On a more positive note, it has been reassuring to see many lenders enhancing their propositions in an attempt to entice such borrowers off the fence.
Concerted improvements have been made to policy, criteria and service over the first few weeks to 2019. So let’s look at a selection of these.
Popular with portfolio landlords
It has been great to see Zephyr Homeloans enter the buy-to-let arena, and its diverse criteria including houses of multiple occupation (HMO) and multi-unit blocks (MUB) and competitive rates will undoubtedly prove popular with portfolio landlords and investors.
As will its high LTV options up to 80 per cent and the flexibility outlined in its fee structure with flat fee and £0 fee options sitting alongside standard percentage fees.
The Mortgage Works has announced that it is reducing its stress rate policy for like-for-like remortgage applications up to 65% LTV from 4.99% to 4.50%.
All other stress rates remain unchanged.
Underwriter review before fees
Precise Mortgages has moved to widen the availability on its buy-to-let range by reducing the minimum age from 25 to 21.
This is available to personal ownership, limited companies and HMOs, although HMOs exclude first-time buyer landlords.
Vida Homeloans announced an overhaul of its product range, its biggest change since launching into the market in October 2016.
This consists of several criteria improvements to its residential and buy-to-let product ranges, along with service enhancements and pricing reductions.
The lender has introduced a new option called Application Refer which, if triggered, means an underwriter will review the case before the broker has to pay any fees.
Vida will also now let brokers know what mandatory documents are needed to support an application.
Landlords need support
Finally, Teachers Building Society has reduced the income coverage ratio for lower rate taxpayers from 145 per cent to 125 per cent.
At the same time the society has increased the maximum age at the end of the term from 75 to 83 and raised the maximum term of the mortgage from 35 to 40 years.
All these enhancements represent positive moves and let’s hope this trend continues in February as landlords need all the support they can get in the current political and economic climate.