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Leeds overhauls buy-to-let lending approach

Leeds overhauls buy-to-let lending approach

Brokers will now have to submit less information than they currently do for standard buy-to-let (BTL) applications with Leeds Building Society.

The lender has created a dedicated portfolio buy-to-let webpage and a step-by-step guide to submitting buy-to-let business ahead of the Prudential Regulation Authority’s 30 September deadline for portfolio landlord underwriting changes.

It has also given business development managers (BDMs) the same training as underwriters so that they can advise brokers of the likely outcome before a case is submitted.

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A portfolio landlord declaration form has been created to enable brokers and landlords to provide details such as property value, outstanding mortgage balance and gross rental income.

Cashflow information may be required in more complex cases.

Once the information has been received, Leeds will aim to provide a lending decision within 24 hours.

Jaedon Green, Leeds Building Society’s director of product and distribution, said: “Our aim is to make our buy-to-let proposition as straightforward as possible and ensure our service supports brokers and is user-friendly.

“[Lenders] that make it straightforward will see intermediaries want to work with them; those that make it complicated will be difficult to deal with and see business fall away.

“By giving BDMs underwriting training, we should be able to prevent business cases coming to the underwriting team and then hitting problems. If the case is not going to work, the BDM will say there and then.”

Ian Bavey, mortgage and protection adviser at Newport-based Seer Green, said: “It is always good when [lenders] try to simplify things”, but added that he did not think the changes to portfolio underwriting would slow things down for the majority of lenders.

He said: “If they can back the 24-hour claim up, then that is fantastic. Only time will tell whether they can back that up. It is a case of ‘wait and see’.”