New Mortgage Rules for Portfolio Landlords


New Mortgage Rules for Portfolio Landlords

Phase 1 of the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) changes to buy-to-let mortgage lending were introduced in January 2017. They introduced stricter affordability tests, including a stress test on interest rate rises for buy-to-let landlords. Now, the industry is preparing for Phase 2 which is targeting new rules for Portfolio Landlords. (Portfolio landlords are those with four or more mortgaged buy-to-let properties.) This new stress testing is based on PRA findings showing that arrears rates increase as portfolio size grows.

A Guide to the PRA’s Portfolio Landlord Underwriting Changes

The new rules for Portfolio Landlords require changes to the way buy-to-let mortgage applications are underwritten for Portfolio Landlords. From 30th September, any borrower who falls into the portfolio landlord category will be required to pass specialist affordability checks.

The PRA has not specified requirements, but rather has outlined that lenders should take into consideration a landlord’s experience and also record their full portfolio, rental income and outstanding mortgages, in addition to assets and liabilities. They should also take account of the merits of any new lending in accordance with the landlord’s business plan, along with historical and future expected cash flow.

How will the new rules for Portfolio Landlords affect you?
If you are a portfolio landlord then from 30th September, lenders will need to ensure that you are not over-exposed and, as such, will stress your background portfolio – they will take your entire buy-to-let property portfolio into account when making a lending decision. Although not all lenders have outlined how they will apply the guidelines, you can expect them to assess the following:

  • Your property investment experience
  • The total amount of mortgage borrowing you have across your whole portfolio
  • Your assets and liabilities, including tax liability
  • The merits of any new lending in the context of your existing buy-to-let portfolio, along with your business plan
  • Historical and future expected cash flow from your portfolio
  • Your income, both from property and elsewhere

You should be prepared to be asked for your up-to-date property portfolio spreadsheet, a business plan, cash flow forecasts, your last three months’ bank statements, submitted tax returns, and possibly income and expenditure statements for your portfolio.

How you can prepare for these new rules for Portfolio Landlords

If you already have four or more mortgaged buy-to-let properties and you plan to take out a mortgage for another buy-to-let property you should be ready for the additional tests. To be in the best position, you should get the aforementioned paperwork in order and ready for the application process. As ever, it’s important to keep your property portfolio spreadsheet up to date. But, when re-mortgaging or making that next purchase a) expect to be asked for far more supporting paperwork & b) accept that the application process is going to take longer than normal, whatever normal is now! If you are looking to review your portfolio or add to it then give ZING a call & find out exactly what the new landscape looks like.


This article was kindly contributed to Pace Plc by Paul Flavin, of Zing Money. It is Paul’s belief that good financial advice should be available to everyone & that by simplifying the mortgage process you are able to make an informed choice through greater understanding.

Paul places great emphasis on customer service & always seeks feedback on how to best improve this area. “Making a house purchase or remortgage as painless an experience as possible for you is my objective”.

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