A new tool for advisers is promising help for those searching for mortgages for portfolio landlords, following the introduction of tough new rules.
The Criteria Hub, which launches next month, includes a new search option allowing brokers to see lenders’ positioning along with detail and a clear definition of which properties are acceptable.
Jason Hegarty, director of Criteria Hub said brokers were experiencing particular difficulties because lenders use different definitions of what constitutes a portfolio of properties, and therefore when customers must go through more stringent checks.
He said: "The [Prudential Regulation Authority] defines a portfolio landlord as being one who has four or more mortgaged BTL properties, but different lenders interpret this according to their own rules.
"Up to now detailed definitions from lenders have been rather limited and understandably brokers get frustrated when they find that the lender they have picked does not count properties owned by companies or ones that are holiday lets, for example."
Since September last year, lenders have had to to evaluate the viability of all mortgages and properties in a landlord’s portfolio when they apply for a new loan. These new underwriting guidelines for portfolio landlords have made it difficult for some people to get mortgages.
Mike Richards, mortgage broker from Mortgage Concepts Associates in London, said the new rules were making it difficult for would-be portfolio landlords.
He said: "Some people are even being put off buying more properties, which is really difficult if buy-to-let was a retirement strategy for them that was decided a decade ago or more. This is going to cause a lot of grief if something isn’t changed."
He said that it would be much more sensible for all lenders to have the same criteria when it came to what constituted a portfolio landlord.