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Suffolk BS amends expat and buy-to-let criteria

  • 20/02/2023
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Suffolk BS amends expat and buy-to-let criteria
Suffolk Building Society has changed its criteria around expat and buy-to-let lending to help brokers place more “complex cases” for landlord and expat customers.

On the expat side, the mutual said that it will now accept applications from first-time buyer expat landlords who are working and living abroad and who have not owned a rental property in the UK previously.

It will also not require returning expats to spend a set amount of time in the UK before applying to a mortgage.

The building society said that it was common for lenders to require up to two years residency, but this change would permit expats to apply as soon as they return.

The change applies to employed and retired applicants.

Non-UK nationals are now eligible for a joint application where the other applicant is a UK national. This will allow the non-UK partner to be named on the mortgage.

Brokers should be mindful that affordability in this instance will be based on the UK national’s applicant’s income and will have to meet the relevant criteria.

On the buy-to-let side, the mutual will accept first-time buyer buy-to-let properties in England and Wales.

Full buy-to-let criteria will be applied, which includes interest coverage ratio and minimum income, along with a background affordability assessment.

Landlords wanting to purchase or remortgage their residential property will be considered regardless of how many buy-to-let properties they have in the background. This is as long as the buy-to-let portfolio is self-financing.

The mutual previously had a limit of 10 buy-to-let properties in the background.


Suffolk: ‘Supporting those who need a specialist lender’

Charlotte Grimshaw, head of intermediary relations at Suffolk Building Society, said: “We know our niches extremely well and have a very good understanding of the issues facing brokers in these markets at the moment.

“It matters to us that we’re there to support those whose circumstances means they need a specialist lender on their side – particularly as everyone faces the uncertainty of the current economic climate.”

On Friday, Mortgage Solutions reported that Suffolk had posted mortgage completions of £165m in the year to November 2022, a minor dip on £168m during the same period the year before.

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