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Buy to let mortgages.

Buy to let

Our buy to let mortgages are for landlords with up to 3 properties.

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Find a buy to let mortgage.

Buy to let

Our buy to let mortgage lending criteria.

  1. Landlords must have no more than three properties within the total portfolio, which includes any holiday let properties and not operate their properties as a company or business.
  2. Properties must be let on an approved Assured Shorthold Tenancy.
  3. Applicants must currently or have previously owned their own home, not be in arrears with any mortgage they currently have, and be a UK resident. For expat buy to let mortgages visit our expat buy to let page.
  4. We won’t generally lend on new build flats, studio flats, basement flats, ex-local authority flats/maisonettes, flats above 5 storeys or flats above commercial property. However, we will consider new build flats where these are located in Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.
  5. We will not lend on houses in multiple occupancy (HMOs) which require licensing, or multi-lets, or student lets.
  6. Properties must hold a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and meet a minimum Energy rating of E, to be evidenced at application. Should the property be exempt from the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015, evidence of exemption is required.

Once you’ve found a buy to let mortgage which looks right for you, check the details carefully and get in touch so we can help explain the process and what you need to know.


Frequently asked questions about buy to let mortgages.

A buy to let mortgage is needed to finance a property which will be let out to tenants.

With a buy to let mortgage tenants will be renting the property on a long term basis and living in it as their main residence. A holiday let property is for short-term guest rentals. If you’re planning to use your property for a holiday let you can find out more on our holiday let mortgage page.

With a buy to let mortgage the affordability assessment is calculated in a different way to standard residential applications, because the landlord will be receiving monthly rental payments which are taken into account as income.

At Suffolk Building Society we require a minimum 145% rental cover against the monthly mortgage payment, which needs to be stressed at a rate of interest of either the Product Rate +2% or a minimum rate of 5.5%. (A stressed rate is a regulatory requirement, requiring lenders to test borrowers can still make their payment at a rate that’s higher than what they actually would pay.)

Some scenarios have different criteria, such as:

  • For 5-year fixed rate products a stress rate no longer applies.
  • Remortgages carried out on a transitional basis, where a lower 125% rental cover is required. For transitional arrangements to be applied the existing mortgage must be an existing buy to let contract, have originally completed prior to 1 January 2017, and no changes to named applicants or additional borrowing must be taking place.

For any applications not meeting rental cover requirements we may be able to ‘top slice’, taking Sterling-only personal income into account to ‘top up’ any shortfall.

In addition, whilst we utilise rental cover for our calculations, we do need at least one applicant to have a minimum annual income of £25,000 from employment, self employment, a pension or investments.

At Suffolk Building Society our buy to let mortgages are generally only available to applicants who currently or have previously owned their own home. We may consider an expat buy to let mortgage for a first time buyer, for more information visit our expat buy to let page.

If you are an expat looking to purchase or remortgage a buy to let property in England or Wales you would need to get an expat buy to let mortgage. You can view our available deals using our mortgage finder or for more information visit our expat buy to let page.

Where a family member will rent a buy to let property this is known as regulated buy to let, or sometimes called family buy to let. This type of mortgage is treated differently and would need to be assessed based on applicants’ income and affordability rather than rental cover. Get in touch with us to find out more.

This depends on the criteria of the individual lender, but at Suffolk Building Society we’re happy to consider first time landlords, as long as you either currently own property or you have done so in the past.

To see how much your buy to let mortgage might cost you each month visit our mortgage repayment calculator. You’ll need to know how much you want to borrow, the interest rate and the length of the mortgage.

No. If you are planning to live in the property yourself and not rent it out you would not need a buy to let mortgage. Instead use our mortgage finder to browse our currently available residential mortgage products .


We have conversations, not algorithms.

Our decisions are made by experts, not computers. We need to calculate the financials, but we understand there’s more behind a mortgage than the numbers on a page. We can’t promise to lend to everyone and anyone, but we’ll consider most applications on an individual basis.

Ready to go? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable team.

Prefer to talk?
Call 0330 123 0723

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