Fleet Mortgages announces new criteria changes

Fleet Mortgages has announced several new criteria changes which it is to introduce with immediate effect.

The buy-to-let (BTL) specialist lender confirmed that within its property guidelines, the minimum gross external floor area is being reduced from 35 to 30 square metres for studio flats in urban areas.

Where there is a connection between a freeholder and a leaseholder within a property, the lender also revealed it will no longer take a first charge on the freehold, only a legal charge.

Elsewhere, Fleet is changing its exposure limit for developments, conversions and blocks of flats from 20% – or one unit of a block – to a new sliding scale.

The lender will now consider lending in a block of four or less flats up to 100% of that development, and if the block has five or more flats it will lend against two of the flats, or 20%. In a block of 10 flats, Fleet will lend against a maximum of two.

Portfolio landlord borrowers will also no longer be required to provide an asset or liability statement for all applicants owning four or more properties, with Fleet confirming that only the main applicant will be required to provide the statement.

Fleet Mortgages chief commercial officer, Steve Cox, commented: “Once again, we have been listening to our intermediary partners and working to deliver a series of criteria changes that will provide greater levels of flexibility for more of their landlord clients.

“The idea is to allow Fleet to lend on an increasing number of properties, to an increasing number of landlords, and to ensure we are not placing too many obstacles or conditions on risk-worthy borrowers and properties.

“In particular these changes will help open the door, particularly to those who are investing in conversions, flats and blocks, plus it will mean less onerous provision of documents for portfolio landlords. As always, we will keep a close eye on our criteria to ensure it is fit for purpose both now and in the future.”

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