Mortgage brokers are increasingly looking at specialist buy-to-let opportunities to drive their business.
The sectors influencing the market are houses for multiple occupations (HMOs) and the interest from expats viewing the domestic market in the wake of the Brexit vote.
There are specialist lenders for HMOs but major high street lenders are now entering the market. Leeds Building Society is the latest to offer a fixed-rate five year HMO mortgage which may be of interest to landlords in the wake of recent rule changes who have seen the reclassification of their properties.
Meanwhile, for expats, either working or living abroad the low-interest rates in the UK and the solid growth in property prices makes a buy-to-let investment an interesting prospect. A survey by the Halifax showed house prices rising by 2.8% to February 2019 confirming the UK market remains buoyant and attractive to investors.
Brokers are developing products to attract this kind of overseas-based investor and whether you are dipping your toe into the market or trying to develop your portfolio many options are out there in the market.
On the downside, the government’s Right to Rent regulations means that landlords have the responsibility to ensure their tenants are allowed to live in the UK. As an expat landlord, you will also have to deal with inventory issues and unless you are regularly returning to the UK this may be an issue. The Tenant Fees Act which comes into operation in June means tenants cannot be charged for extra services and the provision of inventories is one of these.
New technology means that many problems can be overcome by using property inventory software.
The reduction in circumstances in which tenants will be required to pay fees affects not only landlords but their letting agents, and as an expat owner, this may be an issue So, what are the main benefits of using property inventory software? First of all, an accurate view of the condition of the property can be recorded, provided to the potential tenant and accessed remotely by the landlord. When the lease ends, this electronic file can be accessed and significant change in the condition of the property can be established.
In the current market, lenders are loosening criteria and looking to develop new markets, and for landlords, more finance streams are opening up.