Help with Consent to Let after whirlwind romance

by Readers Question

10 months ago

Help with Consent to Let after whirlwind romance

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Help with Consent to Let after whirlwind romance

USAThanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to offer advice on this!.

I have a rather unusual situation. At the beginning of October I completed on my first property and now have a residential mortgage with the Woolwich.

Fast Forward just over 3 months later and Ive fallen in love and married someone in America.
I am now ‘trapped’ here waiting at least 7 months for the paperwork to come through for my Green Card.

This was never planned, but now I’m going to live in the States and have rented out my flat.
At the time I knew nothing about this. I just rented it to be able to cover my mortgage payments. Which the rent almost does.

Now however, I understand that if I rent it I will technically be in breach of contract with the Woolwich.

So my question to you guys is, whats the best way to handle this? Should I apply for consent to let?
Ive only had the residential mortgage for 3 months so I definitely don’t fulfill that criteria. But without the rent from the property there’s no way I’ll be able to cover the monthly payments.

Or should I remain schtum. This is not a money making exercise, this is pure survival.
How would the mortgage company find out that I was not living there? And how likely is it that they will check?

In short, what’s the best way to deal with this rather unexpected situation?

Thanks everyone

D

Comments

Neil Patterson

10 months ago

Congratulations D 🙂

As a Director of Property118 I can only tell you what you should do, which is to inform the lender or you are breaking your mortgage contract.

If you have not borrowed more than 75% LTV the Woolwich have BTL products they could place you on, which is by no means a disaster.

Jim Duggan

10 months ago

Thanks Neil. I had to create a new username to comment.

I borrowed 85%, standard residential mortgage.
So not sure I can easily switch to BTL.

Also my advisor said:

I hope you are well! You can switch your mortgage to a buy to let any time, but as long as you live in US it will need to be with an off shore lender.

Is this the case?

Finally, so long as I keep up repayments on my mortgage, is there any reason why the bank would find out? Im not trying to make money out of this, Ive simply been thrust into this awkward situation and I now need to make my repayments.

Cheers

Neil Patterson

10 months ago

A Lender reserves the right to do a credit check and voters role search at their discretion, therefore it is possible to be caught out and then you may be blacklisted on the Hunter match for all other lenders. I stress only possible but the only answer I can give is that you have a contract with the lender that you are now breaking.

I forgot to factor in you are living in the USA so yes this could be tricky unless the lender gives you temporary consent for a year or two to sort this out. Worst case scenario you may have to sell.

John Constant

10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jim Duggan" at "19/01/2017 - 18:55":

Let's look at this from the lender's viewpoint. They are presented with a "Fait Accomplis" - you have bought a property just 3 months ago, and;

1) you're not living at the property despite still having at least 7 months left in the UK because you have already let the property out.
2) you're going to live in the States and are now asking for Consent to Let.

If I worked for the Woolwich and this appeared across my desk, I would think that it looked like you had bought this property with a plan to get a foot on the UK property ladder, and perhaps as a bolt-hole back in the UK, just in case the personal side didn't work out in the US.

I have never worked for a lender, so I can't say what their attitude would be. Call me on un-romantic old cynic if you must, but I would think this would be their thinking. I doubt that CTL would be granted in these circumstances.

Hercules Botha

10 months ago

Congratulations D. I agree with Neil. It is very black and white to a lender. You are in breach of your contract. One of my client who own a number of properties had the lender go round their rental properties and do spot checks. She had no issues as she has always done everything correctly.

Getting your mortgage switch to a buy to let now will be expensive. You'll have a penalty to pay to come out of your deal early. And most ex-pat BTL's I have done require lots of equity in the property.

Get the permission to let. Renew as you need to. Most lenders are understanding of this as long as you are upfront with them. It will cost far more than permission to let if they found out and started making waves. Also, you don't need that stress for the sake of a £100-£300, you'll be all the way in America.

John Constant

10 months ago

Switching to an Ex-Pat BTL is unlikely. There is only one lender I know of who will do a BTL at 85%, and that would be for experienced borrowers, living in this country, not as an Ex-Pat.

Chris Clare

10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by "Hercules Botha" at "20/01/2017 - 09:10":

I agree I think the America element is not really worth volunteering unless specifically pushed for it. But be ready with a UK postal address because they will ask you for one so they can correspond family is best but good friends will do.

As for will they find out, I would say there is a high chance, I have known the post office send stuff back to the borrower because they did not recognise the addressee not to mention the daft tenants sending stuff back not known at this address so there are a multitude of ways this can unravel, be honest it is always the best policy.

Finally take this one thought with you if you get caught they will consider it fraud and add you to the CIFAS register which will mean you will struggle to borrow in the UK again. In addition more and more countries are doing cross boarder checks so there is also a chance that any lenders in the US will be able to contact your lender and check CIFAS here for their due diligence which will also place the cat squarely in amongst the pigeons.

Adrian Jones

10 months ago

Be honest, tell the truth and see what their reaction is.

At the same time check with a broker as to what products are available, no need to mention to (probably) moving to the US.

By the way have you notified your insurance company, this is very important.

John Constant

10 months ago

Chris, Adrian,
you CANNOT, not mention that a move to USA is going to happen. This is breaking the T&C of the lender in just the same way. You know it is going to happen, that's why you are asking for CTL in the first place.

Adrian Jones

10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by "John Constant" at "20/01/2017 - 09:40":

Sorry John, you misunderstand. As I said, be honest with the lender but no need to volunteer (unless asked) when asking a broker to look at other products available.

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