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Suffolk BS enhances expat and buy-to-let criteria

Suffolk Building Society has announced a series of product and criteria changes to help brokers place more complex cases for their landlord and expat clients.

Expats and non-UK nationals

Suffolk Building Society will accept applications from first-time buyer expat landlords who are working and residing abroad and who have not owned a property before but who wish to purchase a rental property in the UK.

The Society will no longer require returning expats to spend a set amount of time in the UK before applying for a mortgage. It’s common for lenders to require anything up to two years on home soil but this change allows expats to apply as soon as they return. This applies to both employed and retired applicants.

Non-UK nationals will also be accepted on a joint application where one applicant is a UK national. This means that the non-UK partner can now be named on the mortgage. However, brokers should be aware that affordability will be based solely on the UK national applicant’s income only and they will be required to meet all relevant criteria.

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Support for UK landlords

As well as accepting first time-buyer expat landlords, Suffolk Building Society will now consider applications for first-time buyer buy-to-let properties in England and Wales. Full buy-to-let criteria will be applied including interest cover ratio (ICR) and minimum income. The Society will also run a background affordability assessment.

Landlords wishing to purchase or remortgage their own residential property will now be considered regardless of how many buy-to-let properties they have in the background, as long as the buy-to-let portfolio is self-financing. Previously, the Society had a limit of 10 buy-to-lets in the background but this criterion has now been removed to help landlords.

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Charlotte Grimshaw, head of intermediary relations at Suffolk Building Society, said: “We know our niches extremely well and have a very good understanding of the issues facing brokers in these markets at the moment. It matters to us that we’re there to support those whose circumstances means they need a specialist lender on their side – particularly as everyone faces the uncertainty of the current economic climate.”

By ROZI JONES

Source: Financial Reporter