Short-term holiday lets:
Mortgage brokers are being warned that they could be struck off lending panels if they are complicit in providing buy-to-let loans on properties that are being used for holiday lets.
Following recent changes to landlord taxation, there has been a surge in lettings through the holiday let rental market using websites like Airbnb and Gumtree.
The fall in the pound post the Brexit vote is persuading thousands of Britons and foreign visitors to seek short-stay accommodation in the UK. This means that thousands of buy-to-let landlords have been taking advantage of the demand. Research shows that short stay holiday properties can generate double the annual income of a typical residential buy-to-let.
Another incentive for landlords to do holiday lets is it avoid the new tax rules on mortgage interest relief – purchasing a holiday let in an individual’s name can still get full tax relief on mortgage interest.
Most lenders do not allow buy-to-let properties to be used for holiday lets because holiday let mortgages follow a different criteria. They require a change of use and re-financing, and an assured shorthold tenancy is not appropriate. In addition, landlords may fall foul of their lease conditions where the property is on a long lease.
Andy Elley, head of commercial mortgages at Mortgages for Business, told FTadvisor:
“A number of landlords had been caught out breaching their mortgage terms by using their properties as holiday lets.
“Often, the lender finds out because there has been noise complaint or they’ve checked the holiday letting sites such as AirBNB and Trip Advisor and discovered the property is listed.”
Advisers are being told to make sure that landlords are provided with clear guidance about the terms of a buy-to-let mortgage when they take one out. Otherwise the broker risks being a party to fraud.
A spokesperson for the TSB told FTAdviser:
“We expect the brokers on our panel to behave professionally and with integrity. Knowingly making false representation of an application undermines this and would risk ejection from our panel.”