Natwest in bid to attract professional landlords

Natwest in bid to attract professional landlords

Natwest Intermediary Solutions will introduce changes to its buy-to-let criteria tomorrow (11 September) aimed at widening its appeal for brokers and their customers.

To date, the lender’s target market was ‘non-professional’ landlords, but it will now be lifting previous restrictions to enable ‘professional’ landlords to apply for its buy-to-let mortgages.

Natwest will now consider applications from customers who derive more than 30 per cent of their income from rental properties, while it has also removed the maximum loan limit of £500,000.

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The new criteria will only apply to new cases that have been submitted from tomorrow onwards, with all other criteria remaining the same.

The rental cover calculation remains at 125 per cent times 5.5 per cent.

Paul Kane, acting head of sales at the intermediary arm, said that over the last 18 months the lender has made various improvements to grow a presence in this sector.

He said: “The introduction of our new criteria means that we can now welcome applications from ‘professional’ landlords, which is something that many brokers have been crying out for.

He pointed out that the buy-to-let market has grown significantly over the last six years, from accounting for 5 per cent of all UK gross lending in 2009 to 15 per cent in 2015 - making it the fastest growing segment of the mortgage market in the UK.

“The changes we are introducing, combined with the recent rate cuts we made across our portfolio, mean we have a really strong proposition for mortgage intermediaries who are serious about this market.”

Earlier in the summer, Natwest Intermediary Solutions updated its criteria to consider buy-to-let mortgage applications where a ‘selective licensing scheme’ is in place where the property is situated.

A selective licensing scheme is where local authorities can choose to implement licensing for landlords in the area to improve the quality of private rented homes and reduce anti-social behaviour.

The lender now considers applications provided there are no issues highlighted by the valuer. It also introduced relatively small rate increases, of between 4 basis points to 12 basis points, on a number of its lower loan-to-value residential deals.