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Changing Your Mortgage to Buy to Let

The expert guide to changing a residential mortgage to a buy to let loan and the best way to refinance a property when you decide to turn it into a rental investment asset.

Almas Uddin
Almas Uddin

Founder and Mortgage Advisor

Almas Uddin2024-06-14
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Should You Choose A Buy To Let Mortgage?

Discover all you need to know about changing a residential mortgage to a buy-to-let mortgage, the typical buy-to-let mortgage UK rates you might expect to pay, and some of the options if you’re looking to refinance a mortgage to turn a home into a rental asset.

Switching to Buy-to-Let Mortgage Products

There are many reasons you may be looking at buy-to-let mortgage comparison examples to find out whether changing mortgage to buy to let is possible. For instance, you might be moving home and want to keep your existing property to let out or wish to remortgage an existing rental property onto a more competitive deal.

In this guide, the Revolution Finance Brokers team runs through all of the important factors to bear in mind, from understanding the limitations of a buy-to-let mortgage calculator online and getting to grips with the requirements a lender might impose before agreeing to you switching to buy-to-let mortgage alternatives.

As with any long-term financial decisions, we’d recommend seeking professional advice to ensure you have a comprehensive buy-to-let mortgage comparison around changing mortgage to buy to let and pick the deals and lenders best suited to your needs.

For more tailored guidance specific to your circumstances, please get in touch via email at [email protected] or give us a call at 0330 304 3040.

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The first step of changing your mortgage to buy to let, if you have any queries, is to contact your current lender to determine how the terms linked to your existing mortgage will impact your changing mortgage to buy to let decision-making. For example, if you are in a fixed-term residential mortgage deal and would incur a significant early repayment charge, this cost should be included in your buy-to-let mortgage comparison.

Factors to Consider When Switching to Buy-to-Let Mortgage Products

Homeowners with a current residential mortgage may have several options if they'd like to consider changing mortgage to buy to let, but the correct routes will depend on the property type, the existing mortgage product the terms and conditions attached, and their financial position.

Moving to Rented Accommodation and Switching to Buy-to-Let Mortgage on Your Existing Home

One of the potential scenarios is that a homeowner decides to move into a rented property and look at buy-to-let mortgage UK rates to refinance their previous home. That might be because the property isn't large enough to accommodate a growing family or because they'd like to move to a different area but would prefer to keep the property rather than sell it – meaning changing mortgage to buy to let.

This scenario can be complex because some lenders will be less likely to agree to switching to buy-to-let mortgage agreements, given the elevated risk associated with a BTL. In short, a homeowner who lives in a residence is less likely to default since this puts their home at risk and buy-to-lets can be perceived as a higher risk with the possibility that vacancies or tenant non-payments impact the landlord's ability to keep pace with their mortgage.

Another element is that lenders need to assess the potential for fraud, where a homeowner states that they want to look at a buy-to-let mortgage calculator to remortgage a residential home loan for changing mortgage to buy to let but intend to remain living in the property.

Rental Income and Buy-to-Let Mortgage Comparisons

For any lender to consider a request involving changing mortgage to buy to let financing, they will need to assess the projected rental income. Buy-to-let mortgage UK rates tend to be somewhat higher than the interest you'd expect to pay on a residential mortgage, so it is essential you have rental income forecasts to help a lender evaluate the application and ensure the rent will comfortably cover the mortgage.

In most cases, a lender will need to see an anticipated rental income of at least 125% of the BTL mortgage payments and sometimes up to 140% of the monthly repayment cost to agree to changing mortgage to buy to let.

To further complicate your buy-to-let mortgage comparison, it's also well worth researching the market with support from an experienced buy-to-let mortgage broker. The BTL mortgage market changes continually with new products introduced, so remaining with your current lender – presuming they consent to switching to buy-to-let mortgage financing – may not always be the most cost-effective move when changing mortgage to buy to let.

Buying a New Property and Switching to Buy-to-Let Mortgage Financing on the Existing Home

A more common changing mortgage to buy to let scenario is where a homeowner buys a new home to live in and wants to keep their previous property as a rental asset and needs to look at buy-to-let mortgage UK rates to see if this option is affordable.

There are many reasons a homeowner might opt to keep their previous home, changing mortgage to buy to let, such as:

  • Wanting to retain the property as a long-term investment asset, particularly where rental profits and capital appreciation are likely to be more attractive than selling the property and earning interest on the proceeds.
  • Keeping hold of a home or your buy to let investment that has sentimental value or that is in a premium area and likely to attract excellent rental returns.
  • Reluctance to list a property for sale during a sluggish housing market and wanting to rent it out until average property prices are more appealing.

Changing mortgage to buy to let financing is often possible, but there are two potential routes. One is to request consent to let from the current lender, and the other is remortgaging on a let-to-buy mortgage deal.

Comparing Buy-to-Let Mortgage UK Rates for Let-to-Buy

Let-to-buy means that the owner lives in another residence but rents out the property, using the rental proceeds to cover the costs of the buy-to-let product, effectively letting out the home to purchase it.

Remortgaging your current residential mortgage deal is sometimes the easiest way of switching to buy-to-let mortgage financing. You can also remortgage for more than the existing debt – if you have sufficient equity in the property – to raise the funds to put down a deposit on your new home.

As always, a mortgage lender will need to evaluate the risk profile, affordability and eligibility associated with your changing mortgage to buy to let application. For example, if there is likely to be a vacant period between the date you move out and when your first tenant moves in, a lender might ask how you will cover the BTL mortgage repayments in the interim.

Lenders may be more likely to approve changing mortgage to buy to let applications from owners with previous experience as a professional landlord or who can offer additional security to mitigate the lender's risk.

The other option we mentioned is consent to let – this is as it sounds. The lender offers permission for you, as a borrower, to let out the property without requiring you to look at changing mortgage to buy to let financing.

If the lender is open to this agreement, it can make the changing mortgage to buy to let process more streamlined, although much depends on the policies of the lender since some will routinely consider consent to let applications, whereas others cannot.

However, there are caveats to be aware of. Can I change my mortgage to buy to let without paying higher interest? A buy-to-let mortgage comparison will show that BTL interest rates are higher than residential property mortgages, so staying with your current lender through a consent-to-let agreement can seem a great solution. The issue may be that other lenders will need to factor in this debt when considering applications for mortgage financing to buy your new home.

Although some lenders will be comfortable lending to borrowers with up to two properties and mortgages, this isn't always the case. It can be advisable to apply to specialist lenders with more flexible attitudes to applicants with multiple homes and buy to let mortgages, although they will still need to see proof of affordability before agreeing to change the mortgage to buy-to-let.

Renting Out a Property Without Switching to Buy-to-Let Mortgage Financing

It isn't necessarily illegal to rent a buy to let property without having a buy-to-let mortgage, but this would often be a direct breach of your residential mortgages terms. Breaching your contract could put you in a very difficult position indeed and is strongly dissuaded.

For example, if you rent a home without consulting your current mortgage lender, requesting consent to let, or changing mortgage to buy to let financing, the lender could demand immediate mortgage repayments in full or begin repossession proceedings in the most serious situations.

Before making any decisions, we'd suggest undertaking a full buy-to-let mortgage comparison, looking at the deals and products available, and speaking with the Revolution team for independent guidance about the options that are best suited to your objectives.

If you have become an 'accidental landlord', it remains equally essential to seek advice immediately rather than risking any issues with your residential mortgage lender or ignoring the importance of changing mortgage to buy to let.

Switching to Buy-to-Let Mortgage Financing Through a Remortgage

Can I change my mortgage to buy to let through a remortgage or get bad credit mortgages options? Homeowners looking to change a residential mortgage to a buy-to-let can sometimes remortgage, applying for a replacement BTL mortgage to refinance their original home loan. This option can be possible but depends on the specifics of your current mortgage.

Every lender varies, but the general rule is that you may find changing mortgage to buy to let difficult if you are within the first six to 12 months of your current mortgage agreement. Mortgages with a high Loan to Value ratio – i.e. covering up to 85% or more of the property purchase value – may also be trickier to remortgage early on since you may not have built up sufficient equity to qualify for some BTL mortgage products.

Alongside higher buy-to-let mortgage UK rates, you'll often need a deposit of at least 25% or equity of at least a similar value. There are also additional costs, such as stamp duty, to consider. What's important is to always consider other types of mortgage options like a fixed rate mortgage, a higher interest coverage ratio solutions that can essentially be a better mortgage deal suggested by your mortgage advisor.

Support From the Expert Buy-to-Let Mortgage Comparison Brokers

In any of the scenarios we have looked at here, the best starting point when changing mortgage to buy to let is to get in touch to work through all of the factors that will influence the solutions that are most appropriate for your needs. As expert BTL mortgage brokers, the Revolution Finance team works with a broad range of landlords, from first-time property investors to those with extensive and long-standing portfolios.

As a whole-of-market, independent broker, we can discuss various solutions and provide access to niche and specialist lenders while negotiating on your behalf and liaising closely with our network of mortgage lenders to ensure you get the most competitive deal.

Get in touch today for more information about changing mortgage to buy to let or to get the ball rolling.

Almas Uddin
Almas Uddin

Founder and Mortgage Advisor

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Frequently Asked
Questions

Buy-to-let mortgage calculators can be a useful indicative guide if you're looking to refinance a residential mortgage to turn your current home into a rental property. However, they tend to be generalised and can only be used as a rough estimate since a calculator can't take into account your circumstances.

Our recommendation is always to contact a reputable and whole-of-market broker to discuss the various potential solutions before making any decisions.

If you own a home and want to apply for consent to let, remortgage onto a BTL product or take out let-to-buy financing, you will not be able to borrow up to 100% of the property value. Instead, you'll normally need at least a 25% deposit or 25% equity in the property before considering can I change my mortgage to buy to let.

We’re often asked Can I change my mortgage to buy to let as a first-time buyer. Fortunately, there are several buy-to-let mortgage products suitable for first-time buyers – this is a common situation if you're looking to let out your current home and move elsewhere. However, it's important to understand the lending policies and criteria of any lender you are considering since some are less likely to lend to applicants without previous landlord experience.

Independent brokers have years of expertise working within the BTL mortgage market and in changing mortgage to buy to let requests. We can recommend deals and products that are a great match while liaising with lenders, helping ensure your application is complete, and negotiating terms, interest rates and product costs.

As we’ve seen, there are lots of potential ways to switch to a buy-to-let mortgage, so the starting point in changing mortgage to buy to let is to consult on your ideal outcomes and then find the right borrowing options to match those requirements.

Can I change my mortgage to buy to let? Buy-to-let lenders need to see that the rental income from the property will comfortably cover the mortgage cost. They will also look at your deposit or equity held, other debts and income sources, and your eligibility, covering areas such as age, employment type and credit history.

Lenders will always need to evaluate your credit standing before agreeing to changing mortgage to but to let – although if you have a good deposit or equity, strong projected rental income and otherwise stable finances you should be able to find a competitive offer.

As we’ve explored, changing mortgage to buy to let may depend on the lender – some will cap the number of mortgages they will agree to with any one borrower, since a larger number of loans increases their risk exposure.

In short, no – changing mortgage to buy to let means you will need to communicate with the lender to inform them of your plans, even if you intend to remortgage to a buy to let product with another provider.

If you’re keen to complete the process of changing mortgage to buy to let fast, we’d recommend contacting our expert team. The comparisons, applications and assessments can be time-consuming, but we can liaise with the respective lenders to expedite the process.

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FCA disclaimer

The content included in our articles, blogs, web pages and news publications is based on information accurate at the time of writing. Note that policies and criteria can change regularly throughout the UK mortgage lending market, and it remains essential to contact the consultation team to receive up to date guidance. The information included on the Revolution Brokers site is not bespoke to any circumstances or individual application scenarios and therefore is not intended to be used as financial advice. The content we share is designed to be informative and helpful but cannot be relied upon to provide individual advice relevant to your mortgage requirements. All Revolution team members are fully qualified, trained and experienced to provide mortgage advice of an independent nature.

We collaborate with lenders and providers who are regulated, authorised and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Should you require specific mortgage borrowing types, some products such as buy to let mortgages may not be FCA regulated. The Revolution team can provide further information about regulated and unregulated lending as required. Please remember that a mortgage is a debt which is secured against your home or property. Your home can be at risk of repossession if you do not keep up with the repayments or encounter any other difficulties in managing your mortgage borrowing responsibly. This also applies to any remortgage or home loan secured against your property, including equity release products.

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