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Major lender lowers affordability assessments for buy to let

One of the biggest lenders to the buy to let community, Santander, is to lower its affordability assessments from next Wednesday.

It will use an assessment of 125 per cent rental cover over monthly mortgage payments, and a five per cent affordability rate for buy to let remortgage applications where no increase in borrowing is required.

The bank says this should mean that borrowers already with a buy to let mortgage arranged prior to the new Prudential Regulation Authority guidelines coming into effect - requiring stricter lending criteria - should not be adversely affected if they then remortgage. 

To qualify for the lower affordability assessment applications the property must have been purchased before January 1 this year with no additional lending taken out after this date; the remortgage must have no increase in borrowing, aside from product fees. 

“Some existing buy to let customers may be adversely affected following the new borrowing guidelines which were introduced across the industry earlier this year. Borrowers who have previously demonstrated they can meet affordability requirements may now find themselves restricted when it comes to remortgaging away from their existing lender” says Brad Fordham, managing director of Santander for Intermediaries.


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