Tag Archives: TMW

Buy to Let Mortgage products and market update – essential reading Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles

Having just updated the Buy to Let mortgage products on our own in house Buy to Let Mortgage sourcing system and calculator I thought I would give you a summary of what’s Hot or Not in the current market.

Virgin Money have been added to the system because of their helpful attitude and criteria which includes:

  • Day one remortgages – So no need to wait 6 months to remortgage for cash purchases, refurbs, Auction purchases etc
  • First Time Buyers
  • Regulated Buy to Let

However Maximum LTV is 70%. Stand out different product is a 5 year fixed at 4.09% with £750 Cash Back and 2.5% product fee (better for smaller loan sizes where looking to fix costs long term is important.

The Mortgage Works (TMW) always been and old favorite of mine going back to 2003 have a selection of 80% LTV products and no income requirement for existing landlords.

Interestingly they have no longer term products currently above an initial 2 year deal. This will either be because they have purchased no long term funds or are uncertain of market direction at the moment. Example products range from:

  • 2.49% two year fixed with 2.5% arrangement fee at 60% LTV (really only a headline grabber) to
  • 4.14% 2 year fixed 2.5% fee at 80% LTV (one of the lower interest rate high LTV products)

BM Solutions were the old industry go to lender until introducing a maximum exposure of 3 mortgages, but still have one of the most comprehensive range of products up to 75% LTV.  They are also often helpful for flats above or adjacent to commercial premises.

  • 3.19% 2 year tracker £1295 fee 60% LTV
  • 3.89% 2 year tracker 0.5% fee 75% LTV
  • 4.34% 3 year fixed 1% fee 75% LTV
  • 4.99% 5 year fixed 1.25% fee 75% LTV

BM Solutions have NO customer service staff so any mortgages or further advances even must be done by a broker.

Kent Reliance are really mostly famous for being THE 85% LTV lender.

However minimum property value £75,000, proof of £25,000 income required stress tested at 192 times monthly rental income.

  • 4.99% 2 year fixed 2.5% fee 85% LTV reversion rate 6.58%
  • 4.89% 2 year discount 2.5% fee 85% LTV reversion rate 6.58%

Aldermore have a good range of 80% LTV products at 4.98% including 2, 3 and 5 year fixed and a varibale rate for the term. They will do day 1 remortgages for properties bought with a bridging loan on a like for like basis and inherited properties.

They will also consider customer with light adverse credit which very few lenders will allow including:

  • 1 or 2 missed mortgage payments over 12 months
  • CCJs and Defaults registered over 3 years ago
  • Missed unsecured credit payments such as credit cards, mobile phone, loans et

Principality have a penalty free no tie in 2 year discount product at 3.39% with only a 1% + £99 fee at 60% LTV.

Also interestingly they will consider Holiday Homes on their BTL range!

Godiva owned by the Coventry building society are the “Does what it says on the tin lender” I liken them to the Yorkshire tea, or a sliced white loaf of a the buy to let product market. Nothing spectacular just a good solid no frills value for money products.

  • 3.49% variable penalty free for the term of the loan, £999 fee max 65% LTV (very good value with flexibility)
  • 3.79% 2 year fixed, £500 fee max 65% LTV
  • 4.74% Standard variable penalty free no fee max 65% LTV

Cost and product wise the market has been reasonably stable with small improvements adding up each month giving a healthier range of options available especially in niche areas such as:

Terms beyond retirement age, Bridge to Let, Remortgages inside 6 months, Ltd company applications, Higher LTV, Lower fees, Light adverse, Holiday let and more.

All of the above products, lenders and many more can be found by using our Buy to Let calculator and quote engine Please Click Here

If you need any assistance with a Buy to Let mortgage you can also:

Email: info@property118.com or

Telephone: 01603 489 1182013


The evolution of the Private Rented Sector – Deed of Assurance Buy to Let News, Cautionary Tales, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Legal, Letting, Lettings & Management, Press, Property Investment Strategies, Property Market News, Property News, The GOOD Landlords Campaign

TMW now agree to three year AST's - Stupidly in my opinionWhy on earth would The Mortgage Works “TMW” agree to three year AST’s?

More to the point, why would landlords and tenants?

It has always been legally possible for landlords to offer AST’s for up to 3 years and indeed in theory for any fixed term though a term longer than 3 years, even by one day, means the agreement must be executed as a Deed and witnessed. However, until now, you would almost certainly be in breach of your buy to let mortgage conditions if you agreed to a tenancy of more than 12 months. TMW have broken the mould by agreeing to allow landlords to offer 3 year AST’s. However, in my opinion they are doing nobody any favours including themselves.

I have read Shelters arguments about offering stable rental contracts and to some extent I can see where they are coming from. However, I think the concept of longer term AST’s are potentially dangerous for landlords, tenants and mortgage lenders. Perhaps the most compelling evidence for this belief is that Shortholds first made their appearance courtesy of The Housing Act 1980 in the guise of Protected Shortholds. These tenancies had to be granted for a minimum 5 year term and came with other restrictions on notice being given and rent increases.

Although an improvement on the then Secure tenancy regime The Protected Shorthold was not popular with Landlords and the lesson was surely learned with the improved terms applying to Assured Shortholds as introduced in the Housing Act 1988 and amended since.

The concept behind 3 year AST’s

three year AST conceptPeople with children in schools and also retired people want more security of tenure but not at the risk of being tied to one property if their circumstances change. What these tenants don’t like is the idea of a landlord having the ability to serve notice on them after just six months regardless of whether they have been model tenants and just got settled or not.  I sympathise with that and I’ve met several people who have been in that exact position. Indeed one of my former employees was forced to move twice in less than 18 months through no fault of her own. She was a model tenant but in one case the landlords decided to move back to their former property and in the other case the landlords decided to sell. My employee had a disabled daughter and it was very important to her to keep her daughter settled in the same school. She had done nothing wrong but had to deal with a lot of stress and worry, not to mention the expense of having to move.

The problems with three year AST’s

If a landlord grants a three year AST there is no ability to gain possession on “no fault” grounds under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 unless there is a break clause that can be operated to shorten the originally stated fixed term. This of course defeats the object of a longer term tenancy, certainly from the tenant’s viewpoint. What this means is that there is absolutely no way to legally evict a tenant during the first three years unless the tenant is in breach of their tenancy agreement as mandatory possession will not be available to the Landlord.

What’s wrong with that? I hear you say.

Well just consider a few “what if” examples:-

  1. What if the landlord falls ill and needs to sell to raise cash?
  2. What if the landlord dies?
  3. What if the landlord goes bankrupt?
  4. What if interest rates go up and the landlord can’t afford to pay the mortgage and needs to sell?
  5. What if the landlord desperately needs to move into the property due to an unforseen change in circumstances, e.g. a marriage breakdown?
  6. What if the landlord get’s divorced?

The list is a very long one already and I could go on. The killer blow for me from a landlords perspective is that if the tenant doesn’t comply with the tenancy agreement the only way to get possession before the end of the fixed term is by mutual agreement with the tenant, or by serving a section 8 notice for the breach. This can be and often is challenged though the serious arrears Ground 8 is a mandatory ground, whereas a section 21 notice cannot be challenged other than on its legal validity and ability to enforce it. The reality though is that possession cases under section 8 can be challenged and dragged through the Courts for several months. That could mean months of no rent or a tenant who abuses a landlords property or occupants of neighbouring properties.

My advice to all landlords is not to offer more than a 6 months AST in most cases, 12 months for some student type accommodation where re-letting part way through the academic year is more difficult.

Why would a lender agree to three year AST’s?

Why would a lender agree to three year AST's?To do so is crazy in my opinion.

I’ve read David Lawrenson’s points of view and whilst I concur that a lender “could” appoint a receiver of rents until it is possible to serve a section 21 notice I just can’t see why lenders would agree to that. Perhaps they are doing it just for a bit of positive PR from the do-gooders and hoping that landlords aren’t stupid enough to actually offer three year AST’s?

The mind boggles!

The bottom line for a mortgage lender is surely the ability to be able to recover their debt as quickly as possible if they need to isn’t it? Agreeing to a three year AST not only devalues their security but it also massively limits their recovery options for up to six times longer than they need to commit to, i.e. 3 years instead of six months.

Is a three year AST really that attractive to tenants either?

What if their circumstances change? Do they really want to be tied into paying their landlord for the full three years? Do they really want their estate to be charged rent for the entire contract period if they die? Committing to a three year tenancy cuts both ways. Most tenants would prefer the flexibility of a tenancy with a Council or a housing association because they are not tied in for a fixed period but do enjoy greater rights of tenure. However, Housing Associations only provide around 50% of the UK rental stock with the other half being provided by the Private Rented Sector.

Deed of Assurance could be a far better alternative

A Deed of Assurance is a relatively simple legal agreement which sits alongside an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement “AST”. It is a separate agreement between landlord and tenant which does not affect the landlords rights to serve notice or to obtain possession, therefore it does not affect the rights of a mortgage lender either. However, it does offer tenants peace of mind.Deed of Assurance

From a tenants point of view, a Deed of Assurance provides far more flexibility than a long term tenancy because they are only tied in for 6 months and can then move on if they need to. What a Deed of Assurance offers in addition to an AST though is peace of mind.

A Deed of Assurance is a document in which a landlord promises to pay an agreed level of compensation to a tenant if possession is obtained within a given time period. I have never had to pay out compensation and because I’m in the business to provide quality tenants with quality accommodation long term I see absolutely no reason why I would ever need to.

The compensation amount offered by the landlord can be anything but obviously the idea is to agree something which is meaningful to both parties. For example, I offer to pay anything between £1,000 and £5,000 compensation if I obtain possession within the agreed period, providing the tenancy conditions have been observed impeccably by the tenant of course.

Similarly, the agreed period can be as long or short as makes sense too. Typically I offer 3 or 5 year terms but I would happily consider a longer period if the circumstances were right. What this means to the tenant is that if I obtain possession within the agreed period I will pay out compensation. This doesn’t stop me serving notice on a model tenant, it just means that if I obtain possession the tenant is compensated for their inconvenience.

But what if the tenant has not complied with the tenancy? Well that’s covered too. If the tenant does not comply the compensation isn’t payable, that’s very carefully worded into the Deed of Assurance by the solicitors who drafted it. Obviously there could be a dispute over whether the tenant had complied with all of the reasonable conditions in the AST and in that case the tenant would have to make a claim against the landlord for the compensation through the Small Claims Courts.

Deed of Assurance is not for everybody – by offering a Deed of Assurance a landlord is agreeing to pay compensation if they obtain possession of a property within a time scale they commit to with their tenant. It doesn’t always make sense for a landlord to make such a commitment but in some circumstances it can pay dividends. If in doubt, take professional advice.

What do others think?

The simplicity of the Deed of Assurance is its strength. Chief Ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith confirmed this by saying “The Deed of Assurance clearly sets out what the tenant can expect from the landlord and vice versa. In a sector where clarity might be lacking, this is a fantastic development”.

What’s the point of offering a Deed of Assurance?

Demand is very high from tenants who want/need greater assurance from their landlord that they are not going to have to move after just six months even if their tenancy has performed impeccably. Whilst a Deed of Assurance doesn’t actually provide tenants with any greater security of tenure, it’s certainly the next best thing. It’s a landlords opportunity to put his money where his mouth is, or perhaps more to the point, it’s a tenants opportunity to ask a landlord to do so when a landlords says words along the lines of “if you comply with your tenancy you can stay here for as long as you want”.

In practice, by providing properties which appeal to the types of tenants who want extra peace of mind in terms of stability they are also prepared to pay for that peace of mind. Many of my properties are typical family homes near to good schools, otherwise they are suburban bungalows which appeal to baby boomers and retired people. When I explain what a Deed of Assurance is to them they love it and often choose my properties over comparable properties for that reason alone. In many cases I’ve had several people bidding against each other to move into one of my properties despite there being plenty of comparable alternatives at lower prices. The reason they are prepared to pay more is for that peace of mind and legally documented assurance.

Conclusion

If you have the right type of properties to attract long term, good quality tenants, don’t stitch yourself or your tenant up with a long term AST or Shelters Stable Rental Contract. Consider the benefits to all concerned of offering a Deed of Assurance instead. Give your tenants the peace of mind they want and an incentive for them to perform to your requirements impeccably. It’s then a true win/win situation. Tenants know that if they perform you will have to pay up if you take possession of your property. On the flip side you may well stand a far better chance of being able to attract the tenants you really want, a premium rent and less voids periods too.

To purchase the Deed of Assurance document template please see below. The price is £97 for unlimited personal use.

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The Mortgage Works reduce BuytoLet rates Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Mortgage News, Property News

TMW BuytoLetIt was announced in the press that The Mortgage Works has today launched a 2.49% 2 year fixed rate, which is correct, but now I have uploaded all their product changes to our BuytoLet mortgage calculator I can see that is not the real story.

More importantly to most BuytoLet investors the products with a higher Loan to Value size have also been significantly reduced. The less you put in the greater your return on capital!

The 2.49% fixed is only a 60% LTV product with quite a high arrangement fee of 2.5%, however for the experienced investor who knows it is better to have cash saved in the bank than tied up in equity you can not reach on a rainy day, there is better news.

Below are examples of the recent product reductions:

2 year fixed        75% LTV     fee £995     WAS 4.49%    NOW 3.89%

2 year fixed        80% LTV     fee 2.5%     WAS 4.69%    NOW 4.14%

2 year tracker    75% LTV    fee £995       WAS 4.29%    NOW 3.79%

If you would like to use our BuytoLet mortgage calculator to work out how much you can borrow on each product and the costs please CLICK HERE

If you would like our preferred mortgage broker to help you decide what is the best BuytoLet mortgage for you and arrange an agreement in principle please fill in your details below.

Contact Howard Reuben

Mortgages, Commercial and Bridging Finance, Life Insurance, Wills, Trusts and LPA's
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Lowest ever BTL interest rates released! Cautionary Tales, Financial Advice, Guest Articles, Guest Columns, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Mortgage News, Property Investment News, Property Investment Strategies, Property Market News, Property News, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

Lowest ever BTL interest rates released!“Lowest ever BTL interest rates released!”

It’s a great headline grabber isn’t it?

Well I actually saw this on another property forum and I thought I ought to respond. Continue reading Lowest ever BTL interest rates released!


Oven Cleaning is one of the biggest issues in a rented property Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

ovenOven cleaning is one of the biggest issues and this article is to help Landlords present this particular item in their property in its best condition for an inventory inspection and help tenants bring an oven back to its initial clean state when leaving the accommodation.

Let’s put it into perspective, the cleanliness of a property makes up 51% of tenancy deposit disputes and some of which can be attributed to people forgetting or missing an item to be cleaned, another is that differing people have differing ideas of what is clean. Let me give you an idea how we all think the same but differently.

Picture a cat in your head,
How big is it?
What is it doing?
What colour is it?

While we have all just seen a cat in our minds eye, some cats will be small, medium, large. It might be sleeping, sitting, jumping around and any colour you want. Nevertheless, it is still a cat. The same is true for cleaning, someone might have actually worked very hard to clean a property but yet it is not you to your high standard. Maybe they just don’t know how to do the task correctly and yes some are just simply too lazy to do it. It is a rare situation that we know which of these statements is true for a given household and it might be a combination of all of these factors.

There is a continuum for the level of cleanliness form: never been cleaned, attempted but still dirty, cleaned to an average household standard up to what we call in the inventory profession “cleaned to a high domestic standard” and “cleaned to a professional standard” the best of course being a professional clean.

Here is a list of key phrases I use when describing the cleanliness of an oven from best to worst:
1. As New
2. Cleaned to a professional standard
3. Cleaned to a high domestic standard
4. Clean to a domestic standard
5. Partly cleaned
6. Needs finished clean
7. Not clean.

I must add that fortunately, most inspection I do I only have to decide if the cooker/oven has been cleaned to a domestic or professional standard.

If you look at the picture below, this is an oven an oven cleaned to a high standard but its condition is excluded from our discussion on cleaning. This is a worn oven and unless you have prior information, to this picture, it is not possible to say if this is through damage or due to age and fair wear and tear.

 

This oven is clean but through age and use, it is marked and even rusted at the sides.

Then we have the oven that is clean to a high domestic standard that is to say it is grease free but there are still baked on marks.

 

You should also watch out for chemical residue, many of the excellent oven cleaning products on the market leave residue marks on surfaces if you don’t wash off the product fully, which technically means the oven is still partially dirty, need a finish clean.

There are several very good cleaning products on the market. But there is one that I prefer to use it gets the job done and is fairly easy to use and normally takes a clean to domestic standard to a professional clean level. It is a strong chemical so you have to be careful and follow the manufactures instructions it is “Oven Pride”. Please note that I don’t have shares in the company and I am not getting any benefit for mentioning this product my motivation for mentioning it is to   help anyone who reads this article in particular Landlords and Tenants.

About the author of this Post

Sydney Lewis A+ Inventories

Syd Lewis has been a private landlord for over 20 years, he is an accredited member of the National Landlords Association (NLA), Residential Landlords Association (RLA), Sponsor of the Good Landlords Campaign, a full member of the Association of Professional Inventory Providers (APIP) and a Certified Electrical Portable Appliance Tester (NIPIT). He is passionate about what he does which is providing residential inventory services, PAT testing and marketing floor plans for Agents, Landlords and Tenants. Inventories start from £56.00 to find out more see:-


The Mortgage Works backs down on benefit tenants ruling Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Major buy to let lender shuns benefits tenantsThe Mortgage Works backs down as the balance of risk has shifted again and The Mortgage Works (TMW) are now committed, once more, to supporting property investors who accept tenants in receipt of housing benefit.

Some may say that TMW (owned by Nationwide, which is owned by its members) has a duty to protect the interests of its members and therefore if Landlords are defaulting on their mortgage payments when they have tenants on benefits then the Nationwide will potentially lose money – and of course this shouldn’t be allowed to continue.

However, after recently announcing that they are changing their criteria to stop buy to let investors letting their properties to tenants in receipt of benefits, there was an immediate and angry outcry from the Private Rental Sector. TMW has listened to their borrowers and have done a complete U-Turn on this criteria issue.

Richard Napier, the group’s mortgage director, has now said that the group had changed its mind, following concerns raised by customers. “The clarification of the terms and conditions, which took place last December, brought The Mortgage Works into line with several other Buy-to-Let lenders,” he said. “This will now be removed.”

Great news – and a huge sigh of relief- for Landlords across the UK who have TMW mortgages and tenants on benefit.

There has been plenty said about the rights, wrongs, risks and morality on this subject, but one underlying issue is that the TMW mortgage holder also has a responsibility to their own business model to make sure that such ‘business interruption’ does not mean profit interruption. Loss of rent, evicting tenants, sourcing and signing up new tenants – all cost money (profit).

Change in the market with products, tenants, lenders and even the economic climate, is always going to happen.

The old worrying adage of ‘all your eggs in one basket’, comes to mind in this issue with many borrowers now realising that the way forward is by spreading their mortgages across a range of lenders which in turn spreads their business risk, and consequently reduces and minimises the risk of loss should any one lender pull the plug or change criteria mid-term. We won’t get started again on the Bank Of Ireland fiasco in this article

So now we’re left with the welcome announcement that TMW have withdrawn the threat of heavy and onerous stipulations re tenants on housing benefit (great news) and, secondly that this has given many people the wake up call to look at their BTL mortgage portfolio with a eye to reduced-risk and exposure to one lender.

If you are concerned please feel free to download our Property Portfolio Review spread sheet and we have arranged for our recommended financial advisers to offer you a free one to one review of your financial position at the same time.

Property Portfolio Review Spreadsheet - FREE download


What is a Deed of Assurance? Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News, The GOOD Landlords Campaign, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

A Deed of Assurance is a legal solution to many problems and trust issues which arise between landlords, letting agents and tenants. Use of a Deed of Assurance can reduce administration, increase goodwill, improve profitability for landlords and letting agents and reduce costs for tenants.

The basic principles are simple, a Deed of Assurance is a legally binding contract between the landlord and tenant which facilitates integrity. The landlord provides a compensation backed promise not to serve notice on the tenant for an agreed period of time providing the tenant complies with all conditions of the tenancy agreement. This serves as an alternative to providing a long term tenancy agreement which may well be in breach of a landlords mortgage conditions.

A Deed of Assurance can also be used as an alternative to renewing a tenancy agreement.

Renewing a tenancy agreement involves re-protecting the tenants deposit. This involves administration and can also involve extra cost if deposit protection is purchased as an alternative to using the custodial Deposit Protection Scheme. Many landlords refuse to renew tenancy agreements due to these costs and also because they feel more able to take possession in the event of a tenant defaulting once the tenancy becomes statutory periodic. This is in conflict to the requirements of tenants and letting agents though. Tenants, want the additional security of knowing they are not going to get a nasty shock of receiving two months notice to find a new home. For letting agents, the tenancy renewal and associated fee income is a vital part of their business model.

Using a Deed of Assurance as an alternative to long term tenancy agreements or tenancy renewals is not only more cost effective for all parties, it also creates good will.

Tenants are likely to be much happier with a Deed of Assurance as they are not tied into a long term contract once their initial tenancy has expired. However, they also have assurance that if they are asked to find a new home at short notice through no fault of their own they will be entitled to compensation.

Landlords, letting agents and tenants are free to negotiate their own terms, the Deed of Assurance template is flexible enough to allow this. The length of the Deed of Assurance period can be any number of months and years and the compensation offered by a landlord for serving notice on a fully compliant tenant can be any multiple of the monthly rent. For example, some landlords may offer a 12 month Deed of Assurance and two months rent as compensation if they do need to take possession of the property back within that period even if a tenant has complied with all condition. Other landlords may negotiate a premium rent in return for providing a much longer term Deed of Assurance and a much higher multiple of rent as compensation. Either way, a reasonable premium can be charged for producing a Deed of Assurance and there is certainly less administration involved than a tenancy renewal and re-protecting a tenants deposit.

A Deed of Assurance provides a landlord with the flexibility to serve notice if he needs to but the terms of the contract clearly demonstrate to a tenant that it is not the landlords intention to serve notice and that compensation will be paid if they are asked to find a new home through no fault of their own.

The Deed of Assurance document also makes it very clear to tenants that if they fail to comply with the terms of their tenancy the landlord can serve notice to evict at any time without the requirement to pay compensation.

The simplicity of the Deed of Assurance is its strength. Chief Ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith confirmed this by saying “The GOOD Landlords Campaign clearly sets out what the tenant can expect from the landlord and vice versa. In a sector where clarity might be lacking, this is a fantastic development”.
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Legal Opinion on the Deed of Assurance

Statutory Compliance – the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989

This simply sets out a list of requirements which must be fulfilled by anybody who wishes to create a valid and enforceable contract for a disposition of an interest in land. If you fail to comply with the requirements you just end up with an attempt to create an interest in land which cannot be enforced. The interest in land that we are concerned with is, of course, the term of years granted to the tenant under an AST. Typically an AST is completed by the production of two identical copies of the tenancy agreement, one of which is signed by or on behalf of the landlord and the other of which is signed by or on behalf of the tenant; however, it is equally possible (but less common) for both copies to be signed by or on behalf of both parties.

Whilst it would be technically possible to modify (by addition) the AST so as to include words equivalent to those contained in the deed of assurance, our legal advisers chose not to recommend this for two separate reasons:

(i) the terms of the assurance are not in fact terms of the AST. The AST is one agreement (which creates an interest in land) while the assurance is a separate collateral agreement which does not create any interest in land. The assurance sets out the landlord’s intention as to the extension of the minimum term provided in the AST and in particular provides for certain consequences that will follow in the event that the intention to extend is frustrated or not performed for some reason.

(ii) the AST is complete and whole and enforceable under the statute because it does not refer (and does not need to refer) to any other document for its terms. The deed of assurance on the other hand does refer to the AST and hence (by virtue of section 2(2)) is deemed to incorporate the AST. Thus (for the avoidance of doubt) the AST is, for the purpose of the statute incorporated in the deed of assurance, although the deed of assurance is not incorporated in the AST.

For those reasons neither the deed of assurance nor the AST would be struck down as unenforceable by reason of the provisions of section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989.

(B) Why utilise two documents instead of one?

This is where the position of the mortgagee comes in. Although there are countless criticisms that one can validly raise against many of the large buy to let mortgage lenders, nevertheless they are to be regarded as a necessary evil. In very many (albeit not all) cases the ability of the landlord to own the property is entirely dependent upon the mortgagee advancing a large part of the purchase price. Typically such mortgagees are imperious and unyielding and often unreasonable in their attitude to the issue of letting so that they (under their terms and conditions, to which the landlord is forced to subscribe whether he likes it or not) will only permit the creation of ASTs with a short primary term, usually six months and almost never more than 12 months. Their justification for that stance is that they will not sanction any arrangement which might hamper or abstract their ability to obtain possession of the property and sell it with vacant possession in the event that the landlord defaults under the mortgage.

Given that the object of our exercise is to provide maximum comfort to the tenant in terms of the prospect of securing an extension in the effective term of the AST (with compensation available if the extension fails) the arrangement must avoid infringing the landlord’s mortgage covenants and the requirements of the mortgagee while still furnishing an enforceable remedy in the event that the tenant does not enjoy the full benefit of the extended term. Although there is some variation from lender to lender, it is in our experience generally the case that if the terms of the deed of assurance were directly incorporated within the AST itself, then the AST would no longer be acceptable to the mortgagee, resulting in a situation in which either consent would be refused or, alternatively, the landlord would all make breaches in mortgage covenants by entering into the (extended) AST. Obviously, we could never advise a landlord to breach mortgage covenants; apart from anything else it would render him liable to immediate adverse action if he were to do so. The reason why the mortgagees would not consent to the extended AST wording is that, if they were to do so, the tenant would or might have a sound argument against the granting of an order for possession and sale in the event that the landlord were to default under the mortgage.

By keeping the terms of the assurance in a separate deed, the possibility of valid objection by the mortgagee is eliminated. The landlord and tenant enter into a separate arrangement (outside the AST although referring to the AST) and the objectives of every party are achieved.

While we are not exactly “worried about lenders”, we cannot ignore them nor the rights and powers which they enjoy.

The problem is that if a mortgagee approves a document which contains an indication that the tenant will or may enjoy an extended term of tenancy, then, whatever protective wording you may put in, it would always be open to the tenant to argue in court (if faced with the prospect of premature eviction by reason of a landlord’s mortgage default) that he entered into the tenancy agreement specifically in reliance on the expectation of that extension, so that the mortgagee who had approved the wording would be unable to recover possession by reason of the rules of estoppel. That problem does not even arise as long as the mortgagee does not consent to nor approve the document which gives rise to the expectation. In other words, however good your wording might be, the “two separate documents” approach is inherently preferable.

(C) Why utilise a deed (as opposed to a simple agreement) for the assurance?

The decision to proceed by way of deed for the assurance was a “belt and braces” election, based on principles of precaution rather than necessity. When we were setting this up we did consider the possibility of having the assurance contained in a simple agreement, not by way of deed. However, it was perceived that in that case there would possibly be some element of risk or prejudice to the tenant. The problem is that it is arguable that a simple agreement not effected by way of deed might perhaps be unenforceable by the tenant. That is because it is not obvious that the tenant provides any “consideration” for the various promises and obligations undertaken by the landlord which form the core of the assurance. In other words, the landlord undertakes responsibilities that go well beyond his responsibilities under the AST while the tenant does not undertake any recognisable responsibilities or obligations beyond those already contained within the AST. In general under contract law a party can only enforce a promise given by another party if the enforcing party has provided some consideration in return for that promise. That rule does not apply where the promise to be enforced is contained within a deed. That is one of the distinctive features which differentiate between a deed on the one hand and a simple written agreement on the other hand.

The use of a deed might be regarded as overkill and unnecessary but it is safer and better for the tenant to have the assurance terms contained within a deed. There is no downside or disadvantage (apart from the modest requirement that signatures be witnessed) from the point of view of either party by employing a deed as the mechanism for the assurance and so that is what our legal advisers recommended.
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UPDATE – 1st July 2013

Also check out this related article and forum discussion – LINK HERE


25 Year fixed rate BuytoLet Mortgage Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Mortgage News, Press, Property Investment News, Property Investment Strategies, Property Market News, Property News

The Manchester Building Society has launched two new 25 year fixed rate BuyToLet mortgage products with a 5.74%  and 5.99% notional rate.

In the years I have been working in this industry and certainly since the popular advent of BuytoLet I have never before seen a 25 year fixed rate BuytoLet mortgage. The longest term I can remember is a 10 year fixed. This is certainly very surprising and confidence boosting considering the current economic climate and I have detailed the full costs and criteria below. Continue reading 25 Year fixed rate BuytoLet Mortgage


Ageism in BuyToLet mortgages? Myths dispelled Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Mortgage News, Property Investment News, Property Investment Strategies, Property News

Chances are that when you reach your 70’s your BuyToLet lender will expect your mortgage to be repaid but is this ageism in BuyToLet mortgages justified and are there any BuyToLet mortgage lenders taking an alternative view?

This is a question that’s been filling my business partners email inbox this morning. Well if you are into or approaching your 70’s I have some very good news for you!

Continue reading Ageism in BuyToLet mortgages? Myths dispelled


When is family not family for BuyToLet mortgage purposes? Buy to Let News, Financial Advice, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property Investment News, Property Investment Strategies, Property News

I received an email today from one of the Financial Advisers we have a close working relationship with. I’ve decided to share it with you on the basis that we know several people invest into BuyToLet properties with a view to letting them to family members.

Good morning

I was asked by one of my clients last week whether he could buy a property to let out and rent it to his niece. That should have been a fairly straightforward question to answer with my knowledge and experience, but I had a niggle at the back of my mind so I thought I would check it out …. and what a mix of answers I got! Continue reading When is family not family for BuyToLet mortgage purposes?


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