Leanne Macardle

Leanne Macardle

Editor
Published: 29/01/2019

At a glance

  • Your monthly repayments will stay the same for three years, even if interest rates rise.
  • You may be subject to early repayment charges if you want to exit the deal early or overpay.
  • Three-year fixed rate buy-to-let mortgages usually offer lower rates than five-year products.
  • There are interest only buy-to-let mortgages or repayment options available.
  • To help get the best three-year buy-to-let mortgage, you need to make sure your rental yield is healthy, as well as your individual financial circumstances.

What is a three-year fixed rate buy-to-let mortgage?

If you're looking to invest in a property to rent out to tenants, then a three-year buy-to-let mortgage could be just the thing. As the rate is fixed for three years, your repayments every month will stay the same over the three-year period. Not only this but if interest rates rise, your payments will stay the same. Of course, if they fall, the rate you pay will also stay the same. And after three years, it's likely that your mortgage will be transferred to the lender’s standard variable rate.

How do they work?

Buy-to-let mortgages are very similar to residential mortgages. The difference, of course, is that you won't be living in the property. It is a mortgage that is expressly designed for properties that will be rented out to tenants.

Before offering you a buy-to-let mortgage the lender will need to see that you will be making a profit every month. In general, the rent will need to be at least 125% of the mortgage payment. But you should check carefully before making an application that you will be eligible, as a significant number of lenders have more stringent affordability requirements, especially if you are a higher rate taxpayer. You should also expect to pay higher arrangement fees with a BTL as well as a different way of assessing whether you can have the mortgage.

Don't forget that while your lender might be happy that you can afford the repayments, you need to be happy too. There are all sorts of other costs to consider before making such a big financial commitment on a buy to let property: insurance, agent's fees, legal costs, maintenance costs, etc.

Why choose a three-year fixed rate buy-to-let mortgage?

There are several reasons why you may decide to take on a buy-to-let mortgage. It could be that you see it as a source of extra income or something that will make your retirement more financially secure. Perhaps it's that you're thinking of moving out of your home, for whatever reason, and want to let it out to tenants.

In simple terms, a three-year fixed rate mortgage can provide the security of fixed regular payments while still giving you the ability to remortgage after three years.

A fixed rate mortgage is ideal if you want your monthly repayments to stay the same over a set period – in this case, three years – but they aren't necessarily as cheap as some of the tracker rates available to landlords. You will, however, have the peace of mind of knowing that if rates rise, your repayments will stay the same.

Can I get a three-year fixed buy-to-let mortgage?

As with any mortgage application, there will be rigorous checks made before a lender is satisfied that you can meet the monthly repayments. Their decision will be based on:

  1. Your personal finances. This will include your deposit and how much you earn each month. Your credit score will also be checked.
  2. Rent. Your lender will check that the rent you intend to charge on your property is greater than your monthly loan repayments. They will usually expect rent to be around 125% to 145% of your monthly payments.

How much will it cost?

A three-year fixed buy-to-let mortgage often comes with higher interest rates than its 2-year equivalent.  Always look at the total cost of your mortgage including the application, arrangement and other associated fees. It is also important to consider the early repayment charges you might face if you need to move your mortgage or choose to pay this off early.

Remortgaging after a three-year fixed buy-to-let

It's important with a short-term fixed rate mortgage that you consider the costs of remortgaging your buy-to-let property regularly.

When you reach the end of your three-year fixed rate period, your lender will usually transfer your mortgage to its buy-to-let standard variable rate, or possibly a tracker-based variable rate. This is likely to be higher than your fixed rate. If you choose not to remortgage, it's important that you have enough wiggle room in your budget to absorb the higher mortgage costs. Remortgaging will involve paying new mortgage fees and possibly legal fees if you move to mortgage to a different lender.

Pros and cons of three year buy-to-let mortgages

  • Fixed repayments. Even if the Bank of England decides to increase interest rates, your monthly repayments will be fixed for three years.
  • Competitive interest rates. Although these rates are not usually as low as two-year fixed buy-to-let mortgages, the interest rates for this type of deal are often still lower than longer-term mortgages.
  • Remortgage less often. You won't have to look for new deals as frequently as you would need to with shorter-term mortgages.
  • Less flexibility. If you want to overpay or even clear your buy-to-let mortgage, you will likely incur a financial penalty with a three-year deal.

Moneyfacts Tip

Moneyfacts tip Leanne Macardle

You could pay less tax on your buy-to-let property if you set up a limited company to manage it. Our preferred expert mortgage advisers can help to guide you through this process.

Disclaimer: This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. Moneyfacts will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts recommends you obtain independent financial advice.

row of residential houses

At a glance

  • Your monthly repayments will stay the same for three years, even if interest rates rise.
  • You may be subject to early repayment charges if you want to exit the deal early or overpay.
  • Three-year fixed rate buy-to-let mortgages usually offer lower rates than five-year products.
  • There are interest only buy-to-let mortgages or repayment options available.
  • To help get the best three-year buy-to-let mortgage, you need to make sure your rental yield is healthy, as well as your individual financial circumstances.

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