacles or conditions on risk-worthy borrowers and properties. 

“These changes will help open the door, particularly to those who are investing in conversions, flats and blocks, plus it will mean less onerous provision of documents for portfolio landlords. 

“As always, we will keep a close eye on our criteria to ensure it is fit for purpose both now and in the future.”

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