The lender has been warning borrowers it could not guarantee completion by the cutoff for some time and has now announced the policy change formally.
Mainstream lenders have been warning brokers and customers about the deadline for several weeks, and today conveyancer trade bodies called for an urgent extension as they warned completions were becoming a ‘lottery’.
In October, participants in a Brightstar video debate suggested mid-January would be the likely point where buy-to-let specialist lenders could no longer guarantee completion before March 31.
HTB commercial director Alex Upton (pictured) said: “We have taken this decision to allow our broker partners to plan ahead with their clients and to manage expectations accordingly.
“We have been saying for some time that we cannot guarantee completion by the end of March 2021, however we feel it is now the right time to take this a step further.”
Upton added that it was not an easy decision.
“Typically, around 25 per cent of deals complete within three months of us receiving an application so from a ‘getting the most amount of assets on the books’ point of view, it would be better for us to keep going,” she continued.
“However, it would be unfair of us to put our brokers and their clients into a completion lottery. We are committed to being fair and transparent.
“Of course, we are still offering our full range of lending options and solutions,” she added.