What is the Buy-to-Let Mortgage Criteria?

Buy-to-Let Mortgage Criteria

Are you wondering the what criteria for buy to let mortgage is? If you require extra funds to secure a buy to let property investment, you will need a buy-to-let mortgage rather than a standard residential mortgage.

Here at North East Property Investment, a common question we get asked is ‘can I get a buy-to-let mortgage if I don’t own my own home’? And the answer is it can be more challenging, but certainly not impossible.

Getting a buy to let mortgage is not that dissimilar to an ordinary mortgage, but there are some key differences:

  • A deposit for buy to let can be between 20-40% of the property’s value
  • Fees are usually higher
  • The majority are not regulated by the FSA (Financial Services Authority)
  • They usually have higher interest rates
  • Most are interest only, but can also be available on a repayment basis

Buy to let mortgage requirements vary depending on the specific lender. However, there are some general lending criteria for buy to let that form part of the eligibility assessment. Essentially, anyone who meets a BTL lender’s affordability and eligibility requirements can qualify for a BTL mortgage and this is usually easier for established landlords compared to first time ones.


Part of the assessment will include the country in which you reside. It has become increasingly difficult for British Expats to secure a BTL mortgage as the number of lenders that offer expat mortgages are limited. Therefore, you will have more choice if you reside in the UK.

Borrower Age

Whilst there are a very small number of lenders with no age restrictions, most consider age as a factor as part of their eligibility assessment. There are some who refuse to deal with borrows under 25 and there can also be restrictions on applications where the borrower is over 75.

Income and Affordability 

Lenders tend to have a minimum income requirement for buy to let mortgages. This is usually £25,000, particularly in the case of a first-time landlord and proof of income will be required. However, some will accept lower or no income requirements.

When there are no income requirements, the assessment will be based on the property’s rental potential. Lenders use ICRs (Interest Cover Ratios) to calculate how much profit a landlord is likely to make.

Essentially, as with any mortgage, you simply need to prove that you can cover mortgage payments.

Credit Score

Your credit history will need to be assessed. Having a poor credit score, or indeed no credit history at all will require support from a specialist lender.

Deposit Criteria 

Compared to a residential mortgage, you can expect the buy to let minimum deposit to be higher. This is typically between 25% and 40%. Much like standard residential mortgages, the larger the deposit is, the better the rate.

Property Use 

Again, varying across the lender spectrum, property usage can be a factor to be considered. Landlords looking to offer single assured short-term tenancies will be less likely to require a specialist lender than those offering holiday lets or multiple occupancy.

Mortgage Requirements UK

In the UK, buy-to-let mortgage requirements typically include:

Deposit: A larger deposit, often 25-40% of the property's value.
Rental Income: Expected rental income must cover a certain percentage (e.g., 125-145%) of mortgage repayments.
Affordability: Lenders assess personal income and financial situation to ensure affordability.
Credit History: A good credit history is usually required.
Property Type: Some lenders may have restrictions on property types.
Landlord Experience: Experience may impact the flexibility of mortgage requirements.
Age Restrictions: Some lenders may have age restrictions on borrowers.
Fees and Costs: Consider arrangement fees, valuation fees, and legal fees.
Regulatory Changes: Stay updated on any changes in regulations that may affect buy-to-let mortgages.

Eligibility for a buy-to-let mortgage in the UK depends on various factors, and lenders may have different criteria.

Property Portfolio 

For seasoned landlords with large portfolios, securing a Buy-to-Let (BTL) mortgage can present additional challenges. Depending on the lender, there may be restrictions on the maximum number of properties allowed in your portfolio, often capped at around 10.

With the stricter rules implemented by the Bank of England's Prudential Regulation Authority (BoE's PRA), applying for finance as a portfolio landlord now requires providing detailed cash flow projections and business models for each property. This is particularly important for understanding mortgage interest and ensuring the affordability of mortgage repayments. If your property portfolio is already heavily mortgaged, obtaining additional funds can be a challenging process.

At North East Property Investment, we understand the complexities of the BTL mortgage landscape. We collaborate closely with intermediaries such as mortgage advisors, accountants, and solicitors to tailor a personalized solution that addresses your specific needs. This includes assessing the amount you can borrow based on your rental properties, considering the mortgage term, and navigating the expertise of a mortgage broker to optimize your financial strategy.

Contact Us

North East Property Investment Ltd
11 Riverside Studios
Amethyst Rd
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear

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