How To Get An Expat Buy To Let Mortgage In The UK

Getting a buy to let mortgage in the UK as an expat can be challenging, but it’s not impossible.

There are specialised lenders who offer mortgages specifically for expats looking to invest in UK property. These mortgages are designed to accommodate the unique circumstances of expats and may have different eligibility criteria compared to regular buy to let mortgages.

For example, your overseas residency, earnings in a foreign currency, a lack of UK credit score, and other criteria that may see you rejected by ‘traditional’ lenders and banks.

In short, working with a specialist expat mortgage broker can greatly increase your chances of securing a loan with favourable terms and rates. We can actually compare the market and negotiate better options on your behalf, and oversee your entire application through to completion.

Expat Buy To Let Mortgage UK

What is an Expat Buy To Let Mortgage?

An expat buy to let mortgage is simply a UK BTL mortgage specifically designed for British expats.

They are provided by specialist lenders, international building societies, and other private banks and providers, and are tailored to the requirements of expats. For example:

  • You don’t need UK residency
  • You don’t need to be earning in pound Sterling
  • You don’t need a UK credit history (although it does help)
  • You can borrow up to 75% for a UK buy to let property (although it varies depending on the lender and your circumstances)
  • And you’ll generally be able to borrow 3.5 to 6 times your income, depending on where you’re earnings are coming from, whether they’re employed or self employed, and the currency, and also the lender you use

Note: Explore interest-only expat mortgages, giving you more flexibility on your cash flow while you’re working overseas.

Case Studies

Eligibility Criteria for Expat Buy to Let Mortgages

When it comes to securing a buy to let mortgage in the UK as an expat, there are certain eligibility criteria that lenders will consider. These criteria may vary from lender to lender, so it’s important to be aware of the factors that could affect your chances of approval.

Some of the common eligibility criteria for expat buy to let mortgages include:

  • Size of the deposit: Most lenders require a minimum deposit of 20% of the property value, but some may ask for a higher deposit depending on the circumstances.
  • Loan-to-value ratio: Lenders will assess the loan-to-value ratio, which is the percentage of the property value that you are borrowing. Generally, a lower loan-to-value ratio is seen as less risky for lenders.
  • Income requirements: Lenders may set minimum income thresholds for expat borrowers to ensure that they have the means to repay the mortgage.
  • Employment status: Some lenders may require proof of employment or self-employment to verify a stable source of income.
  • Credit history: Your credit history will be assessed to determine your creditworthiness as a borrower.

Additionally, many lenders may require expat borrowers to have a valid UK bank account and to meet specific residency requirements. Working with an expat mortgage broker who specializes in buy to let mortgages can help you navigate these eligibility criteria and find a lender who can meet your specific needs.

Deposit Requirements for Expat Buy to Let Mortgages

You’ll generally need at least a 25% deposit for an expat buy to let mortgage in the UK.

Some lenders won’t lend you this much, while others will actually lend more – especially private banks. How much you can borrow will depend on your circumstances, from your income to the property value and country of residence – it’s best to speak to us to find out your exact borrowing potential.

Some lenders may require a higher deposit, especially for expats who are considered higher risk. It’s important to keep in mind that the deposit is just one part of the overall cost of purchasing a property as an expat. You will also need to budget for additional costs such as solicitor fees, stamp duty, and any other associated fees.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that some lenders may have specific requirements when it comes to the source of your deposit. They may only accept deposits that originate from the UK, which means you may need to provide evidence of funds being transferred from a UK bank account.

Buy to Let Mortgage Rates for Expats

When it comes to buy to let mortgage rates for expats in the UK, it’s important to understand that they may be higher compared to regular mortgages. This is primarily due to the perceived higher risk associated with lending to expats. However, it’s important to note that rates can vary depending on several factors.

High street banks can often offer superior rates for expat buy to let mortgages compared to a private bank or specialist lender – however, the difficulty here is getting your application approved. They tend to have very strict lending criteria for expats and instead prefer ‘ordinary’ mortgage applications in bulk. We try to push applications though to high street banks wherever possible if the rate is going to be better, and we’ve successfully done this in numerous, occasions leading to very significant savings for our clients – however, please note that it’s not always possible.

Another key factor is the loan-to-value ratio, which is the percentage of the property’s value that you are borrowing.

Generally, the higher the loan-to-value ratio, the higher the interest rate may be.

Additionally, the length of the mortgage term can also affect the rate, with longer-term mortgages often having slightly higher rates compared to shorter-term options. However, repayments are often lower in comparison, because the loan is stretched out over a longer period. Lastly, different lenders have their own pricing structures, which can lead to variation in rates. It’s very tricky to compare rates in the expat mortgage market – this is where the value of a specialist broker like ourselves comes in.

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting an Expat Buy-to-Let Mortgage

Securing an expat buy-to-let mortgage can be a challenging process, but there are steps you can take to improve your chances of getting approved. Here are some key tips to consider:

1. Gather Your Documentation

One of the first things you can do is gather all the necessary documentation to support your application. This includes proof of employment or self-employment, proof of income, and proof of residency. Having this information ready and organized can help streamline the application process.

Build a Strong Financial Profile

Another important factor is to ensure your financial profile is strong. This includes having a good credit score and a stable source of income. If you still have a UK credit profile – great. UK banks will love this, and you can use it towards your application. If you no longer have a credit history in the UK, it may reduce your lending options but it’s not impossible. Make sure your credit profile in your country of residence is strong.

Lenders will assess your financial stability and may consider your debt-to-income ratio when making a decision. Paying off any outstanding debts and maintaining a healthy credit history can greatly improve your chances of getting approved.

Work with an Expat Mortgage Broker

Working with an expat mortgage broker who specialises in buy-to-let mortgages can be highly beneficial. We have a deep understanding of the expat mortgage market and can connect you with lenders who cater specifically to expat investors. We can also help you present your application in the best possible light, increasing your chances of approval.

Prepare a Strong Application

Finally, it’s important to prepare a strong application that highlights your suitability as a borrower. This includes demonstrating your understanding of the UK property market, providing details of your investment strategy, and outlining your plans for managing the rental property. You should also be prepared to provide additional information or answer any questions that the lender may have.

Key TipsBenefits
Gather your documentation– Streamline the application process
– Present a well-prepared application
Build a strong financial profile– Improve your creditworthiness
– Demonstrate financial stability
Work with an expat mortgage broker– Access specialized lenders
– Increase chances of approval
Prepare a strong application– Highlight your suitability as a borrower
– Demonstrate your understanding and plans

Other factors to consider when applying for an expat buy to let mortgage

When applying for an expat buy to let mortgage in the UK, there are several other factors that you need to consider. Let’s take a closer look at them:

1. Financial Goals and Objectives

Before applying for an expat buy to let mortgage, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your financial goals and objectives. Consider factors such as the potential return on investment, your long-term plans for the property, and your overall investment strategy.

2. Rental Market and Potential Rental Income

When investing in a buy to let property, it’s essential to carefully evaluate the rental market and estimate the potential rental income. Research the demand for rental properties in the area you’re interested in, and analyse rental prices to determine if they can generate sufficient income to cover your mortgage repayments and other associated costs.

3. Additional Costs of Property Ownership

Aside from the mortgage repayments, there are additional costs associated with owning a property that you need to consider. These costs may include property maintenance, insurance, property management fees, and taxes. It’s important to factor in these expenses to assess the overall affordability of the investment and ensure that it aligns with your financial capabilities.

FAQs

Can I get a buy-to-let mortgage in UK if I live abroad?

Yes, you can. This is known as an expat buy to let mortgage. Your lending options are generally reduced compared to being a UK resident, but it’s still very possible.

Which UK banks offer expat buy-to-let mortgages?

HSBC, Santander, and Skipton BS are among the UK banks that offer expat buy to let mortgages. Here is a full list of UK banks that offer expat mortgages.

Are expat mortgages more expensive?

Yes, expat mortgages are generally more expensive than UK resident mortgages. The interest rate may be slightly higher, and the fees may be slightly more. This is just due to the complexity of the application and the risks involved from the lender’s perspective. However, costs are still competitive, especially if you use an expat mortgage broker like ourselves – we can compare rates across the market to get you the best deal.

How UK Expat Mortgage Can Help

Our Service

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Specialist Expat Mortgage Broker

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Independent, Whole of Market Advice

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Dedicated Support From Expat Specialists

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Complex Income Accepted

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Residential & Buy to Let Options

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Access to High Street Banks, International Building Societies & Specialist Lenders

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We Compare The Market For Every Client

How It Works

Consultation

Book a free call with one of our expat mortgage brokers so we can explore your borrowing potential. We’ll need to know where you’re based, your income situation, and your property aspirations.

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Compare

If you’re eligible, we will compare options from multiple expat lenders, from high street banks to international building societies, to find the best fit for your situation. We are whole of market and fully independent.

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Agreement In Principle

When we’ve found the best terms for you, we’ll present you with your options and provide your Agreement in Principle to solidify your buying position.

Application

We’ll submit your full mortgage application. We do the heavy lifting, keeping it as simple and stress-free for you as we possibly can – and we’ll keep you updated every step of the way.

Completion

Enjoy your new UK property, with the peace of mind that you got the best deal on the market for your mortgage.

Residential Expat Mortgages

​ Borrow from £100k

 Up to 80% LTV

 New purchases and refinancing

Complex income accepted

Buy to Let Expat Mortgages

Borrow from £100k

Up to 75% LTV

New BTL purchases and refinancing

Rental income and salary accepted

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