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EU tells accidental landlords they "can't afford" cheaper mortgages

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EU tells accidental landlords they

A little-known piece of EU legislation could see so-called accidental landlords refused cheaper mortgages - because they can't afford them.

The EU Mortgage Credit Directive, which comes into effect in the UK this month, is designed to prevent ‘risky’ mortgage lending and redefines landlord mortgages as “consumer lending”, making them subject to stricter lending criteria.

The directive introduces new mortgage affordability checks for lenders designed to ensure borrowers can afford their repayments - not just at their initial rate but also if rates were 6-7% higher.  

The same rules will apply for those who are remortgaging too, meaning home-owners  switching mortgage deals to take advantage of lower rates could be told that they are unable to afford repayments cheaper than those they are currently making.

The move is likely to particularly effect so-called ‘accidental landlords’ – people who did not buy a property with the intention of renting it out, but who have been forced to do so by circumstances.

Research from Direct Line has shown that 62% of new buy-to-let mortgage applicants are unaware of the changes – a figure rising to 71% for accidental landlords.


From next year changes to mortgage tax relief will also mean landlords are no longer be able to claim tax relief on mortgage repayments. Instead of deducting mortgage interest repayments from their tax  bill they will instead receive a tax credit equivalent to 20% basic-rate tax on the amount – meaning that should interest rates rise some landlords could end up paying tax on losses.

Ajay Jagota, founder and Managing Director of North-East based sales and lettings firm KIS commented: “It sounds completely ludicrous for lenders to deny people cheaper mortgages because they can’t afford them, and there’s a good reason for that – it is completely ludicrous.

There is no question that this directive will create mortgage prisoners, people stuck overpaying on loans at a time when mortgage rates could be falling to their lowest ever levels.

Literally anyone can end up an accidental landlord – through inheritance, through family breakdown or through having to relocate for work. Most of the time they have no ambition other than to cover their costs until their circumstances change and there’s a real risk that they might have to raise their rents just to cover those costs.

Lenders should have the right to waive the affordability criteria when they’re remortgaging if there’s no increase in borrowing. If nothing else, this directive seems to fly in the face of EU’s commitment to a free market by denying people access to the full range of financial products available to them.”

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Latest Comments

HMO Midlands Landlady
HMO Midlands Landlady 24 May 2016

Tenants disappearing into the night is common from shared houses ( licensed and un-licensed HMO's) often when they owe considerable rent- they remove all their possessions, leave key in room and tell other...

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CommercialTrust
CommercialTrust 20 May 2016

With the bulk of the market controlled by large developers, profit rather than necessity determine the pace at which homes are built. There are hundreds of thousands of plots that have planning permission...

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Johna
Johna 20 May 2016

"Easier said than done" is what I would say. Of course, it would be more than great to have more in quality and affordability, but I do not trust talk anymore.. What is said is not what is happening.

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Johna
Johna 20 May 2016

in my humble opinion being fair like THE most important! I myself have had bad experience with unfair landlords... not to mention that I know how to do a proper end of tenancy cleaning since I am a fantastic...

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richardrawlings
richardrawlings 18 May 2016

NB - even if we doubled our commission levels in the UK, we'd still be by far the cheapest agents in the entire world.

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Agent_PeeBee
Agent_PeeBee 18 May 2016

Clueless. Someone needs to take these people's computers away from them so they can do no more harm than they already have.

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richardrawlings
richardrawlings 18 May 2016

Nonsense! The cost of selling a house nowadays has little bearing on the fees charged. Don't believe your own spin on this. Fees have spiralled down to pathetic levels in areas where weak agents have allowed...

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Simon Oliver
Simon Oliver 16 May 2016

The best solution is to buy a property that has built-in income generating potential: a nice house with a couple of gites in the grounds is a good start. In France, the rune of thumb is that one 2-bedroomed...

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WPD
WPD 12 May 2016

I suggest the answer is to have the notary system being one legal person who represents both parties. Having experienced it a couple of times in France it was a dream compared to our dysfunctional system....

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warren
warren 03 May 2016

It's enough to make me weep into my Pimm's :(

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james anderson
james anderson 03 May 2016

The sad demise of the croquet lawn...

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CommercialTrust
CommercialTrust 11 Apr 2016

".. the stricter lending criteria will reduce the amount of buy-to-let lending by 10% to 20% in three years’ time." The PRA was actually referring to cumulative approvals here. What they believe is that...

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