The latest Landlord Panel from the National Landlords Association (NLA) has revealed that, 18 months after the regulatory changes that shook the buy-to-let market, 55% of landlords are still unaware of what has changed. Given the stricter lending criteria and added complications for portfolio landlords, this could be negatively affecting landlords looking to remortgage or buy another property.
The survey further found that just 8% of landlords have been contacted by their lender about the changes, while only 16% have been contacted by their broker about the new rules. In contrast, 68% said neither their lender nor their broker had contacted them about the changes, which suggests lenders and brokers have been keeping too quiet.
For those that aren't aware, the Prudential Regulatory Authority introduced stricter rental income criteria and more stringent stress tests on buy-to-let mortgages in January 2017, followed by stricter affordability tests for portfolio landlords in September of last year.
"We hope that the reason such a significant number of landlords haven't been contacted is because their existing deals are simply not yet close to expiry," commented Richard Lambert, CEO at the NLA. "However, it's in lenders' and brokers' own interests to speak to landlords about the changes sooner rather than later, otherwise it could mean a missed opportunity in terms of new business."
This may be why a higher percentage of landlords with portfolios have been contacted, with 26% of landlords with at least four properties saying their broker had been in touch, while 9% of these portfolio landlords said their lender had made contact.
As portfolio landlords not only offer more business, but have also been the most affected, it's understandable that lenders and brokers have focused on keeping them updated.
However, every landlord deserves to know what can affect their chances of getting a mortgage, just as they will also want to know what the best buy-to-let mortgages are when they are looking for a new deal. So, if you're not sure, why not speak to an adviser?
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